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Gout is a disease that has afflicted humans since ancient times. It is a systemic disease, which means it affects the entire body as opposed to only one single organ or part of the body.
Gout occurs when monosodium urate crystals accumulate within the body. It is considered a type of arthritis. Monosodium urate crystals are formed where levels of uric acid in the blood increase (hyperuricemia). These crystals mainly settle into the joints and other tissues of the body.
Not every person suffering from high levels of uric acid will develop gout. It is thought that many other conditions including diet, weight, chronic illnesses (such as diabetes and heart diseases), and genes play a role in the occurrence of gout. (1)
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is produced through the fermentation of apples. This vinegar has been used for flavoring and preserving food, cleaning, and even managing some diseases.
ACV contains a lot of flavonoids including gallic acid, catechin, caffeic acid, and ferulic acid. It is gaining swift popularity for its use in the management and treatment of several ailments.
Animal studies have reported its use in pharmacological functions, as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, and cholesterol reducer. (2)
Can ACV Help With Gout?
There are no direct studies that evaluate the role of consuming ACV in treating gout. However, ACV can manage symptoms that can further complicate gout.
Here are the potential roles ACV can play in gout management.
1. Role of pH in gout
Depending on the food you eat, the body either produces alkaline ash or acidic ash.
Studies have found that an acid-ash-producing diet, which includes a lot of meat and meat products, fish, eggs, and grains, can prevent the excretion of uric acid crystals from the body. This leads to an accumulation of crystals in the body, making them settle into the joints. (3)(4)
When participants of these studies ate foods that produced alkaline ash, a much lower accumulation of uric acid crystals was observed. Though vinegars are acidic and create an acidic environment in the body, ACV may have an alkalizing effect because it is made from apples, and apples produce alkaline ash. (5)
Remember, the benefits of using ACV for gout have not been established, but including it as part of an alkaline-ash-forming diet may be beneficial.
2. Role of weight in gout
In a study that included Bangladeshi adults suffering from gout, a close link was observed between obesity and high uric acid levels in these individuals. (6)
Meanwhile, studies done to evaluate the role of ACV in fasting glucose levels and lipid parameters within the body showed favorable results. (2) ACV lowered total cholesterol and fasting blood sugar levels significantly. (2)
Therefore, consuming ACV as part of a healthy weight-reducing diet can be advantageous in the management of gout and its symptoms.
3. Role of inflammation in gout
Since gout is primarily an inflammatory condition, treatments often include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that bring relief from pain, which are medications that work on reducing inflammation-causing substances in the body. (1) The anti-inflammatory phenols present in apple cider are known to reduce inflammation in the body.
One study showed that consumption of 20 ml of ACV notably reduced oxidative stress in people suffering from type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol levels. (7) This effect, in turn, is responsible for reducing inflammation within the body.
Therefore, consuming ACV may reduce inflammation in the body and ultimately lower the chance of developing other illnesses associated with inflammation.
Buying the Right ACV
Several brands of ACV are available, but it is recommended to buy those that specifically mention “with the mother.” This ensures you get a raw, unfiltered, and unpasteurized version of ACV, which contains more of the good bacteria and nutrients beneficial to health.
How to Consume ACV
ACV can be consumed in salad dressings, soups, or drinks. Just make sure to dilute ACV as the acidic content can damage the teeth and the inner lining of the digestive tract.
Though the scientific community and doctors do not offer recommendations for its consumption, most people choose to consume around 5 ml or 1 large tablespoon diluted in a glass of water (200 ml).
Precautions to Consider
The high acidic level of ACV can cause the following side effects when overconsumed:
- Loss of tooth enamel
- Corrosion of the esophagus
- Reduction of the rate at which the stomach empties itself of food
- Possible medication indigestions
Most-Asked Questions About Apple Cider Vinegar
Who should avoid ACV?
ACV may have contraindications with some types of medications. People who use insulin or medications that stimulate insulin may experience low blood sugar or potassium levels.
It is recommended to consult a doctor before starting any natural remedies for managing chronic illnesses.
Is ACV safe?
When used in recommended amounts, short-term use of ACV may be beneficial. However, overconsumption for a long period may cause detrimental health effects.
Can I have ACV every day?
Having 1–2 tablespoons of ACV diluted in water is generally considered safe to consume.
Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs when uric acid accumulates in the body and is not excreted via urine. These crystals settle in and around the joints and other tissues, causing pain and severe discomfort.
Gout can occur when uric acid is not removed from the body due to obesity, diabetes, or genetic tendencies.
Apple cider vinegar is used by many for its potential to manage health conditions. From reducing the risk of obesity to lowering cholesterol levels and even managing fasting blood sugar levels, ACV can do it all.
Its impact on obesity and inflammation and its potential alkali-forming capacity make ACV beneficial in the management of gout symptoms.