Michelle Lee Photography/Shutterstock
Looking for miracle medicine in a bottle? Behold, apple cider vinegar. Experts claim it can do everything from settling an upset stomach, to curing acne and hiccups, to helping you lose weight—and that doesn’t even begin to cover all of the ways apple cider vinegar can benefit your health. But if you’ve been singing its praises for years, beware: This natural tonic could also have a negative side effect.
Research shows that apple cider vinegar can erode the enamel on your teeth, Healthline reports. While most studies have examined the effects of acidic foods such as soft drinks and fruit juices, scientists believe that the acetic acid found in vinegar could also damage tooth enamel. Make sure you don’t fall for these apple cider vinegar myths, either.
A 2012 study placed the enamel of wisdom teeth in different vinegar samples, whose pH levels ranged from 2.7 to 3.9. After four hours, the vinegars removed one to 20 percent of minerals from the teeth, the researchers reported.
Granted, this experiment didn’t include a mouth’s saliva, which can neutralize the acidity found in food. But it’s clear that apple cider vinegar isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Find out why you should never, ever take shots of apple cider vinegar.
Still, should you give up apple cider vinegar forever? Don’t even think about it! To prevent damage to your teeth, try diluting the vinegar in water and drinking it through a straw. Jaimi Jansen, a personal trainer and president of Santa Cruz CORE Fitness + Rehab in California, recommends mixing 10 parts water to 1 part vinegar. Afterward, rinse your mouth with water to make sure the acid is completely cleared away.
Don’t be fooled! These healthy foods are surprisingly unhealthy, too.