Apple Cider Vinegar Tests Lead to Warning Labeling

A bottle of apple cider vinegar in the morning sun, with apples in the background

Written by Tod Cooperman, M.D. 

ConsumerLab.com recently tested apple cider vinegar in bottles and pills and the results were discussed Monday on the Dr. Oz Show. We discovered that one apple cider vinegar supplement contained a very high concentration of acetic acid – over 20 percent, which is about four times the concentration in popular apple cider vinegars (which we also tested).

This can pose a danger should the capsule get stuck in one’s throat and open (which can happen with capsules). The acetic acid can irritate or burn the lining of the esophagus. In fact, household cleaning products containing more than 20 percent acetic acid are required be labeled as “poison.” The other supplements were found to contain apple cider vinegar powders with just 0.4 to 4.2 percent acetic acid. We’ve arranged for Dr. Oz viewers to see our full Apple Cider Vinegar report using a free 24-hour pass to ConsumerLab.com. The report covers six popular apple cider vinegars sold in bottles and six sold as supplements. I’m also happy to report that, today, the distributor of the supplement with the high acid level notified us that the label will be changed to include a special warning as well as additional directions, such as to take the product with ample water and not to open the capsules. It’s good to see these improvements. More details are in our report.

Tod Cooperman, M.D. is the founder and president of ConsumerLab.com, which has been testing and reporting on the quality of dietary supplements and health foods since 1999. Its reports and other information for consumers and health professionals are published at www.consumerlab.com.