As the world is becoming more digital and synthetic, people are putting more focus on bringing their bodies back to nature.
We buy organic vegetables, stay away from processed foods and look for natural methods of treating illness.
And if you are looking for natural ways to improve your health, you have probably already heard a lot about apple cider vinegar.
There are claims that ACV is helpful in treating anything from high blood pressure to cancer. When I began to have problems with my own blood pressure, I remembered my neighbor raving about ACV and all it done to improve his health.
However, my stomach is not exactly strong, and I did not believe I could keep it down. So I began to wonder if I could take apple cider vinegar pills as supplements or tablets.
It turns out that there are many forms of ACV supplements, pills and capsules available. This post should help you decide if you should try apple cider vinegar and in which form.
Liquid vs. Pills
For the most part, both liquid and pill forms of ACV will probably have similar effects. However, taking it in capsules or tablets does offer some advantages.
Obviously, apple cider vinegar smells horrible. Believe me, it tastes even worse. Even significantly diluted, liquid ACV is no cool, refreshing beverage. Unless you have no taste buds and a stomach of steel, you will need to drink an entire glass of water or other liquid with two tablespoons of ACV. Apple cider vinegar tablets or capsules can pack a similar amount into one dose.
The acid in liquid ACV can also do significant damage to your esophagus and teeth. However, there is actually one reported instance of a woman having severe esophageal damage from an ASV capsule becoming caught in her throat, so make sure you drink plenty of water.
Another advantage to pill-form ACV is the quality of the product. Often times, regular supermarket liquid ACV is filtered to the point of having little use as a health supplement.
ACV pills are designed specifically to be used in this way, so they will retain all the helpful ingredients. If you do decide to use the liquid version, look for the browner, murkier stuff as opposed to the clear.
You can also find ACV combined with other supplements, tailored for specific uses. Many of the supplements in the table below have other ingredients, usually targeted to weight loss because that's a popular use of ACV. However, it's easy enough to find one that contains only ACV.
How to Choose an ACV Pill
When shopping for apple cider vinegar in pill form, what I noticed was that most products are very similar aside from their pricing and packaging.
Several are formulated with the same 8 other ingredients in the same quantities, which usually means they all come from the same factory and get different labels applied to the bottles.
I was unable to find a single product derived from organic ACV, which was surprising because it's easy to find organic ACV in liquid form.
One common question I see from readers is "does it have the 'mother'?" The "mother" in ACV is a living organism so it can't possibly survive the dehydration process but that doesn't mean many benefits of the substance don't still survive. If you want to ensure you get all the benefits of the "mother" you need to use liquid ACV, and high quality ACV at that.
Another question is about the proper dosage. ACV is considered a food so there's no official recommended dosage.
Recommended doses range from a low of 250 mg to a max of 3,750 mg, a pretty absurd range. What you're always looking for is the minimum effective dose, so I'd start at the bottom of that range and work up.
Lastly, while shopping I noticed that the unit of comparison is usually the "count" or number of pills you get for a certain price. Some pills contain 250 mg and others contain 625 mg though, so that's not a level comparison at all.
So in the table below I created a "cost per gram" metric (was milligram but gram is easier to look at). What you'll see is that the difference between the lowest and highest cost pills is over 10X!!
It's inconceivable to me that there's a quality difference that justifies that price difference. Some of the better known brands like Swanson and NOW Foods are on the lower end so I think those are the sweet spot.
Apple Cider Vinegar Supplement Comparison Table
Cost per Gram
|Amazing Formulas||$0.17||NA||3rd party tested|
|GNC Superfoods||$0.18||2||Priced double for 2 bottle pack, also contains ginger, cayenne pepper and gardenia cambogia|
|Phytoral||$0.50||1-3||Contains 8 other active ingredients|
|Huntington Labs||$0.65||1-3||Contains 8 other active ingredients|
|Puritan’s Pride||$0.17||NA||480 mg is the serving size, not the tablet size|
|Source Naturals||$0.10||2||Sold as a 2 pack 2x the price, also contains calcium|
|Tevare||$0.51||1-3||Contains 8 other active ingredients|
|Nature’s Potent||$0.57||1-3||Contains 8 other active ingredients|
|Bio Sense||$0.62||1-3||Contains 8 other active ingredients|
|Nova Nutritions||$0.17||3-6||Also contains honey powder|
|Best Naturals||$0.17||3-6||Also contains honey powder|
|Piping Rock Health Products||$0.07||4-6|
|Natural Factors||$0.14||3-6||Priced double as a 2-pack|
|Botanic Choice||$0.16||3||Also contains calcium and phosphorous|
|Totally Natural Remedies||$0.76||2||Contains 7 other active ingredients|
|American Health||$0.13||2-6||Difficult to determine accurate info from listing|
|Nutricost||$0.10||3-6||1-2 capsules before each meal|
|Zenergy||$0.60||3||Also contains soy lecithin and B-6|
|Sunergetic||$0.54||1-3||Contains 8 other active ingredients|
Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Unfortunately, as is the case with many all-natural remedies, there have been very few studies done on the benefits of ACV.
Although many of the more outlandish claims about the miracles of ACV are unsubstantiated, there is evidence that it can be a beneficial treatment for many health problems.
- Diabetes: The most scientific information available on the health benefits of ACV is in relation to diabetes. One study done by the American Diabetes Foundation in 2004 showed it can help significantly lower blood sugar for people with type 2 diabetes. Another study published by WebMD in 2007 showed that it can also be helpful for people with pre-diabetic symptoms.
- Weight Loss: This is perhaps the most common use for ACV as a supplement, and much of this is due to its properties as a diuretic. However, any weight loss from ACV will be gradual, so you can’t turn in your gym membership yet. A recent study showed it can help you lose about two and a half pounds in three months. There are also known weight loss benefits of exogenous ketones, which you could stack with the ACV and supports the ketogenic diet.
- High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure often relates to high levels of sodium in the blood. Potassium from ACV can help to help to balance these levels. Health and wellness expert, Dewey Q. McLean has a helpful video with more information on the topic.
- High Cholesterol: ACV can be helpful in combating high cholesterol for many of the same reasons that helps high blood pressure and weight loss. Health Remedies Journal has some additional information about ACV and cholesterol.
- Heart Disease: There is little scientific evidence to back claims that ACV can combat heart disease. However, with its combined effects of reducing blood pressure, cholesterol and helping with weight loss, the risk of heart attacks can be significantly reduced.
- Cancer: As to the claim that ACV can cure cancer, that is obviously absurd. There have been studies that show it can help kill cancer cells in rats, but you probably aren’t a rat.
- Digestive Problems: Much to my surprise, apple cider vinegar is actually helpful for stomach problems. This is obviously where taking it in pill form, or at least heavily diluted, would be helpful. ACV can be used to treat indigestion, heartburn and other tummy issues.
- Everyday Treatments: ACV is also helpful for other less serious, more common problems such as: hiccups, congestion, sore throat, leg cramps and others. It is also said to give people a burst of energy and could be used instead of your second cup of coffee.
Apple Cider Vinegar Fat-Loss Mystery Explained
Jake Carney explains the research on ACV
Worth a Try
The risks of taking ACV, particularly in pill form, are slight in comparison to possible benefits like combating diabetes and high blood pressure.
Even losing weight or calming upset stomachs make it worth trying. However, it is always a good idea to check with your doctor before making any health decisions.
The most common downsides of ACV deal with the acid damage to your mouth and esophagus, and much of this is bypassed when using pill form. As with anything new, it may be best to start out with a small dosage, such as a 250mg tablet or capsule.