Apple Cider Vinegar & CKD: To Drink or Not to Drink?
Have you heard that apple cider vinegar is good for your health?
Like many supplements, there may be some truth to the health claims, however apple cider vinegar is not a magic remedy. If you have chronic kidney disease, there are some considerations you will want to make before you try apple cider vinegar as a health supplement.
What Is Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)?
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been used for a wide variety of health benefits. It is made from fermenting apples or apple cider. The fermentation process adds yeast. Later in the process, a bacteria is added to the liquid and creates vinegar. You can actually make what’s termed “apple scrap” vinegar at home. The process uses your apple peels and cores, adds sugar and water and lets them sit for six or more weeks. Apple scrap vinegar is different from apple cider vinegar but can have some of the same health properties. While apple cider vinegar has been used for preserving foods, it may also provide some health benefits.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe for CKD Patients?
The question about whether apple cider vinegar is safe for people with chronic kidney disease, CKD, is an important one. Often, people with kidney disease need to avoid consuming too much potassium. Apple cider vinegar is high in potassium. One tablespoon of apple cider vinegar has 11 mg of potassium.
How Much ACV Can a Kidney Disease Patient Drink?
If you have a potassium restriction it is important to keep an eye on your intake and that means tracking how much potassium you consume in a day. If you have a 3000mg/day potassium restriction, and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar has 11mg, then you could theoretically consume 272 tablespoons of it or about 136 ounces. The most common recommended dose of apple cider vinegar is 1 to 2 tablespoons a day, however you may want to confirm with your health care professional. Even with limited potassium restrictions, 1 to 2 tablespoons is a fairly low amount of potassium. The key is to make sure you are not consuming more than the doctor’s recommended amount of potassium each day and to make sure you track your apple cider vinegar potassium intake.
Can I Have Apple Cider Vinegar with Stage 3 CKD?
For most people with chronic kidney disease a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar a day is considered safe. However, it is always a good idea to check with your physician. If your kidneys have trouble processing acids or you have other health issues, apple cider vinegar may not be right for you.
Apple Cider Vinegar and CKD: Health Benefits and Concerns
So, what does apple cider vinegar really do? Is it just a myth or does it actually have some health benefits?
Cures Cancer. Apple cider vinegar does not cure cancer. Some small studies have shown that it can reduce the risk of esophageal cancer. However, further research would need to be done to assess these benefits of apple cider.
Regulates Blood Sugar. Perhaps. Several small studies have shown that consuming apple cider vinegar after a meal does lower blood sugar levels 30 to 60 minutes after the meal. If you have prediabetes or a family history of diabetes, consuming apple cider vinegar along with other nutrition and lifestyle changes may help you regulate your blood sugar levels.
Lowers Blood Pressure. Unknown. There have been no real studies to support this. Small studies have been done on rats; however, the results are inconsistent. Lifestyle changes and blood pressure lowering medications are the best tools for bringing down blood pressure to safe levels.
Helps with Weight Loss. Perhaps. Studies have shown that people who are restricting calories and exercising, do lose weight faster when consuming apple cider vinegar on a daily basis.
Can Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Hurt Your Kidneys?
Small amounts, 1 to 2 tablespoons a day, of apple cider vinegar should not cause harm to your kidneys. Keep in mind that it is high in potassium levels and drinking a glass of it not only might make you ill and have adverse effects, but you are also probably getting too much potassium for your kidneys to handle. If you are interested in trying this supplement, start small, one tablespoon, and see how you feel.
How Can I Use Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar can be included in a number of recipes. You can use it to make a salad dressing or simply sprinkle right onto your salad. You can use it to make mayonnaise. Any sauce that uses vinegar as an ingredient can use apple cider vinegar instead.
Should I Drink ACV Straight?
You absolutely can drink apple cider vinegar straight. If you are consuming a tablespoon a day, you can mix it with hot or cold water as well. Diluting it with plenty of water may make it more palatable and easier to drink. Of course, if you just want to drink a tablespoon of vinegar without a glass of water, you absolutely can.