Apple cider vinegar is a go-to ingredient in home remedies. It has been linked to treatments for high blood pressure, weight loss and arthritis. Though evidence is generally lacking to prove these effects, some natural health gurus -- including Thomas Baroody, author of "Alkalize or Die" -- believe apple cider vinegar is effective for managing gout. It is best to see a doctor before administering apple cider vinegar for any health concern.
What Causes Gout?
According to MayoClinic.com, gout is caused by the accumulation of crystals in the joints. These crystals are made from a variety of materials, including struvite and uric acid. Typically, being overweight and eating foods high in protein like liver on a regular basis can cause gout. Symptoms include swollen joints, stiffness, redness and pain.
Apple Cider Vinegar Ingredients
Apple cider vinegar is loaded with nutrients like potassium, calcium, and iron, according to Health Services at Columbia. However, the ingredient thought to be most effective in treating and preventing gout is acetic acid. According to "The pH Miracle" by Dr. Robert Young and Shelley Redford Young, though acidic outside of the body, acetic acid turns alkaline inside the body, forming a pH-balanced environment that gout can't thrive in. At the time of publication, however, no research had been done to verify these claims.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Alkalinity
According to "Alkalize or Die" by Thomas Baroody, having a pH balance that's acidic can cause gout, but shifting the scale toward alkalinity can get rid of gout and prevent it from coming back. Baroody says drinking apple cider vinegar can break up uric acid crystals and prevent them from reforming in the joints. If you use apple cider vinegar to treat gout, you may notice an increase in symptoms, at least initially. According to Baroody, this occurs because the uric acid causes some inflammation as the crystals dissolve, and these symptoms should subside within a few weeks.
Gout Remedy and Treatment
To treat gout with apple cider vinegar, the standard remedy is to drink 2 tablespoons of vinegar mixed with 1 cup of water twice daily, according to "The People's Pharmacy Guide to Home and Herbal Remedies." However, you shouldn't use vinegar as a substitute for other treatments or without a doctor's consent. According to MayoClinic.com, drugs like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs, corticosteroids and xanthine oxidase inhibitors are most often used for treating gout because they relieve pain, reduce inflammation and block the production of uric acid, respectively.
- MayoClinic.com; Gout; November 2009
- "Alkalize or Die"; Theodore A. Baroody, D.C., N.D., Ph.D.; 1991
- "The People's Pharmacy Guide to Home and Herbal Remedies"; Joe Graedon, M.S., et al.; 2002
- MayoClinic.com; Gout: Treatments and Drugs; November 2009
- "The pH Miracle"; Dr. Robert O. Young and Shelley Redford Young; 2003
- Health Services at Columbia; Go Ask Alice! Apple Cider Vinegar; August 2010