Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is said to be a natural remedy for many ailments. In 400 B.C.E Hippocrates (the father of modern medicine) knew about apple cider vinegar's antibiotic properties and recommended it to his patients for its healing properties. Since then it's been valued by many cultures right up to modern times.

Apple cider vinegar has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Among the ailments it's said to cure are allergies, acne, high cholesterol, joint pain, weight loss, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, dandruff, chronic fatique, candida, sore throat, gum infection, sinus infection, flu, acid reflux, leg cramps and ear infections. It's also used to help dissolve kidney stones, lower high blood pressure, and it's also been shown to help with type 2 diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity.

Even though vinegar is acidic, when we take apple cider vinegar it has an alkaline effect in our bodies. The fact that apple cider vinegar causes our pH levels to become more alkaline could play a large part in it's curative properties. It also reacts to some toxins in our bodies, converting them into less toxic substances. Our bodies need a slightly alkaline pH balance to be healthy. The typical Western diet creates an acidic pH in our bodies, and many health problems are attributed to this. Taking a tonic containing apple cider vinegar can help restore alkalinity, and therefore assist the body in getting rid of some of the health problems listed above.

In researching the health benefits of apple cider vinegar I've found a lot of anecdotal evidence – stories from people of the beneficial effects of taking apple cider vinegar. There isn't scientific evidence to back up all of these claims, but of course unless the studies have been done there won't be. Lack of scientific evidence doesn't imply that it doesn't work.

There was at least one study done on the effects of apple cider vinegar which used acetic acid – the acid component of vinegars. Now, I'd argue that apple cider vinegar is more than just acetic acid. In fact, apple cider vinegar consists of both malic acid and acetic acid. Being made from apples it would also contain pectin, as well as potassium, which promotes cell and tissue growth. Apple cider vinegar also contains almost all the minerals, vitamins and trace elements that our bodies need. Which leads me to suspect that some of the studies that are being done are fairly worthless exercises in determining the value of apple cider vinegar if they aren't actually using apple cider vinegar in the study.

Because science allows us to break things down into their component parts in order to understand how things work, I think too often scientists only see things as their component parts, missing the whole concept of the synergy found in nature. Everything has the potential to be more than the sum of its parts.

The health benefits of apple cider vinegar will vary depending on the ingredients and process used in making it. Commercial production can use wood shavings, and other vinegars as the base (speeding fermentation), changing the makeup of the end product. You'll get the greatest health benefits from apple cider vinegar that is made from organic apples, fermented using traditional methods, raw (unpasteurised) and unfiltered. If you can't find good quality apple cider vinegar you could try making your own. This apple cider vinegar recipe has recipes for two methods of production. The one which uses whole apples will be of better quality for medicinal purposes, the one using scraps is quicker to make. You could make both so that you have something to use sooner while you wait for the whole apple batch to ferment.

Be sure to avoid taking apple cider vinegar neat (undiluted) as it eats away at tooth enamel and can cause burns to the sensitive tissues in your mouth and throat. There have also been reports of apple cider vinegar supplements (in capsule form) causing permanent tissue damage of the esophagus. So use apple cider vinegar in liquid form, diluted with water.

A simple tonic can be made from 1-2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon honey in a cup of warm water.

Where to buy the best quality apple cider vinegar
The next best thing to your own homemade cider vinegar is Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar Raw, Organic, Unfiltered, with the ‘mother' which you can order online by clicking that link.

DISCLAIMER: The statements enclosed herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products and information mentioned on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information and statements found here are for education purposes only and are not intended to replace the advice of your medical professional.

48 Responses to “Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar”

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  1. Danny Jackson says:

    i would like to order the book on vinegar.Ive just started drinking it erery morn. For a number of health reasons.

    • Donna says:

      Hi Danny, if you click on either the link or the picture of the book it will take you right to that page on Amazon. It’s only about 10 bucks, a great price for such an information packed book. They have a few recipes using Apple Cider Vinegar in the book too. Does your morning drink seem to be giving you the health benefits you want?

  2. Michele Kadison says:

    Thanks for this article – I’ve been taking apple cider vinegar on and off for years and I notice the difference during long intervals when I stop. It is an amazingly simple substance to keep the body in balance. It is important that people realize its vast healing benefits.

