The kidneys are vital to your overall health. For most, drinking plenty of water and following a healthy lifestyle will be enough to keep their kidneys in check. However, if you have kidney problems, you may need to take extra measures to ensure your health. Some health gurus claim that vinegar can help the kidneys and improve their function.
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The primary function of the kidneys is to filter the blood. This filtering process removes waste and water, sending these items to the bladder, according to the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. The waste taken out of the blood is excreted through urine.
Vinegar is made in two stages, according to the Vinegar Institute. The first stage involves adding yeast and sugar to crushed fruits like apples or grapes. This liquid then ferments to make alcohol. The process continues from there into the second stage, which turns the alcohol into an acid, specifically acetic acid. This occurs due to the presence of bacteria in the alcohol.
Effect on Kidney Stones
According to Dr. Theodore Baroody, author of "Alkalinize or Die," vinegar can prevent the development of kidney stones. In fact, vinegar makes the urine more alkaline, creating an environment where the struvite, calcium, or uric acid crystals that normally make up kidney stones won't be able to solidify. However, according to Dr. Baroody, vinegar will not treat kidney stones that you already have.
Vinegar may offer limited benefits for the kidneys by creating alkaline urine, but it won't treat existing conditions. If you have a kidney infection, you should seek medical help immediately. Only antibiotics and proper care will kill the bacteria, warns MayoClinic.com. If left untreated, infections of the kidneys can cause kidney damage and may spread to the blood, which could cause death.
- "Alkalinize or Die"; Dr. Theodore A. Baroody; 1991
- National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse: The Kidneys and How They Work
- The Vinegar Institute: Frequently Asked Questions