There are many improbable health claims being made online, so it is sensible to be skeptical. We’ve heard from several people who doubt the claims made for apple cider vinegar (or any other variety of acetic acid). We’ve also heard from those who hope that the claims are true and that vinegar can lower cholesterol.
Does Vinegar Lower Cholesterol?
Q. Does vinegar help in reducing cholesterol? I’ve read that one tablespoon in a glass of water daily might help.
A. We have not found convincing clinical trials of this remedy. Animal studies have been inconsistent, though some are encouraging. Chinese scientists reported that black vinegar lowered blood lipids in hamsters that were fed a high-cholesterol diet (Food Chemistry, Feb. 1, 2015).
A summary of vinegar’s effects suggests that it helps against diabetes, infection, obesity and high blood pressure as well as high cholesterol (Journal of Food Science, May, 2014).
Some data suggest that vinegar can help lower blood sugar after a carbohydrate-containing meal (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July, 2010). That could definitely help control triglycerides, a different type of blood lipid.
People who consumed balsamic vinegar in one study had much less oxidation of their LDL cholesterol (Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, 2010). They also made fewer foam cells, the cells that invade the lining of the arteries to cause arteriosclerosis.
A study conducted at a chiropractic college found that a supplement containing vinegar (among many other ingredients) along with a weight loss program for 21 days did result in lower cholesterol (Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, March, 2013).
Stories from Readers:
There are plenty of stories. Keith C. commented:
“I read about using 1 or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in two cups of water, right after a meal. 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.”
Wanda reported her experience:
“When my 9/16/11 blood work showed my cholesterol to be 238, the doctor got out his trusty prescription pad and tried to give me Crestor. I said ‘give me a sample.’ I took 1/2 a dose ofor a few days and when my muscles started aching, that was IT! They went into the trash and out came my Best Choices from the Peoples Pharmacy book.
“I wrote down everything I could find about lowering cholesterol. The list is in my kitchen and it reads: Olive Oil, Fish Oil, Oatmeal, Concord Grape Juice & Certo, Niacin (non flush), Magnesium, CoQ10, Pomegranate Juice (2 oz)., Walnuts, Dark Chocolate, Psyllium, Red Yeast Rice. Each day I try to get a little of all these things on the list and don’t sweat it if I don’t. Well, from September 16th to the next blood work on November 20, my cholesterol went from 238 to 205. Yahoo! It works! I’ve never doubted you, but seeing it in black and white feels so good.”