Apple cider vinegar is special vinegar that has been used over centuries to lose weight, improve hair and skin, manage blood sugar, and even improve the appearance of acne and scarring. It has no nutritional value and can be used as a spice or food preservative, or as an ingredient in salad dressings.
Apple cider vinegar is made by adding yeast and bacteria to the juice of crushed apples, known as the alcoholic fermentation process. In a second fermentation process, the alcohol is converted into vinegar by acetic acid-forming bacteria (acetobacter). Acetic acid and malic acid give vinegar its sour taste.
Best Apple Cider Vinegar
1VitaBalance Apple Cider Vinegar Pure
VitaBalance Apple Cider Vinegar supplement is the best all-around option for those looking for an apple cider vinegar source.
Apple Cider Vinegar Pure is made with natural fermented apple extracts that have been broadly studied. It’s been shown in different cases to be effective in supporting weight management and healthy energy levels, supporting the natural digestive cleansing process and helping to support a healthy metabolism.
Made in an FDA registered facility, VitaBalance is one of the most trustworthy and reliable options for apple cider vinegar consumption.
2Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
As one of the most iconic apple cider vinegar companies around, Bragg has been creating supplements and healthcare solutions since 1912. During this time, they have built a company with a reputation for superior quality products, and their apple cider vinegar is probably one of the most well-known of any product.
Bragg has also been very proud of its inclusion of the mother in their apple cider vinegar formula. This rich source of live bacterial cultures has been highly sought after and is believed to be one of the most essential components of apple cider vinegar.
Another great feature found with Bragg is the multiple size options they offer. From a small bottle that can fit in a standard pantry to 1-gallon jugs, Bragg ensures that there is a solution for everyone regardless of their experience with apple cider vinegar.
3Zeal Naturals Apple Cider Vinegar
While Zeal Naturals is one of the younger companies in the supplement industry, its reputation is still very solid. Their apple cider vinegar supplement provides a multitude of benefits that make them unique and distinguish them from the fairly crowded field.
One of its most interesting elements is its commitment to minimal ingredient usage. With only 4 ingredients: 500mg of apple cider vinegar powder, cayenne pepper, gelatin, and magnesium stearate, this is the ideal option for those who want a more purified form of apple cider vinegar.
4Viva Naturals Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Another trusted supplement provider, Viva Naturals, has an apple cider option available that is not only raw but also organic. This is truly a winning combination for those who want to take advantage of the health benefits offered through apple cider vinegar consumption.
Sold in a 32 oz bottle, their unfiltered apple cider vinegar includes the mother, promising all of the probiotic benefits available from the use of this product. USDA and Non-GMO certification make this an optimum option.
5NutriVein Apple Cider Vinegar
With 750mg of apple cider vinegar in each capsule, NutriVein Apple Cider Vinegar Capsules provide a high-dosage for greater results. Unlike other apple cider vinegar choices, these capsules stand apart due to their vegan-friendly formula. As there are not many vegan and vegetarian-friendly solutions, this would be a great choice for those looking for this option.
One of the benefits of the higher dosage associated with this option is the speed of its potency. Many users report seeing a difference fairly quickly. For those looking to use apple cider vinegar and gauge its effectiveness for their goals, this could be a great factor to consider.
While it does not have a well-known name, NutriVein has positioned itself to be a game-changing force in the supplement industry with this choice.
6Best Naturals Apple Cider Vinegar
Best Naturals proves to check multiple boxes when looking for a great supplement option.The Apple Cider Plus formula includes 500mg of apple cider vinegar with 100mg of honey powder. This means that users will receive not only the health benefits found in traditional apple cider vinegar but also those found in honey.
Though this is a good overall option, those looking for something more minimal and pure in terms of ingredients may want to explore other options.
7Iguazu Apple Cider Vinegar
Iguazu Apple Cider Vinegar not only includes the mother but also includes an all organic and all-natural supplement option.
As one of the more pure forms of apple cider vinegar, Iguazu’s formula includes no additives, preservatives, gelatin, fillers, or binders. This also makes it a vegetarian-friendly choice for those who want to partake in apple cider vinegar while adhering to their specific preferences.
For those who prefer not to take multiple pills every day, this supplement from Iguazu provides a once a day option that will still provide a 750mg dose of apple cider vinegar. With a choice of a 60-day supply or a 120-day supply, this is a great option for those who want a lot of convenience for an affordable price.