    All the best.

    • Donna says:

      Hi Michele. Thanks for your comment, it’s great to hear real testimonials like this from people who are using various foods and health protocols that work.

  3. Daniel Heywood says:

    Do you have sources for the following statement: “Apple cider vinegar also contains almost all the minerals, vitamins and trace elements that our bodies need.” Thank you! . . . I’m just beginning to learn.

  4. Karissa says:

    Hello! Thank you for taking the time to write all of this, loved it!! You seem to know what you’re talking about on this subject and I’m new to fermenting! I just got my second batch if kombucha growing though, and I grew the scoby with a bottle of kombucha and sweet tea over the course of a month, and anyway, the reason I’m telling you all of this is that I just read about growing an apple cider vinegar “mother” much the same way as the kombucha scoby was grown. Except of course, using cider mixed with apple cider vinegar (like Braggs with the mother). Have you heard of that? Do you think it would be the same medicinally? Or better to do the long whole apple ferment? I just love the idea of perpetual ferments. Haha, ok sorry, I’m just excited about learning and you are very well written!! Hope you get this, thank you for your help!

  5. Gary says:

    While apple cider vinegar does have a suite of health benefits, I can find no information how consuming an acidic drink could make a body less acidic. How could this possibly work?

    • Donna says:

      Consuming an acidic substance doesn’t necessarily produce an acidic reaction in our bodies. And I have recently seen some convincing evidence that the whole ‘alkaline’ thing is a myth. It’s actually a slightly acidic environment that kills the pathogens, the same way the acidic pH of apple cider vinegar or kombucha will kill the pathogenic bacteria. I’m going to be writing an article at some point on the ‘alkaline myth’ which will explain more.

      • Jimmy says:

        Be careful what you write in articles. You may be contributing to the dense amount of misinformation all over the internet. Kombucha is sold as a probiotic to deal with the “bad” bacteria in our gut. But an acidic state in our bodies is absolutely a bad idea to maintain. Sure, it may deal with some pathogens, but it promotes cancer. We need to cut back all the acid we are taking in on a daily basis. Please reconsider writing articles promoting acidic substance intake when so many people are getting cancer left and right. I could bet you know someone (or even you yourself) who has had cancer. With every passing day it is more and more likely. The reason isn’t just ONE THING, but cancer loves sugar and acid, and guess what we have a prevalence of in our society? Please, lower your ph and stop drinking/eating acidic substances (like sodas). Please cut sugar out of your diet.

        If you and I should die of the effects of these things, the companies selling these products would happily park a “Sugar-Free, Acid-Free Food Truck” right on top of our graves — it doesn’t matter to them what they sell as long as you buy it.

        • Donna says:

          Jimmy just because something is an acidic substance doesn’t mean it has an acidic effect on our body when ingested. Substances like wheat and meat, which are not particularly acidic themselves creates acidity in our bodies when ingested. Sodas, as you said, DO have an acidic effect on our bodies, they are horrible from a health standpoint. All of the healthiest, most long lived cultures have always had some kind of fermented food as a staple of their diet.

          • Red says:

            Hi Donna, I know this is an old article but still very relevant as is Jimmy’ concern — Your reply to Jimmy doesn’t address the comment he was responding to where you said you would be revealing “the alkaline myth”. It sounded like you believed the level of alkalinity in our body was over-stated by health experts, but your response to Jimmy suggests you were talking about the misinformation of the masses such as that vinegar is acidic. I’d like to know which is the case because I’ve dealt extensively with helping people to balance their PH in order to prevent disease. I agree with Jimmy that acidic PH creates a ripe situation for disease, and hinting that it’s a myth is very dangerous. A balanced PH is considered such an urgency for the body that it will take extreme measures to try and balance itself, including flooding the liver with ammonia.

          • Evets Gnik says:

            Once anything hits the stomach there can be no significant change in pH.. Do your research. Another fallacy also debunks kagen water products. The strong stomach acids between pH 0.05 to 0.1 fluctuate no more than 3.5 when digesting. If they did there would be insufficient breakdown! The body uses 2 other mechanisms for pH control. Respiratory and metabolic.

