Can Apple Cider Vinegar Cause Diarrhea?

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Cause Diarrhea

Apple cider vinegar has become a popular household staple for its many health benefits, including boosting weight loss and improving gut health.

However, some people have reported experiencing diarrhea after consuming apple cider vinegar.

So, can apple cider vinegar cause diarrhea?

The short answer is yes.

But let’s take a closer look at why this may happen and how you can prevent it from happening to you.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

ACV, short for apple cider vinegar, is a vinegar variety produced through the fermentation of apple juice. It contains acetic acid and other beneficial compounds like probiotics and enzymes.

Many people consume ACV for its potential health benefits, such as aiding digestion, lowering blood sugar levels, and promoting weight loss.

How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Work?

Acetic acid in ACV can help balance the pH levels in the body, which is essential for optimal digestion.

It also has antimicrobial properties that may help fight harmful bacteria in the gut, promoting a healthy microbiome.

Nutritional Content of ACV

Apple cider vinegar is low in calories and contains no fat or protein. However, it does contain a small amount of carbs and sugar.

One tablespoon (15 ml) of ACV contains:

  • Calories: 3
  • Carbs: 0.1 grams
  • Sugar: 0.1 grams
  • Sodium: 0 milligrams

Potential Health Benefits of ACV

Apart from its use in cooking and household cleaning, apple cider vinegar has gained popularity for its potential health benefits. Some of the commonly reported benefits include:

  • Aiding digestion: ACV may help improve digestion by increasing stomach acid production and promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
  • Lowering blood sugar levels: Studies have shown that consuming ACV before a high-carb meal can help lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Boosting weight loss: Some studies have suggested that ACV may help boost metabolism and suppress appetite, leading to weight loss.

What is Diarrhea?

Diarrhea is identified by the presence of loose and watery stools, occurring more frequently than normal.

It can be acute, usually lasting a day or two, or chronic, which can last for several weeks.

Common causes include viral and bacterial infections, food intolerances, and various underlying health conditions.

Types of Diarrhea

There are several types of diarrhea, including:

  1. Osmotic diarrhea: This occurs when there’s too much water in the intestines.
  2. Secretory diarrhea: This happens when the intestines release too much fluid into the stool.
  3. Inflammatory diarrhea: A result of an inflammatory process in the intestines, which can lead to blood and pus in the stool.
  4. Motility-related diarrhea: This occurs when the intestines are unable to properly move and digest food.

The Link Between Apple Cider Vinegar and Diarrhea

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Cause Diarrhea

To understand how ACV affects diarrhea, we need to look at how it interacts with the digestive system.

When you consume ACV, the acetic acid in it can change the pH of your stomach.

This change can make it harder for your stomach muscles to break down food, which can result in slower digestion.

Slower digestion can cause symptoms like bloating and feeling full, and in some cases, even lead to nausea and diarrhea.

How is Apple Cider Vinegar Metabolized?

After digestion, ACV is metabolized by the liver and excreted through the kidneys.

However, some people may have a difficult time digesting apple cider vinegar due to its high acidity.

In addition, consuming large amounts of ACV can irritate the lining of the stomach and intestinal tract, causing diarrhea.

ALSO READ: Can You Take Omeprazole and Apple Cider Vinegar Together?

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Lead to Diarrhea?

In short, yes, apple cider vinegar can cause diarrhea.

However, it’s more likely to happen when you consume large amounts or have a sensitive stomach.

Additionally, if you have an underlying digestive condition, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional before adding ACV to your diet.

Also Read:  Apple Cider Vinegar for Molluscum Contagiosum

How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Cause Diarrhea?

  • High Acidity: The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar may irritate the gastrointestinal tract, leading to diarrhea, especially in people with sensitive stomachs.
  • Increased Stomach Acid: ACV may trigger increased production of stomach acid, which in turn can speed up the movement of food through the intestines, causing diarrhea.
  • Osmotic Effect: The unabsorbed particles of apple cider vinegar can draw extra water into the bowels, leading to an osmotic type of diarrhea.
  • Pre-existing Digestive Issues: Individuals with existing digestive problems such as IBS, IBD, or low stomach acid may experience worsening symptoms, including diarrhea, after consuming apple cider vinegar.
  • Detoxification Process: As a natural detoxifier, ACV might stimulate bowel movements to expel toxins from the body, which can manifest as diarrhea, especially if taken in large quantities.
  • Probiotic Content: While beneficial for gut health, the live bacteria in apple cider vinegar can cause a change in the gut flora, leading to temporary digestive upset and diarrhea as the body adjusts.

Note: These effects vary based on individual tolerance and the amount of ACV consumed, and not everyone will experience diarrhea.

