23 Research-Backed Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar health benefits

Apple Cider Vinegar  has a plethora of useful and medicinal properties. There have been resources written on all the research-backed benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), including its effect on multiple physical ailments as well as cleaning and DIY purposes. ACV is a cheap and effective multi-purpose cleaner, you can add it to your water, tea, beverages and salad dressings for a refreshing zing and capitalize on the multiple health benefits you’ll be receiving.

A great way to learn to love ACV!

Apple Cider Vinegar Drinks e-book

Apple Cider Vinegar Drinks for Health & Energy
Enjoy the Benefits of ACV with Tonics, Mocktails, and Smoothies
with 25 Easy Recipes
Now available for Kindle (can be read on any device)

Why All The Fuss Over Apple Cider Vinegar?

The word vinegar translates to vin aigre, is french for “sour wine”. The medicinal uses of vinegar date way back to when it was discovered in 5000 BC by a courtier in Babylonia.

MD’s during the 18th century used it as a multi purpose treatment for ailments like dropsy, stomach ache and even for managing diabetes (1).

Columbus had barrels of apple cider vinegar on his ships to prevent scurvy. ACV was used during the civil war to disinfect wounds and Japanese Samurais drank it for strength and power. Hippocrates used vinegar to treat seventeen different conditions ranging from ulcers to fractures.

Apple Cider Vinegar is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, it’s various enzymes help with digestion and 1 tablespoon equals is just 3 calories.

1. Cleaning

ACV combined with 2 parts water makes an effective natural disinfectant solution for all surfaces (3).

It’s amazingly affordable compared to commercial natural cleaning products if you find the aroma tolerable. You could add a few drops of tea tree oil, and have a great antibacterial spray for countertops, bathroom, kitchen and carpet deodorizer.

2. Hair rinse

There’s a new hair craze on the rise and it relies on the simple method of using baking soda as a shampoo and ACV as a conditioning hair rinse.

Instead of spending loads on junk free shampoos and conditioners, this “no poo” (short for shampoo, not the other stuff) method of hair care works really well and makes your hair super soft.

Thanks to the pH balancing effects that ACV has, anecdotal reports claim it can add shine, softness and break down build up from other hair products.

3. Dandruff and Thinning Hair

The high acidity and powerful enzyme in ACV kill the bacteria responsible for dandruff and hair loss, bottle bacilli, and stimulates our hair natural oils to secrete more effectively and moisturize our scalps better.  I also recommend using coconut oil for a dry scalp treatment.

Saturate the scalp with ACV and let it sit for a few hours if you can, use the same treatment for thinning hair and itchy scalp (4).

4. Pets

ACV is a great remedy for repelling fleas from your dogs skin, it’s totally safe to use so you don’t have to worry about your pet getting sick from licking afterwards.

It works on pets the same way that it works on humans, reestablishing the proper acid mantle of the skin to repel microbes and other pests.

You can also add Apple Cider Vinegar to your pet’s food to keep a healthy pH balance in their gut and to prevent allergies, deter parasites, ringworm, ticks, fungus and other microbes from invading.

A 50 lb. dog would get about 2 tsp per day with food, and if you wanted to use ACV externally you could mix it 50:50 with water and put it in a spray bottle, saturating the dogs coat once per day (5).

5. Skin Toner

Most skin care products are on the alkaline side of the pH scale, some people try everything for their skin problems but nothing seems to work! The issue is most products are harming the acid mantle, a protective layer on our skin.

ACV is great because it’s acidity is closer to the natural pH of our skin, which keeps the acid mantle intact to do its job, protecting against germs and foreign bacteria which can be perpetuating the skin problem.

If you want to try ACV as a toner, just combine one part ACV with two to three parts water, you’ll want to add more water for very sensitive skin. Apply this concoction to your face after cleansing and allow it to absorb into your skin.

6. Detoxifying

In a world filled with so many toxins, we should all be taking precautionary measures by incorporating protective foods into our diets.  We’ve discussed many of the sources of toxins in previous articles so we won’t be overly redundant in this article.

The unique acids in ACV bind to toxins and allow us to release them more effectively. You can also utilize the medicine of ACV by adding a cup to a hot bath with some epsom salts, to kickstart your lymphatic system into releasing toxins.

7. Allergies and Congestion

Not only does ACV help break up mucous, it also has a natural anti-histamine effect.

Whether your suffering from seasonal allergies, environmental or pet related, ACV can lessen the sneezy, wheezy, uncomfortable symptoms (7).

8. Candida

If you aren’t familiar with candida overgrowth, consider yourself lucky. Candida is a parasitic bacteria which cause yeast overgrowth leading to low energy, poor digestion, yeast infections, canker sores and other uncomfortable symptoms.

