What Are The Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar For Gout?

Overview of Gout and Apple Cider Vinegar

Gout is a kind of painful arthritis, which is an inflammatory condition of the joints. Those who have gout tend to experience severe and sudden attacks of swelling, inflammation of the joints, and pain. It is estimated that gout affects nearly 8.3 million people in the United States alone.(1,2,3) Nearly half of all gout cases are known to impact the big toe, while other people may also get affected in the wrists, fingers, heels, and knees. In fact, gout often impacts the joint located at the base of the big toe, and when you have a gout attack, it may feel like your big toe is on fire. The big toe can also become swollen, hot, and so sensitive or tender that even the weight of a bedsheet touching it could be unbearable.(4,5)

Gout is caused by the accumulation of uric acid in the bloodstream, which goes on to form crystals in the joints of the body. It is this buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints that cause the swelling and intense pain. Your body produces uric acid after breaking down a substance known as purine, which can be found in many foods. Gout episodes or attacks tend to occur at night and can last for three to ten days.(6,7,8,9)

Apple cider vinegar is manufactured from fermented apple cider. This is a sour liquid that many people believe is the cure-all for a wide range of health problems.(10,11) Fresh apple cider is manufactured from the juice of crushed and pressed apple, followed by a two-step fermentation process which then turns it into apple cider vinegar. The long two-step fermentation process allowed a layer of slime to accumulate, which is composed of acetic acid and yeast. This slime is made up of enzymes and protein molecules that are known as the mother of vinegar. In most commercially produced vinegar, this mother is usually always filtered out. However, you should try to purchase a brand that contains the mother since it has special nutritional and health benefits. This is why it is important to know that the only way to buy apple cider vinegar that has its mother is to purchase unfiltered, raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar.(12)

The good news is that there are many medications that are available to help treat and also prevent gout flare-ups. However, many of these medications are known to have serious side effects. Many people believe that alternative gout treatments like apple cider vinegar can also help decrease the chances of future flare-ups without the side effects.

Here are some of the general benefits of apple cider vinegar.

What Are The Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar?

What Are The Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar For Gout?

Apple cider vinegar is known to have many health benefits, including:

  • It is a dietary source of many polyphenols, which are potent antioxidants that may significantly help in reducing the risk of cancer in humans.(13)
  • Some of the beneficial components of apple cider vinegar include potassium, vitamins, acetic acid, mineral salts, amino acids, and many other healthy organic acids that help the body in various ways.
  • A 2001 study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry discovered that apple cider vinegar helped reduce the blood pressure in hypertensive rats.(14)
  • Research from 2015 published in the Journal of Diabetes Research found that apple cider vinegar helped people with type 2 diabetes utilize their insulin more effectively, which helped in improving their post-meal level of blood sugar.(15)
  • A 2016 French study discovered that apple cider vinegar could help protect rats from various obesity-related problems like high blood glucose and high blood cholesterol.(16)
  • Apple cider vinegar has strong antimicrobial properties.
  • Since apple cider vinegar works well to boost insulin sensitivity in the body, it is believed that it can also help prevent type 2 diabetes in people who are at high risk.
  • Apple cider vinegar is full of good bacteria that helps increase the bacterial colonies present in our gut biome, which helps boost immune functioning.

What Are The Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar For Gout?

A 2010 Japanese study carried out on the acidity levels of urine came across certain fascinating discoveries.(17) The research team found that acid present in the urine prevented the body from properly flushing out or excreting the uric acid. At the same time, urine that was less acidic and more alkaline was able to carry out more uric acid from the body. Thus, when the level of uric acid present in the bloodstream decreases, it is no longer able to build up and form the crystals in your joints, which is commonly associated with gout.

The acidity levels of urine are affected by the foods we eat. The study from Japan was carried out by assigning the participants two different types of diets – one was acidic, and one was alkaline in nature. The participants who consumed the alkaline diet had a more alkaline urine. The research team concluded that following an alkaline diet can help people with gout significantly lower the levels of uric acid in their bodies.

The researchers also found that the primary determinant of urine acidity was sulfur-containing amino acids that are found abundantly in animal proteins. This means that people who consume a lot of meat have more acidic urine.

However, it is still unclear about whether adding apple cider vinegar to your daily diet can help affect the acidity of your urine because the alkaline diet that was prescribed in the Japanese study had other components apart from vinegar as well.

As of today, there are no scientific studies that have researched the use of apple cider vinegar to treat gout. However, apple cider vinegar is known to help promote weight loss and also decrease inflammation, which in turn reduces the level of uric acid in the bloodstream.

Recently in 2016, a study found scientific evidence that showed that apple cider vinegar helps promote weight loss.(18) The research team extensively studied the impact of apple cider vinegar in rats who were on a high-fat diet. The study found that the apple cider vinegar made the rats feel full more quickly, thus promoting weight loss.

Another 2010 study, which was carried out on over 12,000 men between the ages of 35 to 57 years and lasted for a period of seven years, found that the participants who lost a dramatic amount of weight were four times more likely to have reduced levels of uric acid. This was compared to those men who did not experience any change in their weight during this period.(19)

How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar For Gout?

Apple cider vinegar has to be diluted with water before you drink it. This is because it is very acidic, and it can cause tooth decay if you take it undiluted. It can even burn your esophagus. So you should try taking it by mixing one tablespoon into a full glass of water before going to bed. If you find the taste of the vinegar to be too bitter, you can try to add a little bit of low-calorie sweetener or honey. You can also mix apple cider vinegar with oil to use it on your salad.

