December 3, 2023

While some people claim apple cider vinegar (ACV) can help high blood pressure, little research supports this claim. It may have some benefits, but it is not a replacement for medication.

High blood pressure is a common condition that affects approximately 49.6% of adults in the United States. Only 1 in 4 adults with high blood pressure have the condition under control.

A person with high blood pressure can control this in various ways, including by using medication, following a balanced diet, and exercising regularly.

Read on to learn more about the possible benefits of using ACV for high blood pressure.

ACV may have a variety of potential health benefits. Some believe that one of these benefits is reducing blood pressure, although there is limited research to back up this claim.

A 2019 review quotes the findings of an older study on animals, where researchers gave ACV to rats with high blood pressure. They discovered this significantly reduced blood pressure levels.

A 2022 systematic review states that research into the effect of vinegar on blood pressure has been controversial. The researchers of this review concluded that vinegar is helpful in reducing blood pressure and may be a beneficial treatment. However, this review does not relate to ACV specifically.

ACV may have a variety of possible health benefits.

Reducing blood sugar

People with type 2 diabetes can have elevated blood sugar levels. Without treatment, a person may experience complications such as damage to the nerves, eyes, heart, and kidneys.

Research shows that ACV may be beneficial in reducing blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes.

Additionally, a 2019 review concluded that 2–6 daily tablespoons of vinegar in combination with a carbohydrate-rich meal positively affected blood sugar levels. However, this review did not look at ACV specifically.

Reducing cholesterol

High cholesterol affects approximately 2 in 5 adults in the United States. Having high cholesterol levels can lead to an increased risk of stroke and heart attack.

A 2018 study looked into the effects of ACV on body weight and other related factors in people with overweight. The researchers concluded that total cholesterol levels significantly decreased in individuals who received 30 milliliters of ACV daily.

Weight loss

The previous 2018 study also concluded that ACV significantly reduced body weight in people with overweight or obesity. Additionally, the researchers noticed a decrease in hip circumference, body mass index, and appetite.

Antioxidant

Antioxidants may help reduce the risk of health conditions, such as heart disease and some cancers. They can also protect against inflammation. ACV has antioxidant properties, which can help improve immunity.

Sinus problems

A 2020 study tested the benefits of ACV inhalation on individuals with chronic rhinosinusitis. The researchers found that individuals inhaling ACV experienced a decrease in symptoms, including redness or discoloration in the nose, blocked nose, sore throat, fever, headache, and bad breath.

The best way to ingest ACV may be to incorporate it into foods in small amounts. However, there are no guidelines on how much a person should take daily. One can try diluting a small amount of of ACV in a glass of water or another drink.

In large quantities, ACV may cause some side effects. If a person experiences any of the following, they need to stop using it or reduce their intake:

  • tooth decay
  • throat irritation
  • heartburn
  • nausea
  • upset stomach

ACV as a treatment for high blood pressure has very limited evidence and research behind it. However, many treatments for high blood pressure have support from scientific evidence.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), some prescription medications that a person can take for high blood pressure include:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors: These stop the blood vessels from narrowing too much.
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers: These also reduce the narrowing of blood vessels.
  • Calcium channel blockers: These allow blood vessels to relax and stop calcium from entering the muscle cells.
  • Diuretics: Diuretics are a type of medication that removes water and salt from the body, which reduces the amount of fluid in the blood. In turn, this reduces blood pressure.
  • Beta-blockers: This is not always the first line of treatment, but it may be useful if other medications have not worked. Beta-blockers make the heart beat at a slower pace, reducing the amount of blood pumping through the blood vessels.

Additionally, some lifestyle changes may help reduce blood pressure. They include:

  • following a balanced diet
  • reducing alcohol intake
  • exercising regularly
  • maintaining a moderate weight
  • stopping smoking, if applicable
  • managing stress
  • getting adequate sleep

If a person would like to try ACV for a medical condition, such as high blood pressure, they can consider consulting a healthcare professional first. Some questions they may wish to ask include:

  • Will there be any side effects?
  • Are there any additional health benefits to taking ACV?
  • How should I take it?
  • How much of it should I take?
  • What alternative treatments could be useful?

High blood pressure is a common condition in adults in the United States. However, there is only a very small amount of research to suggest that ACV may reduce high blood pressure.

Other potential health benefits of ACV include reducing blood sugar levels, reducing cholesterol, weight loss, as an antioxidant, and improving sinus problems.

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