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Apple Cider Vinegar For Gut Health 2023: Does It Help Your Digestion?

Mitchelle Morgan

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Ramakrishnan, G., Ph.D

apple cider vinegar for gut health

Have you ever experienced poor gut health and tried natural ways to find healing? Using apple cider vinegar is one natural health remedy that people explore. However, before you try this out, it’s essential to do some research.

People who use apple cider vinegar have many claims about its health benefits. These claims can seem like the solution when you have a leaky gut. But, it’s crucial to note there’s little to no scientific evidence that vinegar consumption works.

Therefore, take the notion that a spoonful of ACV every day will help your gut inflammation. It’s better to speak to a medical practitioner and even use a supplement to support gut health. With that in mind, let’s delve deeper and find out more about apple cider vinegar, a home remedy for digestive disorders.

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good for Your Gut?

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a liquid that you get from fermented apple juice. The apple juice goes through the fermentation process to give you the drink that many people love. All you need is to extract the juice from crushed apples.

Once you collect the juice, add yeast and good bacteria[1] that begin the fermentation process to give you some ACV. The sugars in the juice are converted to alcohol. Next, the alcohol becomes vinegar using acetic acid.

Apple cider vinegar might be pretty famous across the world today, but it’s been around for centuries. Many historic people used it to remedy numerous ailments, which is the same application taking place today. A popular claim is that taking apple cider vinegar can help improve gut health.

But, how valid is this claim?

Essentially, poor gut health is the result of having too many bad bacteria in your gut. The bad bacteria cause a leaky gut that won’t retain the nutrients from the food you eat.

In this case, you need more probiotic bacteria to help resolve the issue. Consuming apple cider vinegar can play a pivotal role in supplying you with more good bacteria[2]. However, more research is necessary to ascertain the claim.

The acetic acid in ACV is an excellent booster for digestion. It aids your body to digest the food faster and better, boosting your metabolism. The stomach naturally produces the acid for digestion. However, the production process slows down as we age, leading to low stomach acid[3] issues.

The low stomach acid production gives you acid reflux, which can be pretty uncomfortable. Acid reflux can lead to gut inflammation and severe pain if you don’t find a solution. ACV helps you with these digestive issues, especially when you need more acid in your stomach for better digestion.

Understanding Poor Gut Health

The human gut is quite a crucial part of your digestive system. It’s not hard to notice when you have excellent or poor gut health. The body gives you sure signs and symptoms that indicate you’re suffering from poor gut health.

When you have a healthy gut[4], it means you have plenty of good bacteria in your stomach. This gut bacteria aids in the digestion and absorption of nutrients from the food you eat. In turn, you can get rid of toxins and have ample energy to go about your day.

While searching for solutions for poor gut health, many people continue to try out home remedies like ACV.

Some of the signs of poor gut health include:

Upset Stomach

When you have harmful bacteria reigning free in your digestive tract, you end up with an upset stomach. This can cause you serious pain and even make symptoms worse.

Poor Sleeping Patterns

When you’re in pain, it’s hard to get ample sleep. Poor gut health causes an upset stomach, acid reflux, and even digestive disorders. This makes it hard to sleep for the amount of time you need to be well-rested before starting your day.

Rashes and Irritation On the Skin

An unhealthy gut[5] will be evident by the nature of your skin. Suddenly, you start developing a rash or irritation, which can be pretty annoying.

Cravings For Processed Foods

Did you know that a craving for sugary or processed foods can be an indicator of poor gut health? That’s your body’s not-so-subtle way of informing you that there are less beneficial bacteria in your stomach.

Digestive Disorders

After some time, poor gut health can become a severe issue. You risk developing auto-immune diseases such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome[6], acid reflux, and even bloating.

Finding a solution becomes a top priority, with all these symptoms alerting you that you have poor gut health. This is why you can recommend taking ACV with warm water to remedy the situation.

How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar For Better Gut Health?

While many people use ACV as a remedy for poor gut health and digestive issues, there’s still not much scientific evidence to prove this claim.

Still, you can give it a try to see if the apple cider vinegar will ease the signs and symptoms of poor gut health. There are many different ways you can take apple cider vinegar every day as part of your leaky gut diet. These include:

As Salad Dressing

A healthy and nutritious salad benefits your body in many ways. Add some apple cider vinegar[7] to your salad dressing. It delivers lots of probiotics to the meal that can help ease a leaky gut.

With Warm Water

Some people swear it’s best to take unfiltered apple cider vinegar with a glass of warm water in the morning.

All you do is add one spoonful of ACV to a glass of warm water, stir and enjoy. The apple cider vinegar diluted in warm water, not only works on your gut health but also curbs your appetite, which benefits weight loss.


Another way you can take apple cider vinegar is by skipping the coffee in the morning and having some tea.

Mix 2 tbsp. of lemon juice, 2 tbsp. of ACV, a little cayenne pepper, and 1 tbsp. of cinnamon in a cup of warm water

ACV Smoothie

If a meal is not your cup of tea in the morning, you can make an ACV smoothie.

