Apple Cider Vinegar for Gout: Miracle or Myth?

March 17, 2024

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Gout is an extremely painful form of arthritis marked by sudden attacks of redness, swelling and tenderness in joints, most often the big toe. It results from build up of uric acid crystals that form painful deposits. Could something as simple as apple cider vinegar ease gout symptoms and lower uric acid?

For centuries, apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been used as a health tonic to treat everything from stomach upset and sore throat to diabetes and high cholesterol. More recently, gout sufferers have turned to this kitchen staple hoping its enzymes, nutrients and acetic acid can alleviate pain and inflammation.

But does taking ACV internally or soaking in an ACV bath really help relieve gout attacks stemming from excess uric acid accumulation? Let’s analyze the evidence behind using natural vinegar remedies.

How Apple Cider Vinegar Could Aid Against Gout

While no studies prove definitively that ACV cures gout or eliminates its root cause of high uric acid, some preliminary research and anecdotal reports indicate it may offer these potential benefits:

  • ACV contains acetic acid that enables easier excretion of uric acid from the body and prevent crystal buildup in joints that causes pain.
  • The potassium in ACV is thought to increase urine flow and flush out uric acid before it turns into painful crystals.
  • Raw, unfiltered ACV provides healthy gut probiotics that improve digestion and metabolism of compounds like purines that increase gout risk.
  • The amino acids in ACV may neutralize inflammation causing gout flares and ease arthritic discomfort.
  • ACV promotes weight loss when taken daily, which lowers uric acid levels that trigger painful gout attacks. Obesity is a key risk factor.

So while apple cider vinegar is not a proven gout treatment, there are several plausible ways it could help lower uric acid levels or reduce inflammation.

Using an ACV Soak for Gout Relief

One of the most popular home remedies for easing gout pain and swelling is taking a hot bath with ACV added to the water. Why might an ACV soak help dampen gout flare ups?

  • The acetic acid in raw, unpasteurized ACV may assist the body in excreting uric acid instead of storing it around joints as crystals. This reduces inflammation and discomfort.
  • A hot 30 minute ACV foot or body bath improves circulation in the limbs and carries away inflammatory compounds causing red, tender joints typical of gout episodes.
  • The anti-inflammatory enzymes in fermented ACV may be absorbed through the skin to calm swelling and arthritis discomfort associated with gout.
  • An ACV bath relaxes tense muscles that often accompany sudden gout flare ups triggered by stress or overindulgence in alcohol or purine foods. This eases pain.

But does science actually back up using an apple cider vinegar bath as a home remedy for gout relief? Only two studies exist exploring ACV and gout specifically:

  • In a 2018 report, rats fed ACV for 7 weeks had lower blood levels of uric acid compared to controls. Researchers concluded the acetic acid may inhibit xanthine oxidase enzymes that spur uric acid production.
  • A 2020 double blind randomized trial had participants with gout take 2 tablespoons of ACV orally daily. After 8 weeks, the ACV group showed a statistically significant drop in serum uric acid levels (7.05 mg/dL) compared to placebo (8.38 mg/dL).

While a vinegar foot soak wasn’t tested, these studies suggest raw ACV may have anti-gout benefits that could translate to external baths.

Taking Apple Cider Vinegar Orally to Prevent Gout Attacks

Along with using it as a relaxing soak, ACV is also taken internally to control gout:

  • Mix 1 to 2 teaspoons raw, organic ACV into 8 ounces of room temperature water sweetened lightly with manuka honey if desired.
  • Drink this concoction twice daily, such as morning and evening, to help alkalinize the body and lower pain-causing uric acid formation.
  • Take an ACV supplement pill with the mother enzymes as an alternative if drinking the vinegar mixture is unpalatable.
  • Pair ACV consumption with tart cherry juice. This fruit is rich in antioxidants shown to minimize gout attacks by lowering systemic inflammation that worsens symptoms.

Be aware that taking apple cider vinegar orally long term may trigger side effects like erosion of tooth enamel or irritation of mouth sores. Use a straw and rinse mouth thoroughly after drinking ACV preparations.

