If you are a firm believer in the goodness of apple cider vinegar, here’s more good news. Research says apple cider vinegar has nutrients that can bring down blood pressure levels and improve heart health.1 About 1 in every 3 American adults has a higher than normal blood pressure.2 So if you are not averse to alternative remedies, why not try apple cider vinegar for high blood pressure?
Acetic Acid In Apple Cider Vinegar Is Beneficial
The most active ingredient in ACV that arms it with health benefits is acetic acid, popularly known as vinegar. ACV is made by fermenting crushed apples with yeast and bacteria to convert the fruit sugars into acetic acid. It contains 5–6% acetic acid.
Because acetic acid plays the major role in reducing blood pressure, any good-quality organic apple cider vinegar will suffice. But to get the full array of benefits, use one that contains the “mother.” The mother, which appears like a cloudy film, contains beneficial bacteria, enzymes, and protein strands. The appearance of this ACV is murky and quite distinct from the clear filtered versions.3It’s best to make ACV at home.
Apple Cider Vinegar For High Blood Pressure
1. Can Reduce Blood Pressure By Reducing Renin Activity
Acetic acid in vinegar reduces the activity of the enzyme renin to bring down blood pressure. Drink 2 tablespoons (30 ml) diluted in water every day.
If you have hypertension, it means that the force with which blood flows through blood vessels in your body is too high on a sustained basis. Hypertension increases the risk for diabetes, stroke, heart attacks, among other problems.
One research on hypertensive rats showed that the acetic acid in ACV could significantly lower blood pressure levels. The researchers suggested that it reduced the activity of renin, an enzyme that plays a role in increasing blood pressure.4
We still need extensive human studies to understand exactly how vinegar reduces blood pressure and what the recommended dose is. Till then, continue with 2 tablespoons a day.
2. Can Lower Cholesterol And Prevent Fat Deposit In Arteries
In an 8-week study, 30 ml of ACV twice a day could bring down harmful cholesterols and triglycerides. But you’d best stick to a maximum of 30 ml a day to avoid side effects.
Your blood pressure also depends on your lipid profile – this includes HDL (good cholesterol,) LDL (bad cholesterol), and triglycerides. A high level of LDLs and triglycerides and a low level of HDLs can raise the risk of high blood pressure. HDLs usually clear away the LDLs. In the absence of adequate HDLs, the LDLs become oxidized and collect as plaque inside arteries. Plaque obstructs blood flow and raise blood pressure.
Apple cider vinegar improves the lipid profile. In an 8-week clinical study, taking 30 ml ACV twice a day lowered the total cholesterol count and triglycerides in people with high levels of lipids (a condition called hyperlipidemia). It reduced the LDLs and slightly increased the HDLs.5
Note that this dose was for this experiment only. Most health professionals recommend 30 ml as the daily cut off.
3. Can Flush Out Toxins And Improve Blood Flow Through Arteries
ACV is a potent detoxifying agent. It can flush out free radicals from the body and eliminate the root cause of arterial narrowing and poor blood flow.
Toxins in your body generate harmful free radicals that damage cells. Free radicals also oxidize LDLs, forming plaque inside arteries. As a result, arteries narrow down and hinder blood flow.
Apple cider vinegar is a common detoxifier. As it flushes out toxins, it reduces the number of harmful free radicals that damage cells.6 By eliminating the root cause of plaque, ACV ensures blood flow is smooth.
High blood pressure can also lead to blood clots. Vinegar has the ability to prevent excessive blood clotting. Researchers suggest using ACV alongside standard anticoagulants can help keep blood flow normal.7
4. Can Aid In Lowering Obesity-Related Blood Pressure
Have you noticed how overweight and obese people are more prone to high blood pressure? According to the American Heart Association, even losing 5 to 10 pounds can help prevent and manage high blood pressure in people with a body mass index of 25 or over.8
Having just 1 tablespoon a day for 12 weeks helped a group of obese Japanese people reduce 1.2 Kg (2.6 pounds) on average. Those who had 2 tablespoons lost 1.9 Kg (3.7 pounds) on average.9
ACV also increases the feeling of fullness and keeps you off snacking.10 Apple cider vinegar can reduce your calorie intake by up to 275 Cal.
