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Is apple cider vinegar good for you?

I have heard that apple cider vinegar which I know contains potassium, that is can also leach potassium, and can thus contribute to high blood pressure. Do you have any information about this?

aeason / Originally posted on Is vinegar good for you?

Answer:

There are a baker’s dozen articles in the medical literature on apple cider vinegar (as indexed by the National Library of Medicine), and indeed there is a case report “Hypokalemia, Hyperreninemia and Osteoporosis in a Patient Ingesting Large Amounts of Cider Vinegar” that does suggest ingestion may lead to potassium wasting.

Acetic acid in vinegar is rapidly metabolized in the liver into bicarbonate, and potassium is used by the kidneys to excrete bicarbonate from the body. So chronic use of high doses could lead to problems–the woman described in the report was drinking more than a cup of vinegar day!

One would not expect any such problems as the doses described in the studies featured in the Is Vinegar Good For You? video (2 teaspoons with meals). I would, however, warn against apple cider vinegar pills. A study published in the Journal of the ADA of 8 such products found some “could be considered poisonous, as indicated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission….”

Image Credit: Veganbaking.net / Flickr

Dr. Michael Greger

About Michael Greger M.D.

Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

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  • Dave

    The Flesh & Fructose video identified fructose as a culprit to gout attacks, but the discussion and reports only focused on added sugar. Can I expect a daily pure fruit smoothie, without added juice or sugar, to bring back my gout attacks?

    • http://www.DonForresterMD.com/ Don Forrester MD

      No way to predict. We in medicine know little about why gout attacks occur. We do know the higher the level of uric acid in the blood the more likely you are to have an attack. I have had patients with low uric acid levels have attacks and patients with high uric acid levels not have attacks. We have told patients to avoid meats for years but now should be cautious about consuming fructose. Fructose is found in all fruits along with glucose and sucrose( i.e. table sugar which is half fructose and half glucose). I would be cautious when consuming fruits. It is a little complex since some fruits contain more than others and the amount of glucose is a factor in whether the fructose is actually absorbed from the intestine. The best recommendation would be to try and keep the level of consumption consistent and if you get an attack cut back. Good luck.

      • Thea

        Dr. Forrester: I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before or not. But I wanted you to know how much your replies are appreciated. The information you provide people as a kindness is amazing. Thank you for making the world a better place – and doing it here on this site.

  • emmie

    I have trouble with my gallbladder even though i am on a plant based diet. It might be left over from my meat eating days. I read that apple cider vinegar is very good in the sense that it shrinks the stones?

  • Andiea

    Is it true that those who regularly take acid reducing medications for GERD have low B-12 levels due to reduced absorption caused by the medication? If so, how do we increase our B-12 absorption?

  • William Dwyer

    Vegetables and fruits contain potassium citrate, which is metabolized into bicarbonate in the body, thereby helping to prevent osteoporosis. Moreover, potassium bicarbonate supplements have been shown in numerous studies to prevent and reverse osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. This is well documented. So I don’t understand how bicarbonate, which helps to buffer an acidic diet, could be a risk factor for osteoporosis.

  • Gabrielle

    I have bad acne, I read that it can help with acne if applied topically. Is this true?

    • Walter

      Try avoiding dairy and gluten for a couple weeks. See what happens!

  • coglet

    What about for your hair? Any word on it’s legitimacy as a conditioner replacement doc?

  • Diane Morris

    The benefits of juice plus (whole raw fruits and vegetables) have over 32 gold standard studies to show it has major body long term benefits. It is the most widely researched product in the world and harvested in the U.S. The 25 fruits and vegetables (capsules or gummies) are specifically designed to protect designated organs. Gluten free, kosher, non GMO, organic

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