Heart disease is still the primary cause of death in the US, so people concerned about their heart health are being sensible. A lot of people, including many physicians, have focused on cholesterol as a prime risk factor. To control cholesterol, the first steps are a sensible diet and regular exercise. In addition, many doctors recommend statins, but not everyone is happy taking a statin-type drug. Will vinegar lower cholesterol in addition to a good diet?
Does Vinegar Lower Cholesterol?
Q. I have just been told I have high cholesterol and that I need to treat it with diet and exercise. The problem is, I already exercise and eat a healthy diet.
I have read that taking vinegar every day will lower cholesterol. Is this true? If so, how much does it take? Should it be mixed with anything? Could vinegar lower cholesterol?
What the Science Shows:
A. Research in rats suggests that apple cider vinegar can help control triglycerides and cholesterol (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, June 22, 2011). We suspect that this may also be true for humans, as many readers testify. Unfortunately, we do not know the effective dose. Black vinegar lowers blood lipids in hamsters (Chou et al, Food Chemistry, Feb. 1, 2015). In human tissue culture, balsamic vinegar keeps LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and accumulating in the foam cells that line blood vessels (Iizuka et al, Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, 2010). Consequently, it seems plausible that vinegar lowers cholesterol.
Other Approaches to Lowering Cholesterol:
We are sending you our Guide to Cholesterol and Heart Health, with many other natural approaches to controlling triglycerides and other bad blood fats. You may find pomegranate, red grapefruit, dark chocolate and cinnamon would make tasty cholesterol-lowering additions to your healthful diet. (People taking statins such as atorvastatin–Lipitor, lovastatin–Mevacor, or simvastatin–Zocor should skip the grapefruit, as it can raise statin blood levels and increase the risk of side effects.)
Here is what another reader had to say:
“I was overweight with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. I was taking three different medications (plus a statin to lower cholesterol) and living in a kind of ‘fog’ with decreasing hope. Then I stumbled upon information that screamed, “Lose weight to save your life!”
“I lost beaucoup pounds and the four medications. I replaced them with natural supplements (vinegar, cinnamon, chromium picolinate, fenugreek, turmeric, etc.) and exercise. My doctor said, “Whatever you’re doing, don’t stop.” Besides the weight and the medications, I also lost the terrible side effects that had resulted from all those meds.
“If the old adages ‘You are what you eat’ and the ancient Greek physician’s ‘Let food be your medicine’ have any weight, we truly need to pay attention to what we put in our mouths-including medication.”