Candida overgrowth occurs often when a person has a poor diet, high in refined sugar and carbohydrates, and it can take over when the gut flora compromised by antibiotic use or birth control.

ACV is an effective tool in the kit of someone trying to rid themselves of draining candida.  You can also look at lemon water as a possible solution when treating Candida. It works by helping promote better digestion and an acid/alkaline balance more aligned with promoting healthy bacteria to once again thrive in the gut (8).

Vinegar has been used since time eternal as a cure for foot fungus and is great for killing molds.

Since yeast is a fungus it makes sense that ACV would help in keeping the parasite at bay, even though to date there hasn’t been any specific analysis of ACV directly as a candida killer.

9. Reduces Heart Burn and Acid Reflux

One of the most common health complaints people have is heart burn. It’s a symptom of the SAD (Standard American Diet) lifestyle because acid reflux only occurs when we’re depleted in hydrochloric acid (HcL).

HcL production is low in people who have sub optimal gut flora, meaning the aren’t eating enough cultured/fermented foods and have likely taken some sort of antibiotic in the past which has killed off the natural beneficial bacteria.

Stomach acid is the first line of defense against microbes, but when the stomach pH isn’t low enough, pathogens may grow around the esophageal sphincter and paralyze the muscle, allowing food to relax back up the esophagus (9).

Taking a tablespoon of raw ACV with each meal ensures that the stomach acid will be acidic enough to do it’s job in making sure to kill off harmful microbes and start the process of digestion (10).

10. Effective in Treating High Cholesterol

There has yet to be a study done on effects of ACV on humans with high cholesterol but a study in 2006 found rats fed ACV for 19 days had drastic reduction in total cholesterol and triglyceride levels (11).

There’s also an antioxidant called chlorogenic acid present in ACV which has been found to LDL cholesterol particles from becoming oxidized (12).

11. Antiglycemic Effect

Plenty of human studies have been done on the effect vinegar has on insulin response and blood glucose levels after a meal (13).  I think it’s important that everyone understands what insulin is and does in our bodies.  Insulin plays a critical role in the way our body uses food.  The primary function is decreasing the concentration of glucose (sugar) in your blood stream.

Every time you eat your body begins to break down the food into glucose, which goes into your blood stream.  Your pancreas reacts to the surge in glucose by releasing insulin which cleans the the sugar from your blood.  A portion of the glucose runs through the liver where it’s converted to glycogen to be used by your muscles.

Then insulin converts any left over glucose into fatty acids stored in the form of fat cells as an energy source later.  Our bodies crave sugar, and so much of what we buy in the grocery store has added sugar as a result.

Many are developing a resistance to insulin which means that your body has has so much insulin secreted that it starts to ignore it and the sugar stays in the blood stream which is not a good thing.  This can develop into diabetes and permanent health damages. Vinegar also has the effect of suppressing the appetite and increasing feeling of satiety. (14)

ACV may also lower the glycemic response to starchy carbohydrates (15). With diabetes being as prevalent as it is today it’s comforting to know that something as simple as vinegar may perhaps be an effective treatment.

12. Preventative

Cancer is devastating and debilitating, almost all of us have loved ones who have been affected by this heinous disease. There’s so much research in the realm of cancer prevention, a healthy diet and lifestyle are of the utmost importance.

The acetic acid present in ACV has been found in a number of cell and animal studies to have anti-tumor properties (16).  We are in to way claiming that apple cider vinegar is a cure for cancer or tumors, ongoing research and testing is a step in the right direction.

The amazing thing is that we can incorporate disease preventative foods like this one easily into our daily regime, there are no harmful side effects, and no risk of overdose, so why not?

13. Improves Digestion

Apple Cider Vinegar in its raw form is an excellent digestive tonic, it’s so rich in living enzymes that help to break food down to its bare components, making it far easier to assimilate.

As I mentioned before it’s an important source of acid which enables the first step of digestion to work effectively, stirring up those digestive juices helps immensely with the rest of the digestive processes.

The acetic acid present in ACV has also been shown to help with mineral absorption, enabling us to get the most out of the foods we eat (17).

14. Prevents Muscle Fatigue After Exercise

Muscle fatigue can often be a symptom of mineral and electrolyte depletion. To make sure the body has ample electrolyte stores take a Tbs of ACV with water before a workout. The natural pH of our bodies when it’s in balance create an environment where elimination of excess lactic acid in the muscles easily occurs, this stasis also plays a crucial role in oxygenating our bodies during exercise (18).

15. Bad Breath

Halitosis, it’s embarrassing and can be a sign of a deeper problem but one remedy for bad breath is you guessed it, ACV.

A folk remedy that many people claim has merit is to gargle with 1/2 Tbs raw ACV diluted in water for 30 seconds, twice per day (19). Some say it also helps to whiten teeth and remove stains.

