Can Apple Cider Vinegar Dry Up Your Blood?

A bowl of apple cider with two glasses and a bowl of apples sitting on a table
Proponents claim that apple cider vinegar can prevent your blood from thickening. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Blood is an essential fluid that transports vital oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. Dry blood refers to red blood cell dehydration, which reflects your overall fluid volume. Apple cider vinegar, a cure-all folk remedy, is not known to cause dehydration, but there might be other safety concerns. Clinical data showing the efficacy of using apple cider vinegar to treat any condition are lacking.

Role

Your blood is composed of a liquid called plasma, which contains blood cells and platelets. Ideally, red blood cells are approximately the same size and float freely in plasma, which is 90 percent water. When your fluid volume decreases, your blood becomes thick due to increased red blood cell concentration, according to Barbara Bain, author of "Blood Cells: A Practical Guide." Because apple cider vinegar is acidic, some people are concerned that it might disrupt the fluid balance of your blood.

Claims

Apple cider vinegar is a product of fermentation. Proponents claim that it can prevent your blood from thickening by increasing the alkalinity and reducing microbes. The vast majority of claims regarding apple cider vinegar remain unsubstantiated. Acidic wastes from microorganisms and reactions to antigens can cause your red blood cells to clump together and become thick, which is known as agglutination. However, there is no research showing that apple cider vinegar can prevent this.

Dehydration

There is no evidence that apple cider vinegar causes or prevents red blood cell dehydration. Your blood's fluid volume reflects that of your body overall. If you are chronically dehydrated, it is reflected in your blood, since it relies on water. A complete blood count test can help your doctor assess the fluid volume of your blood. If your red blood cells are dehydrated, they can appear more concentrated, resulting in higher than normal values, according to MedlinePlus.

Considerations

Discontinue use and consult your doctor if you are experiencing dehydration that you suspect is associated with the use of apple cider vinegar. Under rare circumstances, excess loss of cellular fluid is an indication of a more serious problem. For example, in sickle cell disease, red blood cells are misshapen, preventing proper fluid retention and absorption. Use apple cider vinegar only after receiving your doctor's permission. The side effects of using apple cider vinegar are not well documented.

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