a bowl of white vinegar

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.”

Revised 7/13/17

Get The Graedons' Favorite Home Remedies Health Guide for FREE

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

  1. Royce
    San Antonio, TX

    I go by a book “There is a River”, about Edgar Cayce. He was a Clairvoyant, never give something twice, only “as given before”. Many things he give as a reading, has held many things in my life since 1970, and I’m 80 now.

  2. Clayton
    Lexington, NC

    My blood sugar has slowly crept up the last 5 years from an avg of 130 to 175. I know that the lower it is the better it is for me, but what is the breaking point. I mean the bs level where it starts doing harm to my organs?

  3. James

    Will balsamic vinegar help reduce cholestrol?

  4. MR

    For years now, my total cholesterol has been around the 255-260 range. My LDL around 133-136. The saving grace is that I have a high HDL of at least 100, sometimes higher. Triglycerides are always good, too. Anyway, I usually get bloodwork done twice a year, once for my routine physical and once because of medical insurance. I had labs done in May, 2015, and it was same as usual. After that time, I started using ACV for digestive reasons. Other than that, I didn’t do anything different. In October 2015, I had labs done for insurance. My total cholesterol had dropped to 222 and my LDL had dropped to 96. HDL and Triglycerides were both 105. My ratio was 2.0! I attributed this to the ACV and faithfully continued using it daily.

    Well, I just had labwork done again this week. I don’t understand, but my Total is again up at 260 and LDL at 136, just like before ACV. HDL and Triglycerides still good.

    Has anyone else ever experienced this situation where you see improvement with ACV and then just revert back to the old numbers. I still plan on using ACV daily. Thanks!

  5. Jayrag
    kzn south Africa

    I have read on the internet that 2 x teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with a glass of warm water, three times daily was very beneficial for diabetics. Just research acv benefits.

  6. DKW

    I was told 4 years ago I had high cholesterol and my family line too. My doctor informed me that my blood work showed its not what I was eating but my liver wasn’t getting rid of the cholesterol like it supposed to. He instructed me to start a stain drug. I did for for years.
    I am a spiritual person and one morning during prayer I felt the Spirit speak to me that I had never ask for healing I just accepted what the doctor said and started the pill. I must also add I started having side affects also. Well I prayed for healing and believed the healing was taking place. I also heard the Lord say to me I have healed you but it’s your responsibility to maintain the healing.
    Every day I spoke that my liver was healed and it would function the way God had originally designed it to. I also looked closer at my eating habits. I learned that you should stop eating several hours before bed time, where I was use to eating and not always waiting for a few hours. Now if I eat later if very light, like fresh popped pop corn the old fashion way with a little olive oil or maybe almond butter about a teaspoon full.
    I also started drinking grapefruit juice once a day in the morning and added 2 tablespoon of organic vinegar and sometime before a meal or while I’m eating a meal add 2 table spoon of vinegar to my 8oz water. I always drink plain water after grapefruit juice and vinegar consumptions.
    Well to make a long story shot my overall number starting out was 240. When taking statin meds it came down to 180. When I got off the meds for four months grapefruit and vinegar became my replacement and my number after 4 months was in the 180s.
    I just went to my doctors after a year and my number is 166, lower than my cholesterol have ever been. Another thing I added was Red Yeast Rice (I used a reputable brand), niacin, and I exercise 4-6 days (30 min brisk walks and 30 weights just to stay tone). I eat healthy most of the week and pic 1 day a week to eat whatever I choose. That’s my testimony! Thank you Jesus for Healing:)

  7. rrd

    Can you give me the proportions of apple juice, grape juice and apple cider vinegar taken to lower cholesterol? Also when and how much to take daily? It used to work great, but somehow I got off of it and now don’t remember. Thanks!

  8. aggie

    I too had a problem with high blood sugar, started taking Cinnamon plus Chromium, 500 mg a day, sugar went down to a safe level and have not had it increase since. Works for me

  9. Mary

    Sorry about the ache in your legs caused by Lipitor. This is how my husband’s symptoms started. He now has peripheral neuropathy and has been off stains for 2 years. I checked with Merck (the makers of one sinvastatin) It is now advisable to take Coenzyme Q10 200mg daily when on statins because statins deplete this very necessary enzyme. Better still come of statins and look up on the internet which supplements are better for the body.

