Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help With High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure is a common medical condition affecting nearly 47% of adults in the US.¹ High blood pressure can be fatal without proper medical attention, accounting for 7.6 million deaths per year worldwide.²

Using apple cider vinegar is one method people with high blood pressure used to manage the condition. It has become a popular natural remedy for high blood pressure and other health purposes, including lowering bad cholesterol and weight management. 

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What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the force of blood applied on the artery walls as it travels through them and other blood vessels. The more tension there is, the higher the blood pressure measurement.

Hypertension, as it is also known, is a common medical problem that can have adverse effects if not treated. Patients suffering from hypertension are more likely to suffer cardiovascular diseases like stroke and heart attack.

A normal blood pressure reading is under 120/80mm Hg or simply 120 over 80. 120 represents the systolic pressure, and 80 is the diastolic pressure. You're diagnosed with high blood pressure when your systolic pressure is over 130 and your diastolic pressure is over 80.

Hypertension can be treated effectively using blood pressure medications, lifestyle changes, and diet. Alternative remedies like apple cider vinegar are also becoming popular, but it's vital to understand what they can and can't do before trying them out.

Symptoms of high blood pressure

Most people may not even know they have high blood pressure until it is monitored. However, those with severe high blood pressure can experience various symptoms, including: 

  • Severe headaches 

  • Nosebleeds 

  • Confusion and fatigue 

  • Difficulty breathing 

  • Blood in urine

  • Irregular heartbeat or chest pains 

What causes high blood pressure?

There's no specific cause for high blood pressure. It is often a combination of diet, lifestyle factors, and hereditary genetics. Also, high blood pressure is associated with aging. Blood pressure caused by these factors is called primary hypertension.

There's also secondary hypertension which develops as a result of another condition or disease like: 

  • Heart defects 

  • Sleep apnea 

  • Kidney disease 

  • Thyroid issues

The potential benefits of apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is all the rage right now. It is made from fermented apple juice, and its nutritional profile contains B vitamins and polyphenol — antioxidants commonly found in plants.

Aside from lowering blood pressure, it has numerous other health benefits, including:

Weight loss

Weight loss is a sketchy topic often surrounded by myths and fake remedies. Apple cider vinegar is commonly mentioned as a weight loss remedy, and actually, there might be some truth to it.

In a controlled trial conducted in 2018 with 39 participants, it was found that apple cider vinegar can support weight loss.³ Participants in the study who took apple cider vinegar lost an average of 8.8 pounds over 12 weeks, while those who didn’t only lost 5 pounds over the same timeframe.

It is important to note that all the participants in the study consumed a calorie-restricted diet and exercised. Therefore, apple cider vinegar is not a silver bullet, but it supports weight loss.

Lowers blood glucose

Scientists believe apple cider vinegar helps lower blood sugar by blocking the activity of an enzyme that converts starchy foods into glucose. It slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream, which might prevent blood sugar spikes.

Apple cider vinegar is also thought to lower insulin levels and improve the response of cells to insulin.⁴

Lower cholesterol

Apple cider vinegar has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. A recent analysis that included nine studies showed apple cider vinegar consumption was associated with significant reductions in overall cholesterol levels.⁵

Can apple cider vinegar help with blood pressure?

There are numerous claims about the benefits of apple cider vinegar. Some are unsupported, while others are backed by research. Most of the benefits of apple cider vinegar are associated with its nutritional profile, including B vitamins and acetic acid formed during fermentation.

Apple cider vinegar is thought to help control blood pressure. However, research on humans is scarce. Because weight, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels can affect cardiovascular health in different ways, apple cider vinegar’s benefits in each of these factors can support healthy blood pressure. However, the extent of the effects is not clear.

How to take apple cider vinegar

There are different ways to take apple cider vinegar. The first is to take a plain shot of about 1–2 tablespoons. If you can't stand the taste of apple cider vinegar, you can mix it with some water. You can also add sweeteners like molasses or honey to make it palatable.

Besides drinking it plain, apple cider vinegar can also be used in the following ways:

  • Using it as a salad dressing 

  • Adding it to your smoothie 

  • Adding it to tea and adding some honey 

  • Using it to marinate dishes, meats, vegetables, and grains

Are there possible side effects of apple cider vinegar?

You might experience some side effects when you take apple cider vinegar. The first is a burning sensation in the throat when consumed. This happens when you take apple cider vinegar in its concentrated form. Mixing it with water or other liquid can help lessen this experience.

Apple cider vinegar can also have adverse effects on the tooth enamel if you keep it in the mouth for too long or consume it too often.

Some users have also reported cases of esophageal inflammation after consuming other types of vinegar. However, such reports are rare. If you notice these or other symptoms when taking apple cider vinegar, you should discontinue using it and speak with a healthcare provider. 

The lowdown

Apple cider vinegar has been associated with numerous health benefits. Although research is slowly confirming some of these claims, its direct connection with high blood pressure hasn't been established yet. If you have high blood pressure, speak with your doctor about whether apple cider vinegar can help manage your condition and possible alternatives.

Have you considered clinical trials for High blood pressure?

We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for High blood pressure, and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available - and be a part of finding a cure.

Joining community groups and exercise programs for my condition made me feel empowered – but I want to be part of finding a cure.
Peter, 64


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