        • Andrew says:

          Ted on the Earth clinic suggests adding 1/4 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate to the mix for every 2 tablespoons of ACV into the mix. Its no longer acidic and SB also is very good for alkalizing the body. Same with lemon juice, alway add a pinch of SB to avoid any acidic issues.

      • Robert Cannon says:

        I have been reading much about acidity effects and constantly monitor my acidity. I tried ACV for a few days and my urine acidity went down briefly then up high. After a few days I started getting back pains. A sign of high acid from my past experience. A started to feel like I was coming down with something. Tired. Weak. So I stopped, and took potassium bicarbonate which I use to get my ph up. Feeling better again. Dr Jerry Tennant MD has a good book on this and tells how acid makes bacteria and virus’ come alive. His book Healing is Voltage is excellent. pH is simply a measure of voltage. We are very much electric beings. Some may benefit with ACV if very alkaline. But beware, your bones may be doing the ph balancing in your blood. Studies have shown that taking bicarbonate stop osteoporosis. I use the potassium bicarbonate because sodium is cancer food.

      • John says:

        I am very confused because I listen to a gentleman that said like you are saying that the body is better when is slightly acidic because our bodies tend to be over alkaline and it’s the opposite of what people have been saying that in the acidic state a lot of diseases would disappear. That being said I don’t understand how apple cider vinegar is good for you if it produces an alkaline response inside your body.

        • Donna says:

          I’m confused about it too now John. I will need to do some more research into it. There seems to be a lot of completely conflicting information.

        • Noonereally says:

          John- a very well known German scientist, Dr Warburg, received the Nobel Prize in 1931 for his research on cancer and how or why it becomes uncontrollable in our body. First of all your cell must be consistently starved of oxygen, even at just a 30% decrease, then the cell begins the process to try and live in an oxygen depleted state causing them (the cells) to adapt and become rogue during the division process. They will not duplicate the original cell properly, or in completion, causing DNA or Gene mutations so that it can survive in this oxygen deleted environment. Dr Warburg proved that cancer thrives in an ACIDIC environment and when exposed to an ALKALINE state the cells would indeed begin the apoptosis state otherwise known as cell death. By definition cancer cells negate that process or step. Meaning they don’t die they just continue to multiply indefinitely. So the answer to your question is you must eat healthy natural foods, drink plenty of water, exercise and yes consume ACV as a cleansing/alkalizing agent in order to create or maintain an alkaline environment in your body, otherwise you expose yourself to a greater occurrence of diseases including cancer. This has been proven and is a fact. Science knows that cancer thrives in an ACIDIC environment and also loves a sugary diet, however many Dr’s will say there is no proof of the sugar aspect. My question to them is, why perform a PET scan, which uses radiated glucose (sugar) to look for cancer if cancer doesn’t thrive off of sugar? Simple answer, because it does. The short version is: cancer up takes glucose/sugar at an advanced rate compared to most other cells in the body because the cancer cells are continuously dividing and multiplying much quicker, therefore they require that additional energy to do so. Sorry to get off subject, but that is near and dear to my heart. Our bodies are such complex mechanisms and it is difficult to understand how consuming ACV, a naturally acidic substance could indeed help produce a more alkaline environment, but it does. The body’s metabolic system automatically does this with certain substances because of the proteins needed to break down that substance in question, in this case ACV. Like Donna said meat is not necessarily an acdic substance, but when consumed, our bodies metabolize it and breaks it down into acid. ACID is Bad thing for our body! Don’t automatically trust those articles that say otherwise, do more research! What does acid do to our body? Living tissue can only function within a narrow range of acidity, and outside of that range the cells die. Don’t believe me, pour a strong acid on your hands. Once again an ACIDIC environment is bad, but so is an overly alkaline environment. Consuming sodium bicarbonate on a daily basis is not a good idea because it agent alkalises your body. It is okay every now and then, just not daily and or in large amounts. Keep your body more toward the alkaline side and you will be healthier and your immune system will function more efficiently. Eat lots of fresh green food to naturally alkalize your body. Hope this helps clarify things.

          • Richard says:

            Wow,make Common sense, and I’m no doctor!But I can follow logic behind it!Thank you!

