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Apple Cider Vinegar for Acid Reflux

Anyone familiar with acid reflux knows how frustrating and irritating it can get over time. From the burning pain in your chest to the bitter taste in your mouth, the symptoms of acid reflux just suck. There are ways to treat it, of course, including various over-the-counter medications that you may already know quite well. But did you know that apple cider vinegar (ACV) could help, too? While there is no scientific evidence that apple cider vinegar can ease acid reflux, plenty of people claim it does exactly that.

Acid reflux occurs when a valve in your stomach—the lower esophageal sphincter—doesn't close properly. When this happens, the acid in your stomach is able to travel into your esophagus. And if you experience this twice a week, that may indicate you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is a more severe form of acid reflux.

Let’s now get to know apple cider vinegar a bit better and explore the ways that it may be able to help with your acid reflux woes.

apple cider vinegar

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

As the name implies, apple cider vinegar is made from crushed apples. Producers use a two-step fermentation process to create apple cider vinegar. First, producers add yeast to the crushed apples to begin the fermentation, and then they eventually turn the ingredients into alcohol. They later add bacteria, which turns the ingredients into the main compound of vinegar, also known as acetic acid. That acid produces the strong smell and taste associated with the vinegar.

Some people are turned off by the murky appearance of organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar liquids. Proteins, enzymes, and bacteria cause the murky look, with the strands in the apple cider vinegar being known as the "mother."

There are no studies that show the benefits of "mother," though many apple cider vinegar fans believe it is responsible for health benefits. There are no vitamins or minerals in apple cider vinegar, but high-quality apple cider vinegar supplements and liquids may contain potassium, amino acids, and antioxidants, which your diet may lack.

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good for Acid Reflux?

As mentioned, it's important to note that there are no scientific studies that prove apple cider vinegar helps treat acid reflux. However, there are different theories on how it can help.

Many people take over-the-counter and prescription medications (often proton pump inhibitors) that decrease stomach acid to such an extent that it doesn't properly digest protein. Some fans of apple cider vinegar believe it helps relieve the pain of acid reflux by increasing the stomach's acidity. Although that may seem counterintuitive, too little acid in the stomach isn’t a good thing.

apple cider vinegar and acid reflux

Television advertisements have persuaded many people that acid causes stomach upset and acid reflux, scientists note. But that is one cause. The media campaigns have spurred consumers to purchase and use a variety of acid-blocking medications. The medicines are generally recommended for short-term use, but researchers note many people take them for years. Such long, repeated use can lower the acid in your stomach to low levels that result in acid reflux.

Although too much or too little stomach acid may cause acid reflux, researchers note various factors may also play a role. The best way to treat acid reflux hinges on its causes, which vary from one person to the next. Some of the many causes include pressure from abdominal fat, consuming too much fatty foods, a hiatal hernia, or bile reflux. Although many users believe apple cider vinegar quells reflux and heartburn, no scientific evidence supports those claims.

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Make Your Acid Reflux Worse?

The short answer is yes, apple cider vinegar may make your acid reflux worse. While the substance is generally safe, there can be adverse effects. Apple cider vinegar can irritate the tissue in the stomach and esophagus, which can lead to more acid reflux symptoms. It can also delay the stomach emptying itself, which causes a feeling of fullness and may result in more acid reflux, too, according to medical sources.

apple cider vinegar for acid reflux

Liquid Apple Cider Vinegar Health Concerns

Almost all health concerns about apple cider vinegar center on the liquid form. One is that the vinegar may damage tooth enamel. Although studies on this are not definitive, dentists report seeing weakened enamel in patients who regularly drink undiluted apple cider vinegar.

That weak enamel can cause tooth sensitivity, decay, and cavities. Drinking large amounts of apple cider vinegar can also cause swelling and burns in the mouth, according to some dentists. There are also reports of throat burns from both liquid apple cider vinegar and a pill that became lodged in one woman's throat.

Other concerns include:

  • Decrease in potassium levels, which may impact your nerves and muscles

  • Slower digestion, which can make it difficult to control your blood sugar level

  • Dangerous medication interactions, especially for those with diabetes or heart disease

apple cider-vinegar concerns

What You Need to Know About ACV Product Inconsistency

Perhaps one of the greatest dangers of apple cider vinegar is the inconsistency of some products. Scientists tested various apple cider vinegar supplements for pH levels, component acid, and bacterial growth. They found what they called "considerable variability" among brands in pH levels, component acid content, and label claims. The scientists also report inconsistent and inaccurate labeling, recommended dosages, and unsubstantiated health claims.

FDA apple cider vinegar product approvals

The United States Food and Drug Administration (USDA) does not regulate dietary supplements as it does over-the-counter and prescription medications. The FDA investigates and takes action if it receives a report of any unadulterated or misbranded nutritional supplement.

Manufacturers and distributors are responsible for evaluating their own products' safety and labeling. As posted on the website: "The FDA is not authorized to review dietary supplement products for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed."

How to Choose the Right Apple Cider Vinegar Supplement

Again, apple cider vinegar supplements are generally safe, but  you want to choose the highest quality to ensure you receive the potential health benefits, see more consistency among batches, and avoid any mishaps. These are just some of the reasons people choose ACV Gummies from Brightcore Nutrition, a leader in nutritional supplements.

acv in liquid form
apple cider vinegar gummies

Not only do these gummies taste delicious, but we make sure they’re made from the best quality ingredients possible. We take pride in choosing the top organic apples grown in the USA as our product base. We combine those with organic ingredients, including enzymes and digestive system-friendly bacteria. And when you chew two of our gummies, you'll have the equivalent of one apple cider vinegar shot.

You'll never find artificial binders, fillers, flavors, or colors in our ACV gummies. Plus, they're vegan, non-GMO, dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free. Whether you want to quell acid reflux, energize your body, boost immunity, or increase your overall health, we recommend ACV Gummies as your go-to apple cider vinegar supplement.

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