Q:

What would happen if you drank vinegar?

A:

Quick Answer

Depending on how much vinegar you drink, the vinegar might do nothing or make you nauseous, but it can be lethal in extremely high doses. There are several different types of vinegar, and some of them are actually beneficial in small amounts. However, large amounts of vinegar increase the amount of acid in the stomach, causing nausea or vomiting, and lowering pH levels.

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Full Answer

Having a few tablespoons of vinegar in water or with salad is not harmful to the body. However, the main ingredient in vinegar is acetic acid, which is harmful to humans in large doses. Because vinegar is 10 percent acetic acid, a half gallon is lethal to most humans. Large amounts of vinegar can also burn the esophagus and cause a variety of issues stemming from low pH levels. These include hypokalemia, hyperreninemia, vertigo, vomiting, constipation and gastrointestinal distress. Because most of these symptoms only occur when consuming large amounts of vinegar, it is a good idea to limit the daily intake of vinegar to a small amount of a few tablespoons. Most medical studies suggest taking no more than two tablespoons of vinegar before a meal. It is always best to consult a doctor before taking vinegar as a supplement.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Is vinegar an acid?

    A:

    Vinegar is acidic and contains acetic acid. The pH of vinegar varies by type. Distilled white vinegar can have a pH as low as 2.4, while palm vinegar has a pH between 5 and 6.

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  • Q:

    Where does vinegar come from ?

    A:

    Vinegar is created through the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. When a slow fermentation method is used, the process takes anywhere from two months to a year. With a quick fermentation process, typically used for commercial vinegars, a bacterial culture called "mother of vinegar" is added to the ethanol liquid, and then air is added. Vinegar can be made this way in as little as 20 hours.

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  • Q:

    Is too much vinegar unhealthy?

    A:

    Consumption of excessive amounts of vinegar is unhealthy. It is a relatively strong acid, and can irritate the throat and stomach, damage tooth enamel, weaken bones, and strain the kidneys.

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  • Q:

    What is vinegar made up of?

    A:

    Vinegar can be made from any fruit, but the most common ingredient is grapes. The fruit is fermented with the addition of a microorganism like yeast, which turns the sugars in the fruit into alcohol. To make vinegar, a second group of bacteria known as Acetobacter turn the alcohol into acetic acid, which is another name for vinegar.

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