11 Myths About Apple Cider Vinegar You Should Stop Believing Right Now

Updated: Feb. 29, 2024

These apple cider vinegar rumors need debunking.

Apple cider vinegar is a magical substance

There are so many reasons apple cider vinegar is touted as a magical substance; the simple concoction seems to be able to assist with just about any ailment. Lauded as one of the best health foods of the era, the acidic elixir has people worldwide embarking on a full-fledged apple cider vinegar diet. We don’t blame you, but before you go off doing go, make sure not to come at it misinformed. Don’t believe us? Here are 15 ways apple cider vinegar benefits your health.

02-same-Myths About Apple Cider Vinegar You Need to Stop Believing_499364191-Sea-Wave
Sea Wave/Shutterstock

All apple cider vinegar is the same

Many believe that apple cider vinegar is simply a vinegar made from apple cider, but it actually comes in two versions: filtered and unfiltered. If you are interested in less processed ingredients or want to use ACV to kickstart your own homemade vinegars, the unfiltered kind may be best for you. Luckily, there are ways to differentiate between cheaper store-brand options and high-end organic ones. The very clear, translucent ones will most likely have been filtered and processed, which means it has lost some elements that give it the valuable health benefits we love. The best kind will look intensely murky and brownthese are optimal for those looking for a more natural, organic substance. 

03-taste-Myths About Apple Cider Vinegar You Need to Stop Believing_580918609-NoirChocolate

It tastes terrible

We get that no one wants to drink undiluted vinegarno matter how extensive the health benefits are. However, that doesn’t mean you should avoid it or start chugging the bottle raw; there are a wide array of ways to mask the taste and create delectable concoctions from it. Popular methods include creating a salad dressing or mixing it with honey (for those with an avid sweet tooth). You can even make a sauce or smoothie from the versatile stuff. But this is why you should never drink ACV plain.

Syda Productions/Shutterstock

It helps cure diabetes

Many understandably claim ACV is an effective weapon for diabetics due to its ability to stabilize glucose levels and prevent dangerous blood sugar spikes. However, while it may be beneficial for people with an insulin resistance or at preventing pre-diabetes in the future, there is no scientific evidence that indicates it will replace insulin and other diabetes medication necessary to cure or manage it. If you’re interested in trying it out, make sure to consult a doctor before incorporating ACV as part of an official medication regimen.

05-health-benefits-Myths About Apple Cider Vinegar You Need to Stop Believing_494754820-Pixfiction

There are no significant health benefits

We can go on and on about apple cider vinegar’s health benefits, but hear us out. The amazing concoction has been proven to lower blood sugar, help tummy troubles, clear a stuffy nose, and even eliminate certain acne breakouts. Moreover, the FDA has even approved medication with acetic acidwhich ACV is full offor its antibacterial and antifungal properties. This is what happens when you drink apple cider vinegar every day.

06-harm-Myths About Apple Cider Vinegar You Need to Stop Believing_228682153--DPRM

It can’t possibly harm you

Yes, apple cider vinegar is amazing for its many health benefits, but that doesn’t mean there are no side effects. Take careful heed to digest it properly; because of its acidic nature, ACV has been found to erode tooth enamel if consumed with no dilution whatsoever. If frequented in high doses, it could potentially lead to low potassium levels.

07-skin-Myths About Apple Cider Vinegar You Need to Stop Believing_297804983-JL-Pfeifer
JL Pfeifer/Shutterstock

It’s bad for the skin

First instinct might tell you that ACV would be harmful for the skin with its strong odor and acidic properties, but that instinct would be terribly incorrect. In fact, the substance can be used as facial toners when mixed with water, and even be utilized as makeup remover. We don’t recommend throwing out your entire skincare collection for the stuff, but don’t undermine its uncanny abilities to remove nuisances like acne and acne scars. Even famous stars like Miranda Kerr, Megan Fox, and Katy Perry swear by it. However, make sure you’re diluting it with water, rather than directly putting it on your skin, which can be harmful. Here are some other common apple cider vinegar mistakes to avoid.

08-cancer-Myths About Apple Cider Vinegar You Need to Stop Believing_243554755-fototip

It can ward off cancer

Although there are various studies that have tested apple cider vinegar for potentially cancer-fighting traits, all results (including its ability to slow the growth of cancer cells) have cropped up as inconclusive. Moreover, they yield rather conflicting results, according to Health and Fitness Cheat Sheet. Some studies have indicated that consuming apple cider vinegar could lead to a reduced risk of developing esophageal cancer, but others have shown that it could lead to an increased risk of bladder cancer. Ultimately, it’s safe to say that although apple cider vinegar is great at clearing out your digestive tract, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re immune from colon cancer. 

09-apples-Myths About Apple Cider Vinegar You Need to Stop Believing_443845792-PosiNote

It has the same effects as eating an apple

Although it does have the word “apple” in its name, ACV does not have all the nutrients as eating an apple. Sure, it may come from fermented apples, but the distilling and liquidating process means that nutrients such as fiber and Vitamin C—which are very prevalent in apples—don’t show up in ACV.

10-only-Myths About Apple Cider Vinegar You Need to Stop Believing_645689764-Vladimir-Miloserdov
Vladimir Miloserdov/Shutterstock

The only thing you can do with it is eat it

Contrary to common belief, you can use the versatile substance for things other than food. As previously mentioned, it has a plethora of beauty benefits, but there’s more. Vinegar is actually one of the best natural cleaning agents in existence, largely due to its antimicrobial properties. It’s surprisingly effective as an all-purpose cleaner, to neutralize odors, or to kill weeds. Check out some more ingenious uses for vinegar around the house.

A bottle of apple cider vinegar in the morning sun, with apples in the background
Madeleine Steinbach/Shutterstock

It contains alcohol

Nope, you can’t get intoxicated from taking ACV. Though it does go through a fermentation process that converts its sugars to alcohol, the rest of that process transforms the alcohol into acetic acid. After this process is completed, “any amount of alcohol in ACV is so small that it is negligible,” says Amy Leigh Mercree, author of Apple Cider Vinegar Handbook. So, for better or worse, you cannot get drunk from consuming apple cider vinegar.

Measuring apple cider vinegar for caramelized onions

Cooking it removes the health benefits

You might think that you need to take ACV completely raw to maximize the health benefits, but “ACV will retain some of its health benefits regardless of whether or not it is heated,” Mercree says. However, she does advise against boiling it or exposing it to very high temperatures, which could kill the healthy bacteria in the ACV’s symbiotic culture. “Some cooking is fine—just avoid extreme temperatures to maintain ACV’s health benefits,” Mercree advises. In fact, here are some great recipes that you can make with apple cider vinegar.