  6. precious says:

    pls where can i get d ACV in Abuja FCT or Suleja in niger State. All in Nigeria.

  7. Katera osterlin says:

    I thought this was an awesome amount of info . It was great to know that there was somewhere I can go to get info for my science project . Thanks for the info .

  8. brittany says:

    ” Apple cider vinegar also contains almost all the minerals, vitamins and trace elements that our bodies need. Which leads me to suspect that some of the studies that are being done are fairly worthless exercises in determining the value of apple cider vinegar if they aren’t actually using apple cider vinegar in the study.” — huh?

    I’m curious why that makes you believe they’re not using apple cider vinegar in the studies. I’ve read that vinegar has small amounts of vit&min, but the real benefit is how it extracts them from other foods.

    • Tammy says:

      Just think BIG PHARMA and money….Remember science is funded by the government and in turn they will tell you what the people who fund them wants them to tell you and because of this they have created an obese and diabetic society. They have pushed a high omega 6 diet for years full of grains and carbohydrates which all turn to sugars creating nearly all of our health issues. They scoffed at Atkins and tried to discredit him yet eating a diet high in good omega 3 fats and protein with very little carbohydrates is the healthiest for our bodies..

  9. Samantha says:

    can apple cider vinegar damage the inside of yo mouth….or cause u to hav ths wtsh thngs….i use a straw to drnk and brush my teeth wth sensodyne

    • Donna says:

      Hi Samantha, I’m not sure what you mean by “hav ths wtsh thngs” but vinegar is acidic and because of that will wear away enamel over time. So if you have sensitive teeth you might want to brush after taking it.

      • Schmonna says:

        I’m pretty sure she meant “have these whitish things.” I know. Typing out full words with vowels can be so exhausting.

        I just wanted to reply to this in case anyone is reading this comment and thinks this is good advice. It’s not. Brushing your teeth immediately after exposing them to something that could soften the enamel will only hasten the wearing down of the enamel. Think about it: If you’ve just exposed your teeth to an acidic substance and the outer layer of enamel has been softened as a result, taking a toothbrush to your chompers and scrubbing them with bristles will most likely only accomplish the speedier removal of that already-softened outer layer. Swish with water if you are concerned about residue remaining in your mouth/on your teeth. Wait at least an hour, and then brush if you need to.
        Here is my source, even though sources don’t seem to be too popular around here:

        • Red says:

          Schmonna, the internet is a funny thing, there’s so much misinformation even from a site calling itself WebMD. The fact is that leaving the acid on your teeth only adds to the amount of time it can damage them. There is much more information out there about removing dangerous acids immediately than that stating the opposite. The link you provided is actually not the same scenario, at any rate, it’s dealing with eating a meal that by default implies the substance will have remained on your teeth for 30 to 60 minutes before you are even considering putting down your fork. Either way, it’s food 101: Remove dangerous substances immediately; the longer they are there the more damage they will cause. If you spilled acid on your dog, would you wait an hour before hosing him off? No, I think not. If you want real info on this do a search for “raw food dental problems” and you should get some articles that talk about one of the main probs raw foodists run into, having dental problems because of the amount of acidic fruit they eat, and the solution is brushing immediately after a meal of acid fruit or dried fruits.

          • Vicki says:

            I agree with Schmonna. A toothbrush is too physically abrasive to use on teeth straight after eating. You can swish with water or finish your meal with a small amount of goat cheese (to reintroduce alkalinity without abrasion), then wait at least 30mins before brushing. Samantha is right to use a straw to drink with, and she could also dilute the ACV before taking it.

        • Robert Cannon says:

          The acid seems to remove plaque very well. I then brush with potassium bicarbonate. Your teeth constantly remineralize but using toothpaste coats them and stops it. I wish I could find a bicarbonate mixture- calcium, magnesium and potassium and brush with that after. I think it would really help the teeth. There was a toothpaste once that helped remineralize but it went out of business. Maybe there is another on the market now- that was many years ago.

  10. albert t.ohler says:

    I just started taking avc how long does it take to work to make me feel better more energy I need I’m 53 .

