Apple cider vinegar comes in many forms from the standard kind you can get at the market to raw and organic types that contain a cloudy sediment that's filled with nutrients, according to "Dr. Earl Mindell's Amazing Apple Cider Vinegar" by Earl Mindell, M.D. There is only limited evidence to suggest apple cider vinegar can help kidney problems, and you should see a doctor before utilizing it as a treatment.
How the Kidneys Work
The kidneys are located on either side of the body in the middle of the back. Their primary function is to act as filters for the blood and to remove toxins and waste products. According to the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse or NKUDIC, this waste is sent through the ureters into the bladder and expelled through the urethra as urine.
Common Kidney Problems
One of the most common kidney problems is kidney infection. Also known as pyelonephritis, according to the NKUDIC, kidney infections usually start as urinary tract infections when bacteria enters the urethra from the digestive tract and takes hold in the bladder. Another common problem is kidney stones. These stones are made from crystals that accumulate in the urine over time. Kidney stones are usually made from calcium oxalate or uric acid.
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar Effect
Raw apple cider vinegar might play a role in preventing kidney infections, according to Earl Mindell, M.D. In fact, apple cider vinegar can create an environment in the bladder that prevents bacteria from adhering to the walls. According to Mindell, you should drink 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed in before meals to prevent infections of the urinary tract that could spread to the kidneys.
Despite claims by Mindell that apple cider vinegar can ward off bacteria, you should never use it as a kidney infection treatment. Kidney infections are serious and can cause permanent damage quickly, which is why medical intervention is necessary as are antibiotics, according to the Mayo Clinic. Though there is no harm in using raw apple cider vinegar as an infection preventative, you may be putting yourself at risk for side effects. According to Katherine Zeratsky, R.N., L.D., of the MayoClinic, drinking apple cider vinegar may burn your throat and cause stomach problems.
- National Kidney & Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse; The Kidneys and How They Work; September 2010
- National Kidney & Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse; Pyelonephritis (Kidney Infection) in Adults; June 2007
- National Kidney & Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse; Kidney Stones in Adults; October 2007
- "Dr. Earl Mindell's Amazing Apple Cider Vinegar"; Earl Mindell, M.D.; 2002
- Mayo Clinic; Kidney Infection; August 2009
- Mayo Clinic; Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss: Effective?; Katherine Zeratsky, R.N., L.D.; April 2010