Apple Cider Vinegar and Health

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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?


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….”

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Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling 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.

23 responses to “Is apple cider vinegar good for you?

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  1. 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?

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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 ?

  7. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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?

        1. 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.

  8. 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!

    1. Dr Griger has posted several videos about Apple Cide Vinegar since the one here and they may shed more light on your question. Here is a recent one regarding blood glucose.
      Whenever someone has long standing problems with yeast infections I would want to ensure that the problem is actually yeast as other skin problems can mimic the look of yeast. Secondly, if it is actually an overgrowth of yeast I would be concerned about your blood glucose readings as the increased “sweetness” of the blood as well as the spill over effect in to the urine could be why it is so hard to eradicate the yeast. Any problem that persists for more than a few days to weeks should really get a professional evaluation to ensure something dire is not overlooked.

  9. Dear Dr. Gregger,

    I have read your book and am glad you have been doing such an amazing work.America is becoming better because of you. thank you.

    I have learned with Anthony Robbins 11 years ago many principles of a healthy living and that changed my life forever. Since then my level of energy and healthy escalated so much. He did a thorough study based on research of many doctors and researches.

    However there has been a discrepancy in one of the teachings. According to him ANY vinegar is bad since makes our blood becoming acid leading to consequences that we already know.
    You advocate that using a little of Apple Cider Vinegar is in fact good.
    How do you see this?

    Thank you very much in advance.


  10. After reading about apple cider vinegar, i started thinking about kumbucha tea. It is said that the sugar is turned to vinegar by the scoby. Could that vinegar have the same effect as apple cider vinegar. I’m curious cause I drink a lot at a time.

  11. The question of “is apple cider vinegar (ACV) good for me” was answered when I started having severe gout attacks. I tried every “natural” aid and medication. The medications did work but I didn’t want to use them every day of my life. The last natural aid I tried was ACV tablets from GNC. I tried to swallow the liquid but could not get it down so I tried the easy to use tablets. They worked overnight several years ago and I haven’t had a gout attack since. I’ve never had a natural health aid work so well so that got my attention. I take two ACV tablets with every meal plus a vitamin C of 500mg. I suggested to my rheumatoid arthritis doctor (who does research at a large university in California) to find a grant to study why ACV works for gout but she said grants were not available for non-medication research. If you have gout, or any form of arthritis, give ACV tablets and vitamin “C” a try. You have nothing to lose (but the gout). Also, if it works, or equally important if it doesn’t work, please post your results so we can all learn from your experience.

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