Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help Acid Reflux?
Updated: Oct 28
When it comes to maintaining our overall well-being, few things are as important as proper digestion. We’ve all experienced the discomfort of indigestion, bloating, or heartburn at some point. There are many who battle acid reflux every day, including myself. As someone who has tried PPI’s, various strict and simple diets, and supplements, I’m still searching for one thing or multiple things to help manage this debilitating disease. I refuse to lose hope in finding something that works.
When doctors no longer know how to help, it leads to doing your own research and a good amount of Googling. That’s where apple cider vinegar (ACV) comes into play – a pantry staple that has gained popularity for its potential to promote digestive health.
During my research for remedies with acid reflux, it’s hard to ignore the amount of success stories on the potential benefits of consuming ACV. I’ve seen it on other blogs, YouTube, and it even takes over endcaps at my local grocery store.
In this post, I’ll summarize what I’ve found through my Google search of “Can apple cider vinegar help acid reflux?” We’ll delve into the potential benefits of consuming ACV for digestion, potential side effects, important considerations, and if this is something I would like to include in my daily regimen.
The Digestive Marvel? Apple Cider Vinegar
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, what makes ACV so special? ACV is a fermented liquid made from crushed apples and yeast that transforms sugars into alcohol. As a result, bacteria are introduced that converts the alcohol into acetic acid. Acetic acid is an important component responsible for its health benefits.
Digestive Aid: This benefit is what I was most interested in. The acetic acid mentioned above is reported to help digestion by increasing the acidity in the stomach. Increasing the acidity could help break food down better and reduce indigestion.
Balances Stomach pH: Having a balanced pH level in the stomach is crucial for digestion. The acidic nature of ACV may help neutralize excess acidity which could help acid reflux symptoms.
Reduces Bloating: Many individuals have reported reduced bloating after using ACV regularly. Since bloating is typically the result of excess gas in the digestive system, ACV might help lower gas production and provide relief.
Blood Sugar Control: Unstable blood sugar levels can affect digestion. While scientific evidence seems to be limited, ACV could improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. This could potentially aid in better digestion.
Potential Side Effects
Gastrointestinal Sensitivity: Some individuals experience nausea or stomach cramps when consuming ACV. This makes me inclined to start with a small amount to gauge tolerance levels initially.
Potential for Low Potassium: While I haven’t personally experienced this, I’ve read that excessive consumption of ACV over prolonged periods can lead to low potassium levels. Since potassium imbalances could lead to muscle weakness and other issues, I’ll be cautious with my usage if I choose to consume it.
Tooth Enamel Erosion: Due to ACV being highly acidic, it can be harsh on tooth enamel. Most people that have these issues seem to have consumed it undiluted. To protect my dental health, diluting ACV with water or using a straw will help protect my teeth.
Consideration of Drug Interactions: If you’re taking any medications, always loop in your healthcare provider when adding anything to your daily regimen. While I’m not currently on any medications ACV, might have negative interactions with certain drugs, especially if you’re on medications for blood pressure and/or diabetes.
What to Keep in Mind
Dilution is a Must: Diluting ACV with water has come up in all my research as a crucial piece of advice. It appears that this simple step helps protect both tooth enamel and reduce the risk of and stomach discomfort.
All in Moderation: As I contemplate the potential benefits of apple cider vinegar, I’m aware that starting with a small amount is a good approach. The common recommendation is 1 to 2 tablespoons in a large glass of water. However, I’ve read that people beginning with just a teaspoon or two, to assess how the body responds.
Timing of Consumption: Some individuals prefer to take ACV before meals, as it may aid in digestion. Others opt for a morning routine for metabolic reasons. I’ll need to explore what timing aligns best with my daily schedule and preferences.
Quality Matters: Like everything else in the grocery store, not all apple cider vinegar products are created equal. The quality and purity will vary between brand and type. I’m considering doing some research and choosing an organic, unfiltered, and raw ACV, as it’s believed to contain more beneficial compounds.
Verdict: Do I add apple cider vinegar to my daily routine?
From a scientific standpoint, the research on ACV’s benefits for digestion is compelling, but it was hard to find any evidence supporting its advantages. Further studies are needed to show the full extent of its effects, which added caution to my consideration.
However, the decision to add ACV to my daily regimen is a personal one, and it’s one I’ve been contemplating for some time. The reported benefits of improved digestion, acid reflux, and bloating have my interest. Starting slow, seeing how my body responds, staying consistent, and keeping moderation in mind will be key in the beginning. I’m looking forward to exploring whether ACV can indeed enhance my well-being.
I’ll be giving myself a 30-day challenge and will report back my findings afterwards!
What do you use apple cider vinegar for?