8Swanson Apple Cider Vinegar
Provided in multiple quantities and multiple strengths, Swanson’s is a great choice for those who may be unsure of what they need to meet their goals successfully. As the exact dosage and amount needed can be hard to determine when first starting supplement use, it is great when a supplement can provide multiple choices for consumers.
Though Swanson initially has a 625mg dosage option, they also provide an extra strength choice for those who may like the brand but may find they need a little more nutritional support. Additionally, consumers can purchase bottles in sets ranging from 2 – 4, allowing for bulk purchases when needed.
Considering how minimal the ingredient list is for Swanson’s, its placement on this list should be understandable. This makes a great choice among the many available.
9Havasu Nutrition Apple Cider Vinegar
Though not as flashy as some options, Havasu Nutrition has a fairly solid brand name behind it. Each serving of this apple cider vinegar option comes in capsule form for increased convenience and offers a 300mg dose of apple cider vinegar per capsule. Those who prefer not to taste their apple cider vinegar will find this option to be very appealing.
Additionally, Havasu Nutrition operates in a GMP approved facility meaning their manufacturing practices are sound. With its commitment to no preservatives, additives, or GMO ingredients, Havasu Nutrition delivers on a product that can be trusted and relied upon.
10BeLive Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Though it comes from one of the lesser-known brands, BeLive Apple Cider Vinegar is both raw and unfiltered. With its inclusion of not only the mother but also ginger, this supplement makes for a good dual-purpose option.
Additionally, it has a very organic formula devoid of nuts, soy, milk, egg, or gluten. This also makes it a good choice for those who are vegetarian or vegan, as well as those looking for something a bit more minimal on the ingredient list.
How We Ranked
Since apple cider vinegar comes in multiple forms, we had a few different criteria for each type of apple cider vinegar supplement. In regards to pills or capsules, the first thing we looked at was the dosage. Higher doses usually result in quicker results, and those supplements were favored heavily. That’s why you’ll see NutriVein so high up on our list, providing over 1500mg per serving.
The next thing we looked at when analyzing the capsules were additional ingredients. Companies that had a ton of fillers and additives either didn’t make a list, or in the case of BeLive, were put near the end. We wanted to keep the products as pure as possible for this ranking. On the other hand, we rewarded companies like Zeal Naturals that added some supporting ingredients such as cayenne.
On the liquid side, the most important thing for our ranking was finding products that included what’s known as the mother. The mother is the cloudy liquid that settles at the bottom of a higher-end apple cider vinegar product. It’s believed that the mother contains many of the beneficial probiotic bacteria and antioxidants which make apple cider vinegar so healthy.
You might notice a lack of liquid apple cider vinegar products on our rankings. That’s because many companies filter out the mother; as such, we didn’t include them on the list. The ones that didn’t filter out the mother, like Bragg, were highly rewarded.
After all that, we came up with the top 10 apple cider vinegar products.
1Apple cider vinegar improves insulin sensitivity. One study published in the American Diabetes Association showed a 19–34% improvement in insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant individuals during a high-carb meal after apple cider vinegar supplementation of 20 milliliters (mL) diluted in 40 mL water. The same study also showed apple cider vinegar significantly lowers blood sugar and insulin responses (1).
2Apple cider vinegar improves blood sugar and can help combat diabetes. A 1995 study showed apple cider vinegar reduces blood sugar by 34% after eating 50 grams of white bread (equivalent to about 3.5 slices of low fiber bread) (2).
Another study from the American Diabetic Association demonstrated that 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bedtime could reduce fasting blood sugar in the morning by 4% (3).
Other recent human studies (2016 & 2017) also conclude that apple cider vinegar can improve insulin levels and lower blood sugar levels after meals confirming it as an important tool for diabetes prevention and management (4, 5).
3Apple cider vinegar increases the feeling of fullness. A couple of human studies showed that apple cider vinegar supplementation led to eating up to 275 fewer calories per day (6, 7). In addition, those who consumed the most vinegar (max of 2 tablespoons) reported the greatest fullness and had the lowest glucose and insulin responses compared to the other subjects.
4Apple cider vinegar helps burn belly fat. A 2009 study involving 155 people with obesity showed that daily vinegar consumption led to reduced belly fat and weight loss in those who consumed either 1 or 2 tablespoons vinegar daily for 12 weeks (8). The results showed the more vinegar intake, the more weight loss, fat loss, and the lower blood pressure and triglycerides. Results became more pronounced as time went on.