Apple Cider Vinegar Gout Relief Recipes

Along with diluted ACV beverages, you can add this pantry staple to gout home remedies including:

  • ACV and Lemon Juice Detox Drink – Mix 2 T ACV, 3 T lemon juice, 8 oz water, 1 tsp turmeric and raw honey. Turmeric and lemon are anti-inflammatory.
  • ACV Cherry Apple Ginger Shot – Blend 2 oz tart cherry juice, 1 T ACV, 1⁄2 green apple, 1⁄2” ginger root and honey/stevia to taste for quick relief.
  • ACV Celery Seed Tea – Steep 1 T celery seeds ( reduces uric acid) with 1 T ACV in hot water for 5 minutes. Have a few cups daily to prevent gout.
  • ACV Foot Bath – Add 1 cup ACV and 2 cups Epsom salts to hot water. Soak feet 20 minutes to reduce swelling and pain.

Customize gout remedies with ACV to suit your tastes and needs. Adding complementary anti-inflammatory foods makes vinegar even more effective.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Gout Research Conclusions

Medical studies exploring the impact of apple cider vinegar on gout are extremely limited with small sample sizes so far. Existing research suggests:

  • The acetic acid in raw ACV may help the body process and excrete excess uric acid crystals building up in joints.
  • ACV shows potential to reduce inflammation causing sudden, agonizing gout attacks most often in the big toe.
  • Taking ACV daily could help lower body-wide uric acid levels that cause gout, but larger randomized controlled studies are needed to prove this.

So while results are promising, more extensive clinical trials with greater numbers of human subjects are necessary to definitively state whether apple cider vinegar prevents gout flares and eases arthritic pain during attacks.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Gout Precautions

Despite some possible anti-gout benefits, understand ACV isn’t appropriate for everyone with this condition:

  • Acidic ACV can damage tooth enamel or aggravate ulcers so dilute before drinking or use a straw. Rinse mouth after consumption.
  • Take only raw, unfiltered organic vinegar which retains the beneficial Mother enzyme colony and active components.
  • Start with small doses like 1 tsp and work upwards to avoid upset stomach issues when swallowing ACV.
  • Don’t use ACV as a home remedy for young children or infants. Consult pediatrician before giving it to kids.
  • ACV may interact with diuretics, insulin, laxatives and certain medications so check with your doctor before using it medicinally, especially if under a doctor’s care.

For most people though, incorporating natural, unprocessed apple cider vinegar is likely safe whether soaking feet or taking a couple daily teaspoons diluted in water at the first sign of gout toe pain or swelling.

Apple Cider Vinegar Gout Treatment Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to some common consumer questions regarding using ACV as a home remedy for gout relief:

Is apple cider vinegar good for gout and high uric acid levels?

Yes, raw organic apple cider vinegar with the mother probiotics may help block uric acid formation and assist the kidneys in flushing it out of the body more efficiently to prevent painful gout attacks. ACV is very alkaline so it neutralizes acidity.

Can taking apple cider vinegar tablets help cure gout?

Unfiltered ACV pills may potentially ease gout symptoms by reducing inflammation, assisting weight loss, blocking uric acid production and increasing excretion but more studies are needed. Tablets provide acetic acid without the vinegar taste but lack live cultures.

What does research say about using ACV as a home remedy for gout?

Limited research to date indicates the acetic acid, enzymes and nutrients in apple cider vinegar may lower overall uric acid, dampen inflammation and prevent painful gout episodes. But larger scale human studies are still needed to prove efficacy and optimal dosage for gout relief.

Is mixing apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and honey good for gout?

Yes! This tangy, soothing drink contains natural anti-inflammatories and antioxidants from raw ACV, fresh lemons and raw honey to quickly treat sudden gout pain and swelling. Customize proportions to taste and enjoy several times a day for fast relief without drugs.

Could foot baths with ACV replace gout medication?

While hot water mixed with raw organic ACV may temporarily ease gout pain and swelling in the feet and toes, an apple cider vinegar foot soak isn’t proven to reduce uric acid levels long term on its own without medication. Use it along with doctor-approved uric acid treatments.


With its vitamins, enzymes, potassium and gut healthy probiotics that improve uric acid excretion and metabolism, unfiltered apple cider vinegar shows promise as a helpful supplemental remedy for relieving sudden gout pain, inflammation and possible prevention without negative pharmaceutical side effects when used carefully under proper supervision. Just keep expectations realistic about gout relief with ACV.

Key Takeaways

  • Raw, unpasteurized organic apple cider vinegar taken diluted orally may help lower gout-causing uric acid.
  • Adding ACV to hot water for a soothing 20 minute foot bath could ease gout pain and swelling fast.
  • Drink apple cider vinegar combined with anti-inflammatory lemon, turmeric or tart cherry juice for natural gout relief.
  • More extensive human research is still needed to conclusively confirm if ACV prevents and treats gout effectively long term or not when used therapeutically. Be patient!
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