  10. R Andre

    Is it OK to take a small quantity of apple cider vinegar with Lipitor, Pls?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: We are not aware of an interaction, but we doubt you will see much of a benefit to your cholesterol levels, either.

  11. Jen K.

    On apple cider vinegar: please be aware that when taking cider vinegar, you want the organic variety. The one with “the mother” in it. I actually drink a few swigs of Braggs apple cider DRINKS (their cider v already mixed with distilled water, stevia) when I feel a bout of indigestion/heartburn creeping up. It really works and it’s gotten me off Zantac! As far as grapefruit goes: love it! But even they are high in acidity which can cause heartburn in “acid-sensitive” people…like me! I don’t eat it with my morning cup of tea (too much acid!) or drink it’s juice before bed. Just sayin’… :-)

  12. JB

    It’s certainly worth a try. I have been on both Lipitor and Zocor for several years, but the aching in my legs is really getting to me. I am searching for something simple and with results. Will let you know the results after my next Dr. visit in March. Thanks.

  13. JimP

    Joe, You were the leader in publicizing that drinking grapefruit juice negatively interacts with statin drugs. You should warn people trying to reduce cholesterol to not drink grapefruit juice if they are already taking a statin.

  14. aggie

    Thanks Keith C.

  15. Keith C.

    A study was done on diabetics and vinegar intake. The article I saw suggested using 1 or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in two cups of water. Right after a meal, you should be careful with this if you have acid reflux and be sure to rinse your mouth out with water after drinking the vinegar solution to protect the enamel on your teeth. I have been doing this once a day right after dinner for about 2 months now and have not yet had my blood sugar or lipid levels checked, so I cannot say if it is effective or not. It is easy and inexpensive so I plan to continue until I see evidence that it does not work for me.

  16. oldetimer

    For what it’s worth: When I was a child, back in the 1940s, our family physician, who had an excellent reputation and apparently was ahead of him time, recommended a 50-50 mixture of apple cider vinegar and water once (I think) a day as a “tonic”. I took it a couple of times, but decided that vinegar and children don’t mix well. I am not in a position to judge how effective it might be.

  17. br

    All the info I have suggests 2-3 TBSP of any vinegar a day- in water, taking by spoonfuls, on salads or any way you want, will help Cholesterol and Blood Sugar. Hope this helps.

  18. markfein

    Just a thought, but I have taken Lipitor and things did improve quite a bit. There are possible downsides to it but it has been effective for so many people. I only stopped taking because I cannot afford it without the right insurance plan.

  19. markfein

    Thank you. Worth a try and then get retested.

  20. markfein

    I experience the same circumstances and hope that the writer will say something about his/her initial body weight and also provide some information about the amounts of the supplements taken.

  21. aggie

    I wonder if using apple cider vinegar every day effects my acid reflux. I am reluctant to take the medicine prescribed by my doctor. I too have high cholesterol.

  22. WGM

    I would like to know how these natural supplements are taken. I have had type 2 diabetes for 23 years and it has become more difficult for me to control my blood sugars and lose weight. I exercise 2-4 times a week. My job requires a lot of walking and I watch my diet (sometimes I don’t think I eat enough). I continue to have high readings. I was prescribed metformin and it makes me so sick. I have tried to take it on several occasions and can not get past the nausea. Help!!!!!

  23. wfw

    My mother in law took vinegar for some real or imagined illness and wound up with an ulcer. Sorry, don’t know her dose.

  24. bf

    I think a hot tea containing some each of pomegranate and red grapefruit juice, cinnamon and dark chocolate might be wonderful. I am going to make some and have a cup or two every day. .

What Do You Think?

We invite you to share your thoughts with others, but remember that our comment section is a public forum. Please do not use your full first and last name if you want to keep details of your medical history anonymous. A first name and last initial or a pseudonym is acceptable. Advice from other commenters on this website is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. Stopping medication suddenly could result in serious harm. We expect comments to be civil in tone and language. By commenting, you agree to abide by our commenting policy and website terms & conditions. Comments that do not follow these policies will not be posted.

Your cart

Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.