Make your favorite smoothie and add 2 tbsp. of ACV into it. The smoothie jumpstarts your body in the morning and helps your body combat leaky gut issues.

ACV Tablets

If the ACV liquid isn’t your thing, you can chew some it as tablets. Today, you can find apple cider vinegar pills to take.

All the above are different ways you can take apple cider vinegar. However, while ACV does have benefits, it’s essential to look at the side effects.

Side Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar

Digestive Issues

For some people, taking ACV can benefit their digestion and help improve their gut health. But, for others, it might have the opposite effect. This is why it’s crucial first to test ACV’s effect on your body before you commit to taking it regularly.

You might end up experiencing less appetite when you take ACV. This is a side-effect that can aid in weight loss. But it’s not all roses because you might end up experiencing nausea[8].

Bone Loss

Taking ACV in small amounts for a short period is the best. Once you notice the leaky gut issue is resolved, you can discontinue the use. This is because prolonged use of ACV can cause bone loss due to low potassium levels[9] in the body.

In the case above, a young lady was admitted to the hospital after taking warm water with ACV for 6 years. The result of this prolonged was blood abnormalities and a reduction in potassium levels in her body.

It Can Burn the Throat

Did you know that raw apple cider vinegar can cause burns to develop on your throat with continued use? The acetic acid[10] in ACV can cause burns on your throat since this is a potent liquid. This is why direct ingestion is discouraged, and it’s better to take ACV with another liquid like warm water for dilution purposes.

In Summary

Gut health is quite essential in your life.   In cases where you experience a leaky gut, you can end up with pain, poor sleeping patterns, and other conditions. For people who experience issues with gut health, some tend to use apple cider vinegar to remedy the situation.

However, it’s worth noting that there’s no scientific evidence that shows ACV can heal your gut and boost your immune system. Apple cider vinegar can reduce the effects of leaky gut symptoms like low acid levels in your stomach.

With that in mind, it’s better to speak to a medical doctor about the condition. They can advise you better even as you use apple cider vinegar for its many health benefits.

+ 10 sources

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  1. Gullo, M. and Giudici, P. (2008). Acetic acid bacteria in traditional balsamic vinegar: Phenotypic traits relevant for starter cultures selection. International Journal of Food Microbiology, [online] 125(1), pp.46–53. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18177968/
  2. ‌Yagnik, D., Serafin, V. and J. Shah, A. (2018). Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression. Scientific Reports, [online] 8(1). Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5788933/
  3. ‌Samad, A., Azlan, A. and Ismail, A. (2016). Therapeutic effects of vinegar: a review. Current Opinion in Food Science, [online] 8, pp.56–61. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2214799316300479?via%3Dihub
  4. ‌Johnston, C.S. and Gaas, C.A. (2006). Vinegar: medicinal uses and antiglycemic effect. MedGenMed : Medscape general medicine, [online] 8(2), p.61. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1785201/
  5. ‌Salem, I., Ramser, A., Isham, N. and Ghannoum, M.A. (2018). The Gut Microbiome as a Major Regulator of the Gut-Skin Axis. Frontiers in Microbiology, [online] 9. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6048199/
  6. ‌Nouvenne, A., Ticinesi, A., Tana, C., Prati, B., Catania, P., Miraglia, C., De’ Angelis, G.L., Di Mario, F. and Meschi, T. (2018). Digestive disorders and Intestinal microbiota. Acta bio-medica : Atenei Parmensis, [online] 89(9-S), pp.47–51. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6502202/
  7. ‌Safari, R., Hoseinifar, S.H., Nejadmoghadam, S. and Khalili, M. (2017). Apple cider vinegar boosted immunomodulatory and health promoting effects of Lactobacillus casei in common carp ( Cyprinus carpio ). Fish & Shellfish Immunology, [online] 67, pp.441–448. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28602743/
  8. ‌Darzi, J., Frost, G.S., Montaser, R., Yap, J. and Robertson, M.D. (2013). Influence of the tolerability of vinegar as an oral source of short-chain fatty acids on appetite control and food intake. International Journal of Obesity, [online] 38(5), pp.675–681. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23979220/
  9. ‌Lhotta, K., Höfle, G., Gasser, R. and Finkenstedt, G. (1998). Hypokalemia, Hyperreninemia and Osteoporosis in a Patient Ingesting Large Amounts of Cider Vinegar. Nephron, [online] 80(2), pp.242–243. Available at: https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/45180
  10. Nuutinen, M., Uhari, M., Karvali, T. and Kouvalainen, K. (1994). Consequences of caustic ingestions in children. Acta Paediatrica, [online] 83(11), pp.1200–1205. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7841737/
Mitchelle Morgan

Medically reviewed by:

Mitchelle Morgan is a health and wellness writer with over 10 years of experience. She holds a Master's in Communication. Her mission is to provide readers with information that helps them live a better lifestyle. All her work is backed by scientific evidence to ensure readers get valuable and actionable content.

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