Written by Divinity Nutra, Updated on July 18, 2022
Apple cider vinegar is all the rage these days, and for good reason. We know that apple cider vinegar has a long history of being used as both a food product and as a medicinal treatment for a variety of health conditions. But, can apple cider vinegar lower blood pressure?
Apple Cider Vinegar and Blood Pressure
Among the primary reasons to use apple cider vinegar are its numerous benefits for skin, drinking it as a means to detox and cleanse the liver, and even using it for the prevention of kidney stones and urinary tract infections (UTIs).
It seems that researchers are determined to uncover every possible health benefit associated with ACV. Now, apple cider vinegar for high blood pressure has piqued the curiosity of the scientific community.
In this article, we’ll explore hypertension in more detail, and discuss the evidence behind using ACV to improve the condition.
What Is High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)?
Hypertension, commonly referred to as high blood pressure, is when the force of the blood pressing against your vessel walls is too high. It is routinely diagnosed when blood pressure readings are consistently registering above normal levels.
Hypertension is a serious problem because it can cause damage to your circulatory system, putting you at greater risk for more complicated conditions. This is especially true if you have high blood pressure for an extended period. Worse yet, it’s known as the “silent killer” because having hypertension isn’t always apparent. (1)
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Left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to several more serious health conditions including:
- Heart attack
- Damage to your circulatory system
- Kidney failure
- Eye damage & loss of sight
- Pregnancy complications
Hypertension is usually diagnosed by your primary care physician. There are several categories of hypertension, including prehypertension (elevated), stage 1 hypertension, and stage 2 hypertension. If you suspect you may have high blood pressure, you must speak to your doctor.
Blood Pressure Categories
The first number represents the systolic pressure (top number), and the second represents the diastolic pressure (bottom number), measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). (2)
- Normal: less than 120 and less than 80 mmHg
- Prehypertension/Elevated:120 – 129 and less than 80 mmHg
- Stage 1 Hypertension: 130 – 139 or 80 – 89 mmHg
- Stage 2 Hypertension: 140 or higher or 90 or higher mmHg
Symptoms of Hypertension
Most people don’t experience obvious symptoms; they may not even know they have high blood pressure. For this reason, your general health practitioner will likely routinely monitor your blood pressure as you age.
However, if you have severe high blood pressure, you may experience the following:
- Severe headaches
- Vision problems
- Confusion or fatigue
- Chest pain or irregular heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing
- Blood in urine
Should you experience any of these symptoms, see a healthcare professional immediately. If your doctor suspects you have hypertension after an in-office reading, they may ask you to monitor your blood pressure at home, regularly. (3)
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
Hypertension isn’t caused by any one thing that has been identified; it is a combination of hereditary genetics, diet, and lifestyle factors, and it tends to progressively develop as we age. This is called primary hypertension.
Secondary hypertension is when high blood pressure is developed as a result of another disease or condition. For example:
- Sleep apnea
- Kidney disease
- Thyroid issues
- Heart defects
- Certain medications (4)
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Lower Blood Pressure?
Apple cider vinegar for blood pressure may be something you’ve heard about before. This natural and fermented product has been touted for its cure-all abilities. The truth is, the research on ACV and hypertension is still new and emerging. Although human participants have yet to be studied, there have been some promising results in animal trials.
In one study, apple cider vinegar has been shown to decrease systolic blood pressure when taken with a meal through lowering renin activity. It is important to note that this study was done on animals—specifically rats. (5)
Promotes Weight Loss
Apple cider vinegar has been proven to burn fat and help weight loss. Since obesity and hypertension often go hand in hand, ACV may deliver all the health benefits you need to get your blood pressure and body weight under control. (6)
A study in 2012 with 19 participants consuming ACV for 8-weeks demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in cholesterol. Much like the relationship between obesity and HBP, high cholesterol often amplifies the damage to your heart caused by hypertension. In other words, they work together, but not in a good way. When you drink apple cider vinegar, you may be able to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, simultaneously. (7)
ACV Blood Pressure Drink Recipe
Luckily for us, ACV has surged in popularity, making it that much easier to get your hands on. It is commonly available in grocery stores, health food stores, and even some drug stores.
Recently, there have been new products on the market that make taking apple cider vinegar easier than ever. There are teas, capsules, gummies, and fermented products, all containing ACV. No matter how you take your daily dose of apple cider vinegar, it is important to take it with plenty of water to avoid acid reflux or other gastrointestinal discomforts.
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (raw organic ACV)
- 1 teaspoon of honey (raw honey)
- Optional: add a twist with additional antioxidants such as ginger, or turmeric curcumin.
Potential Side Effects
Apple cider vinegar is a natural product and food ingredient. Therefore, the risk of side effects is low, especially when compared to many of the pharmacological treatments. When drinking ACV, you may experience erosion of tooth enamel, digestive discomfort, or a burning or sore throat following consumption.
It is extremely important to take a diagnosis of hypertension seriously, and follow your doctor’s advice when it comes to treatment or lifestyle interventions. The potential side effects of not taking your prescribed medication could be very dangerous.
Other Natural Remedies for Hypertension
If you are looking for ways to control your high blood pressure without medication or wanting to prevent hypertension in the future, consider incorporating one or more of the following natural remedies for high blood pressure:
- Lose weight if needed and keep it off.
- Get at least 30 mins of physical activity, daily.
- Try to follow a heart-healthy diet by increasing your fiber, decreasing your salt intake, and limiting alcohol.
- Quit smoking.
- Reduce your caffeine intake.
- Try to reduce stress and anxiety where you can.
Final Thoughts on ACV for High Blood Pressure
While apple cider vinegar won’t lower blood pressure immediately, it may act as a supplementary boost to your already prescribed medication or lifestyle changes. There are many easy and accessible ways to incorporate ACV into your diet, including adding it to a nightly drink or simply taking a daily supplement like apple cider vinegar gummies.
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Whatever you’re treatment plan is, remember to monitor your blood pressure often, and speak to your healthcare provider if you have concerns.
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