Apple Cider Vinegar Print Page

Common Names: Cider vinegar, ACV

Scientific Names:  Malussylvestris

Bottom Line

Effectiveness: There have been no studies for use in rheumatic conditions.

Safety: Has been used safely in studies for up to 1 week. More research is needed in this area.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
  • Apple Cider Vinegar is simply vinegar made from apples. It is made by fermenting crushed apples. 
  • It is used in a variety of foods or dressings, but has also been studied for its possible medicinal properties. 
  • Most research on apple cider vinegar has been focused on its use in diabetes.

What it is it used for in people with rheumatic conditions?

  • It has been used for people with osteoarthritis, however no studies have been done in this area.

How is it thought to work?

  • There have been no studies and no mechanism noted on how apple cider vinegar would help with rheumatic conditions.

Does it Work? What the Science Says:

  • No data was found on the use of apple cider vinegar in rheumatic conditions.

What are possible side effects and what can I do about them?

  • When used orally: decreased potassium (hypokalemia), high levels of the enzyme renin and osteoporosis were described in one patient who used apple cider vinegar long-term (6 years) (case report). 
  • When applied topically: there are acids in the vinegar that may cause mild burning, and in some cases, more serious burns (case reports). 
  • No other side effects have been noted in other short-term trials, but more long-term research is needed in this area.


With drugs:

  • Apple cider vinegar may cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) when used with other medication for diabetes. This is due to the possible blood sugar lowering effect of apple cider vinegar. Blood sugar levels should be monitored closely. 
  • Apple cider vinegar may cause low potassium with long term use.  This could worsen side effects of certain medications such as digoxin.  It could also worsen low potassium seen with medications such as diuretics such as furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide and others.  Avoid this combination or monitor potassium levels more closely.

With Other Diseases:

  • Due to its possible blood glucose lowering effect it may be helpful in controlling glucose in diabetes.
  • Monitor blood glucose levels more closely.
  • For those at risk of hypokalemia, monitor potassium levels closely.

What is Rheumatology?

Rheumatologists see over 100 different types of diseases. We are known for seeing arthritis, however, we also see many other conditions.

Learn More

Find us on YouTube

Visit our YouTube channel and find a number of helpful videos to learn more about a range of topics relating to rheumatology.

Visit our YouTube Channel

Make a Donation

Support arthritis care in Alberta. Click the button below for more info, or to make a donation today.