Even ACV Salad Dressing Helps Lower Blood Pressure
As mentioned earlier, there aren’t enough human studies to suggest a specific dose. The norm is to consume 2 tablespoons a day, split into two to three doses (about a teaspoon each time), and diluted in water or fruit juice. This is to be taken before each main meal. Having it before meals will help you digest food better and control your appetite.
If you find the taste of the vinegar too strong on its own, here are some other options:
- Drizzle ACV over meats or roast vegetables for some zing and added health benefits from your fresh vegetable intake.
- Whizz up a delicious salad dressing with ACV and heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil. Use this instead of heavy mayonnaise or store-bought salad dressings.
- Make a vinegar drink by diluting ACV with water and adding in some honey to sweeten it.
- Add some ACV to a glaze for your fish or meat.
- Toss some popcorn in ACV.
- Add a spoonful of ACV to a smoothie to cut the sweetness and add some tang.
Caution: Avoid ACV Pills
After a woman reported throat burn caused by an ACV tablet stuck in her throat, the American Dietetic Association tested 8 different brands of ACV tablets for their pH levels, acid content, and microbial activity. The study found that the pills had pH values ranging from 2.9 to 5.7. It even doubted whether ACV was an ingredient.11
|↑1, ↑4||Kondo, Shino, Kenji Tayama, Yoshinori Tsukamoto, Katsumi Ikeda, and Yukio Yamori. “Antihypertensive effects of acetic acid and vinegar on spontaneously hypertensive rats.” Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry 65, no. 12 (2001): 2690-2694.|
|↑2||High Blood Pressure Fact Sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|
|↑3||Johnston, Carol S., and Cindy A. Gaas. “Vinegar: medicinal uses and antiglycemic effect.” Medscape General Medicine 8, no. 2 (2006): 61.|
|↑5||Beheshti, Zahra, Y. Huak Chan, H. Sharif Nia, Fatemeh Hajihosseini, Rogheyeh Nazari, and Mohammad Shaabani. “Influence of apple cider vinegar on blood lipids.” Life Sci J 9, no. 4 (2012): 2431-40.|
|↑6||Nazıroğlu, Mustafa, Mustafa Güler, Cemil Özgül, Gündüzalp Saydam, Mustafa Küçükayaz, and Ercan Sözbir. “Apple cider vinegar modulates serum lipid profile, erythrocyte, kidney, and liver membrane oxidative stress in ovariectomized mice fed high cholesterol.” The Journal of membrane biology 247, no. 8 (2014): 667–673.|
|↑7||Fan, Junfeng, Yanyan Zhang, Xiaojie Chang, Bolin Zhang, Da Jiang, Masayoshi Saito, and Zaigui Li. “Antithrombotic and fibrinolytic activities of methanolic extract of aged sorghum vinegar.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 57, no. 18 (2009): 8683-8687.|
|↑8||Managing Weight to Control High Blood Pressure. American Heart Association.|
|↑9||Kondo, Tomoo, Mikiya Kishi, Takashi Fushimi, Shinobu Ugajin, and Takayuki Kaga. “Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects.” Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry 73, no. 8 (2009): 1837-1843.|
|↑10||Johnston, Carol S., and Amanda J. Buller. “Vinegar and peanut products as complementary foods to reduce postprandial glycemia.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 105, no. 12 (2005): 1939-1942.|
|↑11||Hill, Laura L., Logan H. Woodruff, Jerald C. Foote, and Morela Barreto-Alcoba. “Esophageal injury by apple cider vinegar tablets and subsequent evaluation of products.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 105, no. 7 (2005): 1141-1144.|