This page about apple cider vinegar for gout was last reviewed, or updated, on 6 December 2011.
ACV for gout? Let's first say we are talking about apple cider vinegar, not other sorts of vinegar for gout. Experts have said it doesn't work, has no medicinal properties and is unproven. But many testimonials tell a very different story. So many testimonials in fact that it's hard to believe that they all fail the testimonial test.
And it's hard to believe that the alleviation, and even end of gout attacks (after a lengthy period without one) in some testimonials is just a coincidence. But of course, other gout sufferers (a minority it seems) say it hasn't worked for them.
Frankly, at first glance, we are on the side of the experts. When you examine the nutrients in Apple Cider vinegar (ACV) it's difficult to understand why you should take apple cider vinegar for gout. There are not many, and even its potassium amounts are not that much. The potassium amount in ACV is just 11 mg per tablespoon (or 22mg per two tablespoons, the amount many of its devotees take) and that's its most abundant nutrient.
You can get much more potassium from many other foods, for example from Nu-Salt, or Lo-Salt, or from other salt substitute products which are mainly potassium chloride. In ACV there are small amounts of other minerals such as calcium and magnesium and tiny amounts of some others. There's no fibre, no vitamins, no protein and no beneficial fats. Any positive enzymes in ACV would, experts have said, be destroyed in the acidic condition of the stomach.
ACV could be a gout conundrum for another reason – it's either just moderately acidic or moderately alkaline. It depends on which pH foods charts you look at. It is not very alkaline but this might explain some of its success stories, by raising pH levels in highly acidic bodies, especially the important pH of urine. But alkalinity is what is required in gout treatment and ACV is at best moderately alkaline.
So the conclusion must be so far that neither its alkalizing minerals, nor its pH, can explain its success as described in so many testimonials. But please read on.
Fresh Apples in a basket, apple cider vinegar in a glass jug.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR FOR GOUT TESTIMONIALS
We have studied many gout and Apple Cider Vinegar for gout testimonials. There are many good ones. People who report success with ACV often report they take in with water to dilute the acidity, (as well as honey to help improve the taste). Honey itself, again from pH foods charts, is moderately acidic if processed, or moderately alkaline if raw. And of course you should be drinking lots of water anyway. So perhaps this formula raises pH somewhat. And of course ACV is not expensive, and the extra cost of organic ACV is well justified.
Some testimonials report no gout attacks for over a year, after regular attacks before trying the Apple Cider Vinegar for gout. An attack-free year after regular attacks. If their gout is going to come back, even after a year, a year without an attack is a huge plus.
Other folks report such fast relief from pain, swelling and throbbing that we've also put ACV on the gout pain treatment page
The possible beneficial sequence of gout events Frequently, the first reported benefit is a reduction of throbbing, swelling and inflammation in the affected joint. Stiff joints become more flexible and bendable. Some stop hobbling around in pain and start walking better. Then there's a reduction or disappearance of pain. Next, walking – real walking – becomes possible again.
Apple cider vinegar seems to work quickly for most in at least alleviating immediate symptoms. Usually in a few days, sometimes in a few hours. Many people report feeling much better. Others say that gout attacks do return.
What else is there in Apple Cider Vinegar?
A gout cure cannot be achieved without dissolving the MSU gout crystals formed from uric acid. Does ACV dissolve and remove the MSU gout crystals? If it does, this ability has been partly put down to ACV’s Malic acid. Malic acid is found in apples, and in gout friendly cherries. And Quercetin the anti-inflammatory, bioflavonoid rich vitamin, is reported to be in ACV, probably because Quercetin is also found in apples.
Other health benefits of ACV – and ACV is reported to be helpful in a variety of ailments including arthritis – include the removal of bacteria and toxins, and blood purification and better circulation. Better blood circulation could be helpful in preventing gout, because of gout's tendency to begin in areas of the body such as the big toes, where circulation is sluggish.
And raising pH makes uric acid more soluble, if that's what ACV does.
Perhaps its secret, and secret it is, because ACV has not been really studied in gout treatment, is the combination of all these factors working together in those people who report its success.
Remember, all testimonials talk about <i> apple cider </i> vinegar, not other sorts of vinegar such as balsamic, malt, or red wine.</b> If you are going to try apple cider vinegar for gout it's probably better to ensure you buy organic apple cider vinegar. Pesticides are used on apples and pesticides are acidic.
DISCUSS WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST
If you do try apple cider vinegar for gout it's important to check with your doctor first. S/he knows your medical condition and may also think of reasons why you shouldn't try it that you have not thought of.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS
Vinegar is put on french fries (chips) and potato chips (potato crisps). People eat foods pickled in vinegar, use it in marinades and salad dressings and find other culinary uses for it. There are a wide range of fruit vinegars in classy bottles, and rice vinegar. All of this, without a second thought.
Apple Cider Vinegar is a mild vinegar. Could it have any side effects? Apparently yes. Some people report pain after trying it as a gout remedy, but they are in a tiny minority. There was a report of oesophagus (esophagus) injury, but that was caused by apple cider vinegar tablets. Other side effects may be osteoporosis and hypokalemia (low blood potassium). Some people report a burning sensation on the throat, which is why they dilute it. Of course you should not take huge amounts.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR FOR GOUT RECIPES
Those gout sufferers who report success with Apple Cider Vinegar are truly surprised that, for them, something so simple could perform so well.
Click here to read about various apple cider vinegar for gout recipes you might try. And when you could try them.