Some people claim that drinking diluted apple cider vinegar helps reduce symptoms of acid reflux. However, there’s currently no scientific research supporting this.

Do you have frequent acid reflux, and a friend — or someone on your TikTok — mentioned that they successfully reduced acid reflux by drinking apple cider vinegar? If so, you’re not alone if you’re looking for heartburn pain relief using apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar is often marketed as being healthy, but there isn’t a lot of research to support anecdotal benefits like reducing acid reflux. While rare, there are also potential risks of drinking apple cider vinegar to be aware of. It’s also a good idea to check with your doctor before trying anything new.

Read on to learn more about using apple cider vinegar for acid reflux.

Apple cider vinegar is generally made from crushed apples. Bacteria and yeast are added to ferment the crushed apple liquid. At first, the liquid is similar to a hard apple cider because of the alcohol content. More fermentation changes the alcohol into vinegar.

Organic and raw apple cider vinegar are both allowed to ferment naturally. These liquids are unfiltered and typically take on a brownish, cloudy appearance. This process leaves behind the “mother” of the apple.

The ”mother“ is a cobweb-like substance that sits at the bottom of organic apple cider vinegar bottles. Non-organic apple cider vinegar is made by pasteurizing and removing the mother from the apple cider vinegar.

It’s thought that the mother is rich in enzymes, proteins, and pectin. Because of this, organic varieties are considered the gold standard when used to treat health conditions such as acid reflux.

The acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar may provide several health benefits, and there are plenty of anecdotal reports of apple cider vinegar helping with acid reflux. However, there is very little research proving apple cider vinegar is a consistent, effective way to treat acid reflux.

No research supporting this claim has been published in a medical journal. A 2015 graduate thesis found that raw or unfiltered apple cider vinegar may prevent heartburn, but the small sample size leaves questions about the validity of the findings.

For some people, acid reflux may be a result of too little stomach acid. Proponents of this remedy claim apple cider vinegar might be beneficial because it introduces more acid into the digestive tract.

One of the evidence-backed benefits of apple cider vinegar is helping people with diabetes manage blood sugar. Taking apple cider vinegar can raise your body’s insulin sensitivity.

Learn more about this and other research backed health benefits of apple cider vinegar.

It’s generally considered safe to consume a small amount of apple cider vinegar. However, scientists must do more research on the long-term effects of drinking apple cider vinegar daily.

Diluting apple cider vinegar in water before drinking it can help prevent damage to the teeth, esophagus, and other parts of the digestive tract.

It’s always a good idea to consult your doctor before trying any new home remedies, especially if you are taking medications or have known health conditions. It is advisable that you avoid using apple cider vinegar as a replacement for necessary medical treatments.

If you want to try apple cider vinegar, dilute a small amount of it in water to prevent burning. Drink this before or after a meal and pay attention to how it affects your symptoms.

There is no scientifically proven amount to use, but you can start by diluting about 1 tablespoon in a glass of water. Many people find the taste of apple cider vinegar to be sharp or sour, consider adding honey to the solution to improve its taste.

To prevent damage to your tooth enamel, take apple cider vinegar using a straw, if possible. You can also rinse your mouth with water after taking it.

If you don’t like the taste, you can also try taking dehydrated apple cider vinegar in pill form. Many times, these capsules also include herbs, so you’ll want to make sure to read the ingredient list to know what you’re taking.

Because apple cider vinegar is corrosive, it’s important to avoid drinking it straight. In rare cases, consuming large quantities of diluted vinegar may also damage the teeth and esophagus.

If you take medication or have any health conditions, it’s important to speak with your doctor. You should not drink vinegar beverages if you are healing from an ulcer.

While allergic reactions to apple cider vinegar are rare, you should stop consuming apple cider vinegar immediately and contact your doctor if you believe you are showing signs of one.

Some people may experience side effects after consuming apple cider vinegar. They can include:

These side effects may worsen if you use undiluted or large amounts of apple cider vinegar.

Learn more about the potential side effects of apple cider vinegar.

Conventional treatments for acid reflux include prescription and over-the-counter medications and lifestyle changes.

Medications used to treat reflux include:

In addition to medications, you can improve your acid reflux symptoms with simple lifestyle changes. You can try to:

  • eat smaller meals
  • avoid foods and beverages that trigger heartburn
  • quit smoking, if applicable
  • avoid lying down after eating
  • elevate the head of your bed

Sometimes, conventional treatments aren’t enough. Serious complications from acid reflux can include esophageal scarring or ulcers.

To avoid these complications, your doctor may recommend a surgery called fundoplication. In this procedure, the upper part of your stomach is wrapped around the lower esophagus. This strengthens the esophageal sphincter to prevent reflux.

Although anecdotal evidence suggests apple cider vinegar may be a useful remedy, there isn’t a firm medical basis for this treatment. If you do explore this option, remember to:

  • take apple cider vinegar in small quantities
  • dilute the vinegar with water
  • speak with your doctor if your symptoms don’t reduce or worsen with use.

Although many people with acid reflux claim to benefit from drinking diluted apple cider vinegar. Research to prove that apple cider vinegar can help with acid reflux is insufficient. Some rare side effects can be associated with its use.

It’s important to speak with your doctor about your acid reflux before making any changes to your diet. They will consider your overall health, and the severity of your acid reflux when making recommendations about a treatment plan.