Factors Influencing Diarrhea Risk

Several factors can influence the risk of experiencing diarrhea after consuming apple cider vinegar, including:

  1. Dosage: Consuming large amounts of ACV at once may increase your chances of experiencing diarrhea.
  2. Individual Sensitivity: Some people have a more sensitive stomach and may experience digestive issues with even small amounts of ACV.
  3. Existing Digestive Problems: Individuals with pre-existing digestive conditions may be more susceptible to experiencing diarrhea after consuming apple cider vinegar.
  4. Overall Diet: A balanced diet is essential for good gut health, and consuming ACV as part of a healthy diet may reduce the risk of diarrhea.
  5. Frequency of Consumption: Consuming ACV regularly in large amounts can increase the risk of digestive upset and diarrhea.

How to Prevent Diarrhea

If you’re looking to incorporate ACV into your diet but want to avoid potential diarrhea, here are some tips:

  • Start with small amounts: Begin by incorporating a small amount of ACV into your diet and gradually increase the amount over time to allow your body to adjust.
  • Dilute it: Mixing ACV with water can help reduce its acidity and make it easier for your stomach to handle.
  • Take it with food: Consuming ACV with a meal can help minimize its effects on the digestive system.
  • Choose unpasteurized and organic varieties: These types of ACV contain beneficial bacteria that may improve gut health and reduce the risk of diarrhea.
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help prevent dehydration, especially if you do experience diarrhea after consuming ACV.

Alternatives to ACV

If you’re looking to improve your overall health but are concerned about the potential for diarrhea from consuming ACV, there are other options available:

  • Probiotics: These supplements contain beneficial bacteria that can improve gut health without the risk of acidity or irritation.
  • Fermented foods: Similar to probiotics, fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi contain live cultures that can improve digestive health.
  • Other types of vinegar: Balsamic and rice vinegar have a milder acidity than ACV and may be easier on the stomach.
  • Apple pectin: This soluble fiber found in apples can help improve digestion and reduce symptoms like diarrhea without the risk of high acidity.

Final Thoughts

While apple cider vinegar has many potential health benefits, it’s essential to be aware of its potential side effects, including diarrhea.

By understanding the factors that can influence your risk and following some preventative measures, you can still incorporate ACV into your diet without experiencing digestive issues.

However, if you do have a sensitive stomach or pre-existing digestive issues, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional before adding ACV to your routine.

Remember, everyone’s body is different, and what may work for one person may not work for another.

Key Takeaways

  • Consuming large amounts of apple cider vinegar can cause diarrhea.
  • The acidity, increased stomach acid, osmotic effect, pre-existing digestive issues, detoxification process, and probiotic content in ACV can contribute to diarrhea.
  • Factors like dosage, individual sensitivity, existing digestive problems, overall diet, and frequency of consumption can influence the risk of experiencing diarrhea from ACV.
  • Diluting ACV, starting with small amounts, consuming it with food, choosing unpasteurized and organic varieties, and staying hydrated can help prevent diarrhea from ACV.
  • Other alternatives like probiotics, fermented foods, other types of vinegar, and apple pectin can provide similar health benefits without the risk of diarrhea.

Also Read: Does Apple Cider Vinegar Thin Your Blood?


Can apple cider vinegar cause diarrhea if it’s cooked?

Yes, even if cooked, the acidic properties of ACV can still cause digestive upset and potentially diarrhea in some individuals.

Is Using Apple Cider Vinegar for Detoxing Safe?

While apple cider vinegar has been touted as a natural detoxifier, it’s essential to use caution and consult with a healthcare professional before using it for this purpose.

Its acidity and potential for causing digestive upset may outweigh the benefits of detoxification.

Additionally, there is limited scientific evidence to support the use of ACV as a detoxifying agent.

Is it safe to consume apple cider vinegar with a sensitive stomach?

Consuming ACV may cause digestive upset and potentially diarrhea in individuals with sensitive stomachs.

It’s best to start with small amounts and monitor your body’s reaction before increasing the dose.

Is diarrhea a sign that apple cider vinegar is working?

No, experiencing diarrhea after consuming ACV is not necessarily a sign that it’s working.

Diarrhea can be a side effect of consuming large amounts of ACV or may indicate an underlying digestive issue.

Does apple cider vinegar make you poop a lot?

It depends, some individuals may experience an increased frequency of bowel movements after consuming ACV, while others may not.

This can be influenced by factors such as dosage, individual sensitivity, and overall diet.

Is apple cider vinegar harmful to the kidneys?

There is no evidence to suggest that consuming apple cider vinegar in moderation can harm the kidneys.

However, excessive consumption may lead to an imbalance in electrolytes and potentially cause kidney damage.

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The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered a replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is important to seek professional medical advice and not disregard it or delay seeking it based on the information read here. While we strive to provide accurate and reliable information, we cannot guarantee its completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability for any purpose. Using the information in this document is your responsibility and carries inherent risks. We are not liable for any losses or damages resulting from the use of our content.


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