16. Body Odor

Again with the pH, ACV helps control excessive body odour by regulating the pH of the skin, something most commercial deodorants and perfumes can’t claim (20).

For foot odour as well as fungal problems, even just a 10 minute soak once a week can keep bad smells in check. To use ACV as a deodorant simply wipe each armpit with a soaked cotton ball daily.

17. Preserving Food

Vinegars use as a preservative agent dates back to 5000 BC when it was first discovered. People soon recognized that this magical substance  could allow them to store food for longer periods.

The same rules apply today, saving some of the bounty when our favorite foods are in season is a great way to eat organic local food all year long.

Instead of making pickles with white vinegar, try using ACV, it gives them a great flavor as well as the added health benefits (21).

18. Weight Loss
A huge problem those of us trying to lose weight face is those ups and downs when blood sugars spike and drop too drastically.

The blood sugar roller coaster causes us to crave “high energy” foods like refined carbohydrates, to give a short term boost but a long term plummet. ACV has been  shown to help regulate blood sugar levels, helping to curb cravings and kick extra calories out.

ACV has become an overnight sensation in the weight loss industry, they even make it in pill form, though most of the experts say it’s better to just drink the real unpasteurized stuff.

ACV can also help with weight loss by increasing satiety after a meal, always a good feeling. A study done on obese individuals who consumed 15mL or 30mL of vinegar per day for 12-weeks, showed a reduction in body fat mass and serum triglycerides (22).

19. Prevents Bladder stones and UTI

If you’ve ever had kidney stones, or known someone who has, they are extremely painful, and totally preventable.

Stones typically form when a persons urine is very acidic and concentrated, crystals form out of uric acid, calcium oxalate and struvite and have to be passed through the urinary tract.

ACV works by alkalizing the urine, decreasing the likelihood that this ailment would ever occur, and it’s been said that it can even break down the kidney stones (23).

It makes sense seeing as we saw above just how powerful of a substance ACV is when it comes to helping the body absorb minerals.

20. Balanced pH

Dr. Theodore Baroody, in his book “Alkalize or Die,” claims ACV to have an alkalizing effect on the blood and urine. Even though ACV is an acidic food, its structure changes to alkaline through the digestive processes.

The idea of eating a diet high in alkaline foods is that disease thrives in an acidic environment (24).

Foods like refined sugar, carbohydrates and meat create an acidic environment in our bodies, it’s interesting to note that the pH of a food in its pre-digested state is very different from the chemical processes it will undergo in our bodies. Thus foods like ACV and lemon water are surprisingly alkaline forming.

21. Potassium

Said to be the mineral of youth, potassium is an essential mineral in maintaining the soft tissues of the body, keeping everything flexible and resilient (25, 26). Deficiencies in potassium can cause an array of health problems.

Nobel Scientist Dr.Alexis Carrel “was able to keep the cells of an embryo chicken heart alive and healthy for 35 years by daily monitoring it’s complete nutrition, cleansing and elimination. A chicken’s average lifespan is 7 years!

Apple Cider Vinegar was given to the chicken embryo daily for it’s full quota of potassium.” Pretty impressive seeing as Dr.Carrel did this study in 1912, proving that proper nutrition and cleansing can adjust lifespan quite drastically.

22. Corns, Callouses and Warts

Dr. Scholl was a believer in keeping feet healthy by soaking them in warm water with 1/3 C ACV for 20 minutes and rubbing with a pumice stone.

This treatment for chronic foot ailments helps to correct the pH of the feet and make it impossible for fungus and warts to imbed themselves within the skin (27).

For warts, instead of rubbing with a pumice stone after a soak, simply saturate a cotton ball, apply it to the affected areas and cover overnight.

23. Poison Ivy and Poison Oak

ACV can soothe the irritation caused by these poisonous plants. Combine 50:50 with water in a spray bottle and add a few ice cubes (28). This cooling spray helps to draw the toxins out of the skin and provide relief from the sting.


An apple a day keeps the doctor away and I think the same goes for a bit of apple cider vinegar a day. There’s no reason not to incorporate this healing food into your daily regimen.

If not for any of the reasons stated above, remember that prevention is the best treatment for any disease. Although there could certainly be more research done on the potential for using ACV as a medicine, the research that has been done is promising.

We can see that it holds great potential in treating diabetes and high cholesterol in particular. On a holistic level this amazing whole food is good for every organ system.

Contributed by Roots and Sprouts, reprinted by permission. Chantelle Zakariasenis passionate about food and natural medicine. Her blog, Naked Cuisine, is all about exploring and celebrating the goodness of food through wholesome paleo recipes that maximize nourishment and supporting her local food system. She sees healthy eating as a gateway into the body and spirit as well as an opportunity to take a proactive approach to holistic wellness. Chantelle has studied in the fields of nutrition, herbalism, yoga and cooking.

