Can Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Help Relieve Acid Reflux Symptoms?

Apple cider vinegar is made by adding yeast to apple juice so that its sugar can be fermented into alcohol, according to information provided by WebMD. Then, bacteria present in the mixture can further act on it, turning the alcohol into acetic acid, which makes apple cider vinegar taste sour.

Apple cider vinegar can be used in food preparation and recipes. The Cleveland Clinic reports that it has also been used since ancient times as a remedy for infections and coughs. Today it is still a popular treatment, with claims that it can aid in many conditions, including acid reflux.

Medical News Today explains that acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophasgus, creating a burning pain in the chest known as heartburn or acid indigestion. Prescription and over-the-counter medications that reduce stomach acid production are commonly used to treat acid reflux, but, just how effective is apple cider vinegar in treating this condition?

Apple cider vinegar might help acid reflux

It appears that there is no scientific evidence to determine one way or another whether apple cider vinegar can relieve acid reflux, according to MedicalNewsToday. The studies have simply not been done. However, the publication says there are quite a few anecdotal reports that it can help mild acid reflux as well as improve digestion.

Doctor of clinical nutrition Brooke Scheller told MindBodyGreen it might work due its acid content for folks who don't produce enough stomach acid on their own. ACV could help digestion, says Scheller, allowing food to travel to the small intestine rather than backing up into the esophagus. Additionally, functional medicine doctor Elroy Vojdani noted to the publication the probiotics present in apple cider vinegar might help balance the gut microbiome, improving digestion. However, folks whose acid reflux is a result of too much gastric acid should probably skip ACV, Vojdani explained.

WebMD recommends that if you are going to use apple cider vinegar, you should avoid drinking it straight as it could erode tooth enamel. Experts suggest adding one or two tablespoons to water or tea to promote digestion. Harvard Health Publishing discusses other self-help measures that may prevent acid reflux as well, including avoiding coffee, chocolate, alcohol, fatty foods, tomato, and spicy or acidic foods. They also suggest not lying down for two or three hours after a meal. Additionally, eating small meals, not smoking, and losing weight can help combat the burn.