  11. Brad says:

    Hi Donna, I was recently diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer and my boss put me on to the concept of ACV to balance PH levels strictly as a backup to the medical treatments I am starting. I have also read about adding small amounts of baking soda to the diet to balance PH levels. Before I start taking either one of these, do you have any new info about the “alkaline myth” that you mentioned previously? Thanks for any input you may have.

    • Vicki says:

      ACV is a good idea; but more importantly, make sure your diet is 50% or more vegetables, which are not only alkaline-forming but full of a variety of different nutrients which your body needs in order to fight disease efficiently. Also ensure you include some raw vegetables in the form of salads or juices. There is also a cancer-fighting sebum in multigrain bread. Drink lots of water.

      I don’t recommend consuming baking soda on a regular basis.

  12. Glen says:

    Hi Brad sorry to hear regarding prostrate problem. ACV is an excellent way to start assisting to clean up your liver which in turn helps the immune system to kill cancer cells. Bicarbinate Soda mixed with honey or maple syrup is the poor mans chemo. It must be taken together. The honey or syrup causes the cancer cell to open up and the BS gets deposited in the cell. Cancer can not live in an alkalin enviroment. Hope this helps.
    As for “alkaline myth” dig deep that has been put out by Pharma as they don’t want people knowing the truth. Just like they don’t want doctors to give us the secret about Hydrogen Peroxide curing all diseases.

  13. Ryan says:

    ACV is naturally alkaline when digested and converted in the gut through digestive oxidation from being acidic. This is what pushes our bodies PH to be slightly alkaline. Acidosis and Alkalosis are “BOTH VERY BAD”. The body cannot maintain its normal function in either of these states. when you read other people’s opinions on the Internet regarding pH levels in the body please keep that in mind and please dismiss those articles that speak first from those extremes. Considering that cancerous cells are acidic it can’t hurt to maintain a slightly alkaline pH. Considering the amount of processed sugar in the American diet it also can’t hurt to decrease insulin sensitivity with ACV.

    A diet low in Carbohydrates such as the Adkins diet? How about we all stay away from dieting and eat to live. Dieting is like quiting smoking when our bodies are conditioned to crave processed sugars. Diets such as the Adkins would have us believe carbohydrates are a bad thing. Nothing is farther from the truth. Depending on you’re activity level the individual macro nutrients needed will vary slightly. Carbs in the form of simple sugars are what’s bad unless you are an athelete in need of glucose.

  14. Jenny Annonsen says:

    Can apple cider vinegar help for a UTI? I have read that an acidic supplement, such as cranberry, helps to maintain a healthy urinary tract system, & wondered if apple cider vinegar remains acidic when ingested (diluted in hot water)

  15. edith says:

    My friend can’t use cider because his doctor said that it is bad for the kidneys. Comments?

  16. Rodney says:

    In your opinion is ACV ok undiluted in salads with olive oil ( traditional vinegar and oil) ?

  17. Davidlee says:

    The recipe I found says to use 2 tablespoons of vinegar instead of teaspoons.

  18. Ms Barbara Ann says:

    So I just bought a bottle of apple cider vinegar capsules to help keep me alkaline because being alkaline helps my back pain, allergies and a myriad of other things. Well now I see your article that capsules are bad… do I need to toss them out? Hope not, I am on a limited budget. I got the capsules because I don’t like the taste of the vinegar. Also, is it possible that some bodies don’t convert it to alkaline?

  19. Carri says:

    How does this help w/ weight loss?

  20. Arvetta says:

    We use about 1/4 teaspoon of ACV in a small glass of warm water as s gargle when we have sore throats. If changes the ph in the throat and helps get rid of the yucky stuff that sticks to the throat. Didn’t realize it’s ok to drink it too. Appreciate the information

  21. Evets Gnik says:

    Please do some research! And use common since! One question will answer the pH question. What happens when any edible substance whether acidic or basic (caustic) is mixed with the much stronger stomach acids that break everything down before digestion and absorption?
    Then ask what chemicals are required to change the alkalinity? Need help with other key search words? Try sodium bicarbonate for Alkalinity. Try searching “caustic” for the higher numbers in the pH scale. Then try the stomach Gastric acid (Hydrochloric acid). When you find out how strong the stomach acid is…… You will know without a doubt what happens. Then search for metabolic alkalosis and respiratory acidosis to see what really controls pH.