Apple Cider Vinegar may Help your Gut

What’s with the Apple Cider Vinegar gut health hype? Is it really just hype, or is there something else to the story?

Some people choose to self administer Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) to aide with digestion as their levels need some assistance. This is not to say that ACV is bad, it may well be exactly what someone needs.

Typically, the active acid in vinegars is acetic acid. ACV is usually somewhere between 5% and 6% acetic acid, while Brown Vinegar is somewhere between 7% and 9% acetic acid. [1]

Under the right conditions, ACV can help improve digestion if your natural stomach acids are of a weaker pH. But this is something that you shouldn’t just assume and start self administering without first seeking advice.

Reason being, it only takes a small shift to the stronger pH and you may experience some unpleasant results. The study referenced below demonstrates the effectiveness of Shilajit in dealing with stomach ulcers which formed as a result of acidic aggravation.

The acid in question that was used was acetic acid, the same acid that is in ACV and other vinegars. [2]

So, if you’re digestion is fine and you don’t need to take ACV, allow your stomach to keep the natural balance it has. Otherwise, seek advice from a trusted Doctor or Dietitian first.

Benefits of Taking Apple Cider Vinegar

Drinking ACV to maintain a good gut health balance isn’t something new. My Grandmother swore by it.

As a young child I can recall her medicine cabinet was a big walk in style pantry. As a Naturopath she has all sorts of things in brown glass bottles, jars, hanging up drying, and carefully stored away in little timber boxes.

It was the type of medicine cabinet that you would see in the old films. Nothing in there was made of plastic, and there were no pharmaceuticals to be found anywhere in the house.

With a long trusted history, ACV has been relied upon by both men and women. The benefits of taking Apple Cider Vinegar include:

  • Helping to improve energy
  • Helping to improve gut health
  • Supporting better heart health
  • Satisfying runaway cravings and reducing appetite
  • Playing a role in supporting weight management
  • Reducing fluid retention
  • Improving skin complexion and health
  • Supporting the immune system

Drinking ACV without Gagging

It can be challenging for some people to drink ACV without feeing that unpleasant gag reflex kicking in. So how do you get around it? Even when drinking Apple Cider Vinegar for gut health, you’ve got to be able to get it down.

There are some simple tips that you can use to make a drink with ACV that is easy to consume, and arguably enjoyable. Spices and herbs can be used to tweak up the flavour. I like to add a little ginger and cinnamon.

For a sweet touch I’ll drizzle in a little dark agave nectar. You could use maple syrup if you can’t find agave.

The trick is to not go overboard on the ACV. It’s always possible to have some more later, so keep it at a couple of tablespoons per glass.

Using chilled water as your base will help with taking any unpleasant dominant flavours out. Just like having berries or chocolate out of the fridge, the cool can suppress the taste of some things. Chilling your ACV can help with this too.

What is the Best ACV to Choose?

If you can find Apple Cider Vinegar in a brown glass bottle, you’re on the right track. The next step is to look for what is called the ‘Mother’. This can look like a strange clump in the bottom of a settled bottle of ACV. It’s the part that bring the goodness and the magic!

If you’ve ever had Kombucha, you’ll know what the Mother is. Same deal here.

I prefer to source ACV that is also organic. But, if this is out of your price range, stick with the brown glass and the Mother as your key things to look for. Getting the most out of your Apple Cider Vinegar for gut health is really quite easy.


  1. “Vinegar” in Encyclopedia of Food Sciences and Nutrition (Second Edition) – M. Plessi, 2003 [Science Direct]
  2. “Acetic Acid Hazards & Safety Information” – VelocityEHS, 19 November 2014 [VelocityEHS] - Matthew Carpenter

About the Author

Matthew has been on an active journey towards living a healthy life from a young age. Influenced by his Grandmother, a practicing Naturopath in the 1940's, his views on living holistically were shaped from a young age. Growing up in different parts of Australia, his connection with the Ocean and a passion for sustainability comes through in everything he does and shares.

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