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?


There are a baker’s dozen of 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 a 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: / Flickr

  • 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?

    • 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

  • syed kashif

    is apple cider vineger can be taken by someone who has excessive iron in his body?

  • Will Fagg Rn

    So I have recently switched to a whole foods plant based diet. I want a salad dressing that is healthy. I am hoping to make something from apple cider vinegar, garlic, lemon juice and minimal olive oil, maybe some added ground flax seed for omega 3’s. There is some discussion about getting apple cider vinegar “with the mother” I have not seen any peer reviewed journal articles that substantiate the claim that the “mother” is the healthy part of apple cider vinegar. Is there any way to find out if the apple cider vinegar used in these cited articles was filtered or not ?

  • Jessie

    I have been told that drinking distilled water with apple cider vinegar is healthy. But online there are many pros and cons to distilled water, as well as organic apple cider vinegar. I wonder why it is being taught in colleges if there are such controversial qualities to this. I have started a whole foods plant based diet and losing weight, and am being told to drink distilled water with apple cider vinegar to add back minerals. I am confused with the data and would appreciate any clarification on this subject matter.

    • Thea

      Jessie: NutritionFacts has a series of videos on vinegar coming up in the next volume. I suspect you will get some good answers then. (Or if you can’t wait, the DVD can be purchased…)
      But one thing that struck me as suspicious in your post is the concept of “to add back minerals.” What does that mean? Is there an assumption that somehow a vegan diet is deficient in minerals? Or just that the body normally loses some minerals as part of living and cider vinegar is the best way to replenish those minerals? Or that losng weight somehow causes one to lose minerals more than not losing weight? Either way, that reason for takiing apple cider vinegar doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Dr. Greger has hinted ahead of time that vinegar is good for us. Also, I’m no expert on this topic and have no special insight into it. But I would not guess that “adding back minerals” is the reason for vinegar to be beneficial. Hopefully if others have insight into this topic, they can share some studies or links with us. I just thought I would share my initial reaction.
      It sounds like your whole food plant based diet is working well for you. I’m happy to hear that. Good luck.

      • Jessie

        It was more to replenish distilled water. The reaction Distilled water has on the body and to counter it by using apple cider vinegar. It’s not the body who needs to the minerals but the distilled water, so that the water doesn’t have a negative effect on the body. I have read articles that the distilled water leeches minerals while going through the intestines. I’m happy to hear that there will be upcoming videos on vinegar. I look forward to hearing them. I guess at this point my question has to do with distilled water. Is distilled water bad for you?

        • Thea

          Jessie: Thanks for the clarification. I don’t think that makes any sense, but I’m not an expert in this matter. Hopefully others can chime in on this question.

  • Andrew

    How is ACV for yeast infections? There is a TON of information online but would feel better getting some answers from . . I’ve been battling on going yeast infections for years! No creams do anything for me. On top of that, I’m a guy. My diet has very minimal sugars as well. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. TY!