5Apple cider vinegar can protect against cancer. Two 2004 studies concluded that vinegar has anti-cancer properties; including the ability to shrink tumor cells and kill leukemia cancer cells (9, 10).
However, these studies should be taken with a grain of salt since none were conducted with live humans.
Another human study done in 2003 showed mixed results in regards to cancer protection. The study showed that vinegar consumption is linked to increased bladder cancer in Serbia, but decreased esophageal cancer in China (11).
Vinegar, especially apple cider vinegar, may reduce or prevent cancer, but more studies in humans need to be conducted before any definitive conclusion is reached.
6Apple cider vinegar lowers cholesterol. The world’s most common cause of premature death is heart disease (12).
7Apple cider vinegar protects against acne formation. A 2014 study published in applied microbiology and biotechnology concluded that certain compounds in vinegar have been shown to inhibit the growth of Propionibacterium acnes, the specific strain of bacteria responsible for causing acne (16).
8Vinegar reduces blood pressure. A 2001 animal study out of Japan showed that rats who consumed acetic acid, the main component in vinegar, resulted in reduced levels of blood pressure (18).
Another 2005 study in rats published in the Biological and Pharmacological Bulletin found that red wine vinegar blocks an enzyme that raises blood pressure (19). More studies are needed to confirm this in humans.
10Apple cider vinegar may relieve cold symptoms. Apple cider vinegar contains beneficial bacteria that helps to boost the immune system in times when you’re feeling under the weather.
11Apple cider vinegar may help reduce acid reflux and heartburn. Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD or acid reflux, is a condition characterized by acid backflow from the stomach up into the esophagus, causing symptoms like heartburn, belching and nausea.
In some cases, acid reflux is a result of having low levels of stomach acid or hypochlorhydria. Though there are no published studies yet to confirm the use of apple cider vinegar for this purpose, anecdotal evidence suggests it may be of value to experiment with.
12Apple cider vinegar may soothe a sore throat. Due to its antibacterial properties, apple cider vinegar is thought as an excellent aid for killing bacteria in the throat. However, there is no evidence to support its use in this way. If you try this at home, make sure you mix the vinegar with water before gargling.
13Apple cider vinegar is a natural deodorant. Apple cider vinegar possesses powerful antibacterial properties and makes an excellent natural deodorant. One of the simplest apple cider vinegar uses is to dab a bit on your fingers and apply under your arms to help neutralize odor and keep you smelling fresh.
14Apple cider vinegar can cause your hair to shine and get rid of dandruff. Apple cider vinegar hair rinse is said to remove product buildup, detangle and add shine to your hair. It’s unclear how effective this is, but the theory is that the acid in the vinegar could help stop the growth of the fungus Malassezia, which may contribute to dandruff.
15Apple cider vinegar can improve varicose veins. A 2016 study showed that when apple cider vinegar was applied to varicose veins twice a day with feet elevated for 30 minutes thereafter, symptoms improved (22).
16Apple cider vinegar can soothe poison ivy rashes. Dr. Robert Sommer, MD, a dermatologist in Maine recommends applying a diluted vinegar compress to poison ivy and poison oak rashes. If you are trying to eliminate poison ivy growing in your yard, a spray solution of salt, vinegar, and dish soap to kill the plants.
17Apple cider vinegar could help boost the immune system. Apple cider vinegar has a natural ability to assist in increasing the efficiency of the immune system. During the creation of apple cider vinegar, the mother is added for completion of the fermentation process.
The mother is held within a substance known as “must,” the pieces of apple seen during fermentation. The mother is comprised of bacteria that work as probiotics. According to several studies, probiotics have an immune-boosting effect (23).
This connection could explain why drinking apple cider vinegar assists in the treatment of colds and other immune-related ailments.
Apple cider vinegar is also deeply rich in nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, antioxidants, and vitamin E, all of which have been closely related to the immune system. Apples, in general, have also been shown to be linked to better lung functioning. As apple cider vinegar is derived from apples and contains many of the same nutrients, the benefits seemingly cross-over (24).
1Apple cider vinegar can cause IBS like systems. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity showed that the delayed stomach emptying and enhanced satiety benefits of apple cider vinegar may also cause nausea (25).
