Does Apple Cider Vinegar Cause Acid Reflux?
Apple cider vinegar, is a substance made from fermented apples, bacteria, and yeast that many people have in their cupboards for cooking and cleaning purposes.
In recent years however, the Internet has made this type of vinegar more popular for its purported health benefits throughout the entire body, from weight loss to helping to control diabetes to lowering blood pressure and helping to control inflammation, to name just a few.
This article will discuss how apple cider vinegar impacts acid reflux and how to make the most out of apple cider vinegar for acid relief, as well as the potential side effects of regularly consuming apple cider vinegar.
What is Acid Reflux Disease?
At the top of stomach, there is a ring of muscles, known as the lower esophageal sphincter. These muscles open, allowing food to pass through.
However, sometimes this muscle doesn’t close completely or is opening and closing too frequently, allowing stomach acid to travel up the throat, causing heartburn. Those who suffer from heartburn two or more times a week have acid reflux disease. (1)
Acid reflux disease, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, can be caused by a number of different things.
Being overweight or pregnant can increase the risk, and certain foods can trigger heartburn, such as mint, chocolate, citrus, tomatoes, and beverages, including coffee, alcohol, and soft drinks. Smoking and certain medications can trigger acid reflux disease.
Some people find that bending over or lying down after a meal, particularly a large meal, can trigger heart burn. Different people find that different factors trigger their acid reflux, so it is important to find out what your triggers are and to avoid them. (2)
Acid reflux disease can lead to various complications if not treated. Esophageal damage, and potential development of esophageal cancer can occur. Prolonged exposure to stomach acid can also damage the teeth and cause sores in the mouth, and can lead to stomach ulcers. (3)
Apple Cider Vinegar’s Effects on Acid Reflux
There are a variety of different medications, both over the counter and prescription, that can be used to help manage acid reflux disease. However, one of the best treatments for GERD is probably sitting in your cupboard: apple cider vinegar.
Many people avoid vinegar as they believe that additional acid in their diet can trigger their symptoms. However, it is believed that this acid can actually help moderate acid levels in the stomach and can help prevent acid reflux disease. (4)
Unfortunately, as people suffer from acid reflux for a variety of different reasons, treatment options vary from person to person. Some people find that apple cider vinegar works fantastically to treat acid reflux, while others don’t see a change in their symptoms.
Work with your doctor or health care provider to find the right combination to effectively relieve your symptoms.
How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Acid Reflux Relief
There are a couple of different recommendations as to how to use apple cider vinegar to help prevent heartburn.
The most common is to dilute one to two tablespoons apple cider vinegar in eight ounces of water and drink before every meal. Diluting the apple cider vinegar can help prevent some of the potential side effects that apple cider vinegar can have.
Other people suggest drinking apple cider vinegar as a ‘shot’, one to two tablespoons drunk plain or sweetened with honey to make it a little bit easier to consume. (5)
It is suggested that you play around with dosages and ways to consume apple cider vinegar to figure out which combination works best for you.
What Kind of Apple Cider Vinegar is Best?
All apple cider vinegar is not created equal unfortunately, so it is important to educate yourself about different types of to ensure you are getting the best option.
While it may be a little more expensive and harder to find, find a raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar that still contains “the Mother”. The Mother is the particularly beneficial component in apple cider vinegar, full of healthy bacteria and enzymes.
Without the Mother, apple cider vinegar will not be as effective at helping prevent and treat acid reflux. (6)
Potential Side Effects of Using Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a terrific ingredient to add into your diet for a number of different reasons, but there are some side effects associated with regular consumption, particularly if consumed undiluted.
Undiluted apple cider vinegar can cause enamel erosion which can eventually cause tooth decay. It can also cause irritation of the throat, esophagus, and stomach, which are already particularly sensitive due to the increased stomach acid.
Apple cider vinegar can also cause low levels of potassium, which can cause cramping, weakness, and low blood pressure. While apple cider vinegar can help manage diabetes, it can also cause blood sugar levels to drop too much.
Apple cider vinegar can interact negatively with medications, including insulin, laxatives, painkillers, and diuretics.
It is important to talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider before starting any sort of regular apple cider vinegar regimen to ensure this will not interfere with your medications or any other medical conditions you have. (7)
Apple cider vinegar is a tasty, versatile substance that can be used for a number of different health benefits, taken orally or applied topically, including treatment of GERD or acid reflux disease.
Experiment with different brands, dosages, and consumption options to see what option is best for you and your needs.
Of course, it is always best to listen to your body, so don’t continue to consume apple cider vinegar for any reason if you are having negative side effects.
This treatment option isn’t for everyone, but can be a fantastic way to help treat regular heartburn.