*This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Subscribe & Follow

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    anne kellner
    December 30, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    how much daily is recommended

    • Reply
      December 31, 2014 at 10:05 am

      Anne — from 1 to 2 tablespoons is sufficient.

  • Reply
    April 19, 2015 at 4:29 pm


  • Reply
    Yahaya Umoru
    October 8, 2015 at 6:31 am

    I saw Apple Cider Vinegar in a supermarket just of recent and I decided to Google its effects on gut bacteria. I never knew that is having wonderful benefits like this.I shall get back to the world if my problems are solved.

  • Reply
    Edith Hamilton
    December 24, 2015 at 2:00 am

    I used ACV soaked gauze and wrapped with plastic wrap for a brown recluse spider bite. Left on for 3 days. When I removed it I had a black slimy crust the size of a softball. I wiped with a paper towel and no mark at all. Verified by Vet. Who treated my cat for same spider bit her on throat.

  • Reply
    Leshawn Lundy
    February 13, 2016 at 1:31 am

    I take pantopazole, for stomach issues, I want to use ACV for belly fat, would that make my issues worse?

  • Reply
    Tanner Heath
    February 13, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Candida (candida albicans) is not a bacteria it is a family of fungus, that family of fungus is what we commonly refer to as yeast. There are many strains of candida, some more harmful than others. But yes the high acidity and enzymes in ACV do help break down overgrowth of the fungus Candida (yeast) in the stomach and intestinal tract.
    Candida overgrowth usually becomes an issue after using antibiotics and other medications that kill bacteria because the fungus is not killed by them, allowing the fungus to take the place of the killed off bacteria in your gut. Alcohol abuse has the same effect, with the dual problem of killing bacteria and in the case of unfiltered beer, introducing more yeast (candida) into your system.
    Overgrowth of fungus can lead to a variety of ailments from yeast infections, to heart burn, or my least favorite.. Brain fog.
    Your typical doctor will tell you this is some hippy BS but from my experience i believe otherwise. Dont beleive everything you read (including this) until you have some actual scientific basis to back it up.

  • Reply
    Kearra Richardson
    May 12, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    Can i make me a smoothies ever morning put some ACV in it on my walks

  • Reply
    Manohar Makhijani
    August 17, 2016 at 1:51 am

    I have started taking ACV since last 9 days-excellent response initially- taking 10 ml twice with water.Since last evening having cramps sort of effect and nasal congestion,got scared with additional problem and stopped-but intend to restart from tomorrow 5 ml twice a day.

  • Reply
    Monet brown
    November 21, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    I started w Bragg organic six weeks ago . I will never stop. I started having two spoonfuls in he am with a cup of warm water. I also cut out soda starches and sugar on the same day the result are unbelievable . I feel great all the time. I’ve lost 15 lbs and my overall health has improved drastically. It even gave me clear skin when I had a face full of pimples. I mean completely clear.

  • Reply
    michelle taylor
    January 3, 2017 at 11:53 am

    I add it to my laundry as I am very much allergic to traditional detergents. It gets my clothes clean and they smell great too!!! I also use it to clean around the house and to take a bath in. This stuff is amazing!!

  • Reply
    knowlton johnson
    January 8, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Where are the references to the cited research?

  • Reply
    January 17, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    I have fatty liver, would acv help with this problem? What if any would the daily dose be?

  • Reply
    Angie c.
    January 20, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    I have a fatty liver , and I really need to lose weight because of that and my joints how much is a good idea and how often should I use the vinegar

  • Reply
    February 26, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Would this help with “intentional tremors”, not Parkinson’s, but intentional tremors?

  • Reply
    March 7, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Does this have an adverse impact on medications like plavix and cholesterol medications?

    • Reply
      March 7, 2017 at 12:41 pm

      John, it’s best to review this kind of question with your MD — we’re not in a position to give this level of advice.

  • Reply
    March 11, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Been on it for 15 days ..2 tablespoons with 8oz of water once in the morning and right before bed .. I haven’t felt this great in a very long time .. dropped over 100 points on my blood sugar … in 2 weeks. .

  • Reply
    Thomas Nash
    April 12, 2017 at 7:23 am

    I am a type II brittle diabetic. I have NASH disease. I have fatty liver (began the NASH disease.) I have eczema on hands and buttocks. I have fungus on feet, another skin issue on my legs. I have esophageal varices. Basically, I am dying slow. Not one Dr. has ever recommended ACV. Beginning my trek now.

  • Reply
    June 4, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    is it normal for acv to make your belly bloat??

  • Reply
    Prudence matovu
    September 22, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    More in Apple cider vinigar

  • Leave a Reply