However, it is important to be aware of the side effects of taking too much of apple cider vinegar.

What Are The Risks Of Taking Too Much Apple Cider Vinegar?

While apple cider vinegar is typically safe for most people to consume, but it is necessary to be aware of the risks and also take precautions.

A 2018 study found that people who were taking apple cider vinegar on a weekly basis were ten times more likely to have severe erosive tooth damage.(20)

Another 2012 study found that a 15-year-old girl who consumed a glass of apple cider vinegar every day went on to experience erosive tooth decay.(21)

While diluting apple cider vinegar reduces the amount of erosion to the teeth and mouth, but drinking the mixture with a straw, preferably a reusable straw, can also decrease exposure to the acid.

Some of the other side effects that might be caused by regular consumption of apple cider vinegar include:

  • Burping and gas
  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Esophageal damage
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Acid reflux

If you experience any side effects, it is recommended that you stop using apple cider vinegar or reduce the dosage until these side effects go away. You should discontinue the use of apple cider vinegar if the side effects are severe.

Conclusion

Apple cider vinegar and other fruit vinegar have been used for treating a wide variety of conditions. Apple cider vinegar can help you lose weight and also tastes good when put on salads. The anti-diabetic effects of apple cider vinegar are well-known and scientifically proven. However, it may not help directly with the treatment of gout.

If you are concerned about the side effects of your gout medications, you should discuss these concerns with your doctor. Your doctor may advise you to follow an alkaline diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables to help decrease uric acid in the body. It is best to consult your doctor before starting apple cider vinegar for gout.

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References:

  1. Zhu, Y., Pandya, B.J. and Choi, H.K., 2011. Prevalence of gout and hyperuricemia in the US general population: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007–2008. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 63(10), pp.3136-3141.
  2. Terkeltaub, R.A., 2003. Gout. New England Journal of Medicine, 349(17), pp.1647-1655.
  3. Emmerson, B.T., 1996. The management of gout. New England Journal of Medicine, 334(7), pp.445-451.
  4. Schlesinger, N., 2010. Diagnosing and treating gout: a review to aid primary care physicians. Postgraduate medicine, 122(2), pp.157-161.
  5. Roddy, E., 2011. Revisiting the pathogenesis of podagra: why does gout target the foot?. Journal of foot and ankle research, 4(1), pp.1-7
  6. Choi, H.K., Mount, D.B. and Reginato, A.M., 2005. Pathogenesis of gout. Annals of internal medicine, 143(7), pp.499-516.
  7. Eggebeen, A.T., 2007. Gout: an update. American family physician, 76(6), pp.801-808.
  8. Becker, M.A., Meyer, L.J. and Seegmiller, J.E., 1973. Gout with purine overproduction due to increased phosphoribosylpyrophosphate synthetase activity. The American journal of medicine, 55(2), pp.232-242.
  9. Topics, H., 2021. Gout. [online] National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Available at: [Accessed 29 April 2021].
  10. 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, 67, pp.441-448.
  11. Brandon, B., 2014. Apple Cider Vinegar for Health: 100 Amazing and Unexpected Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar. Simon and Schuster.
  12. Doron, T., The Mother Apple Cider Vinegar Weight Loss,[Vinegar] Centro De Capacitación MVS.
  13. Nishino, H., Murakoshi, M., Mou, X.Y., Wada, S., Masuda, M., Ohsaka, Y., Satomi, Y. and Jinno, K., 2005. Cancer prevention by phytochemicals. Oncology, 69(Suppl. 1), pp.38-40.
  14. Kondo, S., Tayama, K., Tsukamoto, Y., Ikeda, K. and Yamori, Y., 2001. Antihypertensive effects of acetic acid and vinegar on spontaneously hypertensive rats. Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry, 65(12), pp.2690-2694.
  15. Mitrou, P., Petsiou, E., Papakonstantinou, E., Maratou, E., Lambadiari, V., Dimitriadis, P., Spanoudi, F., Raptis, S.A. and Dimitriadis, G., 2015. Vinegar consumption increases insulin-stimulated glucose uptake by the forearm muscle in humans with type 2 diabetes. Journal of diabetes research, 2015.
  16. Bouderbala, H., Kaddouri, H., Kheroua, O. and Saidi, D., 2016, May. Anti-obesogenic effect of apple cider vinegar in rats subjected to a high fat diet. In Annales de cardiologie et d’angeiologie (Vol. 65, No. 3, pp. 208-213).
  17. Kanbara, A., Hakoda, M. and Seyama, I., 2010. Urine alkalization facilitates uric acid excretion. Nutrition journal, 9(1), pp.1-5.
  18. Bouderbala, H., Kaddouri, H., Kheroua, O. and Saidi, D., 2016, May. Anti-obesogenic effect of apple cider vinegar in rats subjected to a high fat diet. In Annales de cardiologie et d’angeiologie (Vol. 65, No. 3, pp. 208-213).
  19. Zhu, Y., Zhang, Y. and Choi, H.K., 2010. The serum urate-lowering impact of weight loss among men with a high cardiovascular risk profile: the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial. Rheumatology, 49(12), pp.2391-2399.
  20. O’Toole, S. and Mullan, F., 2018. The role of the diet in tooth wear. British dental journal, 224(5), pp.379-383.
  21. Gambon, D.L., Brand, H.S. and Veerman, E.C., 2012. Unhealthy weight loss. Erosion by apple cider vinegar. Nederlands tijdschrift voor tandheelkunde, 119(12), pp.589-591.