Many people are experiencing bloating on a regular basis. It could be from eating something that does not sit well with your stomach, or it can be due to gas. Bloating is a condition in which you feel like your belly is blown up like a balloon or your stomach feels tight. Many people who experience bloating, also experience abdominal distension, meaning your stomach feels like it is sticking out more than it usually does. There are many different types of gastrointestinal problems that can cause bloating, and some people are also more sensitive to experiencing bloating than others. For years now, people have been using apple cider vinegar to treat bloating and other digestive issues.
Read on to find out more about whether or not using apple cider vinegar can actually treat bloating.
Introduction to Bloating and its Causes
Many people suffer from bloating on a regular basis. Bloating is a condition in which you feel like your belly has blown up like a balloon, or it feels tight. Some people also experience abdominal distension when they have bloating. Abdominal distension is a condition in which your stomach seems like it is sticking out more than it usually does. Stomach bloating is also a condition that is accompanied by gas.
There are many types of gastrointestinal problems that can cause bloating, one of the most common reasons being constipation. When stool starts to back up into the intestines, it starts to ferment. This causes gases to be released, which then become trapped in the stomach and the intestines. This leads to bloating.
Some people are more prone and sensitive to experiencing intestinal gas than others. People who have either or both irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and anxiety or stress are especially susceptible to bloating. This means that even if you do not experience large amounts of gas, you are more prone to experience the discomfort of abdominal distension and bloating.
Another common digestive condition that is known to cause bloating is gastroparesis. Gastroparesis is a medical condition that causes a delay in the emptying of the stomach. When the stomach starts to empty out at a slower pace than usual, it is likely to cause constipation, bloating, and nausea.
There is no cure for gas and bloating, but there are specific treatments that help control the uncomfortable symptoms that come along with bloating.
Apple cider vinegar is one such popular treatment option that has been used by people for many years now for treating digestive issues including bloating and gas. Even though there is not enough scientific evidence to show that apple cider vinegar is effective in treating bloating, there is anecdotal evidence that suggests apple cider vinegar is an effective natural remedy for these issues.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help in Bloating?
Apple cider vinegar is known as a ‘cure-all’ product that is capable of treating almost everything – from acne to even cancer. Unfortunately, many of these claims are only hype and usually exaggerated as well. Sometimes they turn out to be completely false as well.
There is no scientific evidence that shows that apple cider vinegar is an effective treatment for bloating or even for gas. In fact, there has only been one clinical study done so far that looked at the effect of apple cider vinegar and digestive issues. (1) The study found that apple cider vinegar can actually disrupt the emptying of the stomach.
This small study was published in the journal BMC Gastroenterology in 2007 and was explicitly conducted on participants who were suffering from gastroparesis. The researching team found that apple cider vinegar ended up slowing down, instead of speeding up, gastric emptying.
As mentioned above, when the process of stomach emptying slows down, it causes the stomach muscles and the muscles in the intestines to take a longer time to push the stool out of the body. The longer the stool remains inside the intestines, the more gas it is likely to produce. Therefore, apple cider vinegar may potentially make your symptoms of bloating and gas even worse.
However, in people who do not have gastroparesis or any other underlying digestive condition, they might find that apple cider vinegar helps in digestion. Again, this is based only on anecdotal evidence, and no research has actually been done to prove this.
For example, if you have low stomach acid due to which you are experiencing bloating as the bacteria starts to accumulate in your stomach, then apple cider vinegar can come in handy. When the bacteria builds up, it does not allow food to be broken down properly. In such scenarios, apple cider vinegar can help boost the level of stomach acid, and it may also serve as an antimicrobial agent, helping you deal with any digestive issues.
How to Include Apple Cider Vinegar in Your Diet?
There are many ways in which you can incorporate apple cider vinegar into a healthy and balanced diet. Some people prefer to drink apple cider vinegar straight as available, while others prefer to mix it with water or other beverages.
Apple cider vinegar offers a wide range of health benefits and to reap these benefits, you can consider consuming around one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar at least once or two times a day. (2)
What is essential to keep in mind is that when you are buying apple cider vinegar, you need to ensure to get a brand that contains ‘the mother.’ (3) The ‘mother’ in apple cider vinegar is a layer that is made up of acetic acid bacteria and yeast, and it forms naturally when the fermentation process is going on.
In many traditional kinds of vinegar, this layer gets filtered out, but this layer is actually known to be a prebiotic and also contains a colony of healthy bacteria. A prebiotic means that it promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut.
Here are some ways in which you can incorporate apple cider vinegar to your daily routine:
Make tea with apple cider vinegar: You can add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a cup of steaming water and then add one teaspoon of lemon juice to it for more digestive benefits. To sweeten your tea, you can add a drizzle of honey.
Making a smoothie with apple cider vinegar: You can make a fruit smoothie with apple cider vinegar. This will mask the bitter taste that apple cider has. You can add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup of apple pieces, 1/2 a cup of raspberries, and half a banana and blend it with some ice.
Using apple cider vinegar in a salad: You can use apple cider vinegar as an excellent option for salad dressing. Simply blend one tablespoon of the vinegar with one tablespoon of olive oil or whatever oil you prefer to put into your dressing. You can also add a pinch of ground pepper.
Can You Consume Too Much Apple Cider Vinegar?
While apple cider vinegar is usually considered to be safe, it is still essential to keep in mind that apple cider vinegar is mildly acidic. Due to this, you should avoid direct contact with your teeth and preferably rinse your mouth after you have it.
In only one known case, prolonged exposure to taking an apple cider vinegar tablet ended up causing burns to the esophagus. (4) There have also been cases where prolonged topical exposure to apple cider vinegar has burned the skin. (5)
There are many known health benefits associated with apple cider vinegar, however, whether or not it is truly effective against bloating still needs to be researched on further. There are, nevertheless, many other tried and tested natural remedies that can help you with gas and bloating.
If you are regularly suffering from bloating, then you should discuss the same with your doctor as sometimes bloating might be caused by a serious underlying medical condition. Your doctor will not only help you determine the cause of bloating but also prescribe treatment that will help you find relief.
- Hlebowicz, J., Darwiche, G., Björgell, O. and Almér, L.O., 2007. Effect of apple cider vinegar on delayed gastric emptying in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus: a pilot study. BMC gastroenterology, 7(1), p.46.
- Dr. Axe. (2019). 20 Unique Apple Cider Vinegar Uses and Remedies. [online] Available at: https://draxe.com/nutrition/article/apple-cider-vinegar-uses/ [Accessed 28 Jul. 2019].
- Holland & Barrett. (2019). 5 benefits of apple cider vinegar with ‘The Mother’ | Holland & Barrett. [online] Available at: https://www.hollandandbarrett.com/the-health-hub/vitamins-and-supplements/supplements/apple-cider-vinegar-supps/5-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar-with-the-mother/ [Accessed 28 Jul. 2019].
- Hill, L.L., Woodruff, L.H., Foote, J.C. and Barreto-Alcoba, M., 2005. Esophageal injury by apple cider vinegar tablets and subsequent evaluation of products. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 105(7), pp.1141-1144.
- Feldstein, S., Afshar, M. and Krakowski, A.C., 2015. Chemical Burn from Vinegar Following an Internet-based Protocol for Self-removal of Nevi. Journal of Clinical & Aesthetic Dermatology, 8(6).