2Apple cider vinegar can lower potassium levels and cause bone loss. A 1998 study showed the effects of apple cider vinegar on bone loss and potassium levels (26).
The study followed a 28-year-old woman over six years. She consumed 8.5 oz (250 ml or a little over 1 cup) of apple cider vinegar diluted in water on a daily basis. Eventually, she was admitted to the hospital with low potassium levels and other abnormalities in blood chemistry.
3Apple cider vinegar can erode tooth enamel. One of the leading causes of tooth enamel damage is acidic drinks and food (27).
One 2012 study found that a 15-year-old who consumed one cup of apple cider vinegar per day as a weight loss aid had severe dental decay (28).
4Apple cider vinegar can burn the throat and skin. Due to its acidity level, apple cider vinegar has the potential to cause esophageal (throat) burns.
In one 2012 study, a 6-year-old boy with a leg infection developed multiple skin burns after his mother treated him with undiluted topical apple cider vinegar (29).
The vinegar was applied to the boy’s skin via a cotton ball compress and left on for 8 hours. In another 2015 study, a 14-year-old girl developed erosions on her nose after applying several drops of apple cider vinegar to remove two moles, based on a protocol she’d seen on the internet (30).
5Apple cider vinegar has a few drug interactions to be aware of. A few medications interact with apple cider vinegar as well as other kinds of vinegar including insulin or insulin-stimulating medications, potassium-lowering medications including Digoxin (Lanoxin) and certain diuretic drugs.
6Apple cider vinegar could cause delayed stomach emptying. While apple cider vinegar has many benefits and has been known to assist in the relief of acid reflux, there could be adverse effects if too much apple cider vinegar is consumed. One of the primary benefits touted by those who use apple cider vinegar is its reduction in blood sugar levels. This is done, however, by reducing the rate at which food enters the digestive tract. This inevitably slows down digestive absorption (31).
Those who have type 1 diabetes may experience worsening symptoms if they have been previously diagnosed with gastroparesis. Gastroparesis is a condition in which nerves located within the stomach don’t function properly. This malfunction causes food to stay in the stomach longer than normal and could lead to an increase in heartburn, bloating, and nausea.
According to one study, type 1 diabetics consuming apple cider vinegar experienced a significant increase in the amount of time food stayed in the stomach compared to those who consumed plain drinking water. With this being the case, those suffering from diabetes should be cautious of starting a regimen dependent upon apple cider vinegar (32).
Typical dosages range from 1–2 teaspoons (5–10 ml) to 1–2 tablespoons (15–30 ml) per day, mixed in 8 ounces of water.
Start with a smaller amount and gradually work up to a maximum of 2 tablespoons (30 ml) per day, depending on your personal tolerance. To prevent tooth enamel damage, rinse with water after.
Is it safe to drink apple cider vinegar? Technically yes, but it’s very acidic and could cause burns. As such, the best way to consume it is to dilute it in water and drink it that way. Taking it on an empty stomach is the best way to consume it. Another option is to dilute the vinegar with oil in the form of a dressing on a green salad prior to a meal.
How do you take apple cider vinegar to lose weight? According to the mentioned studies, adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of diluted apple cider vinegar to your diet may help you lose weight. It can also reduce your body fat percentage, make you lose belly fat and decrease your blood triglycerides.
Can I drink apple cider vinegar at night? Take two teaspoons up to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted in water combined with a small piece of cheese before bed each night if high blood-sugar levels are a problem for you. You may find your morning fasting blood sugars are improved.
Can apple cider vinegar affect your kidneys? Severe acidity can lead to a number of health problems, like acidosis — which affects the kidneys and lungs — and kidney stones. Moderate intake of vinegar has not been associated with worsening kidney health or an increase in the risk of kidney stones.
Does apple cider vinegar detox the body? Supporters of the apple cider vinegar detox say it helps with weight loss, removal of toxins from the body, and blood sugar regulation. There is not much research to suggest that the intake of vinegar specifically improves the body’s detoxification processes.
Does apple cider vinegar lighten dark spots? Yes, the inexpensive pantry staple has been proven to lighten dark spots. Soak a cotton ball in the (diluted) vinegar, and apply it to dark spots a few times a week for 2 minutes maximum before rinsing with water. Sensitive skin may require moisturizing before application and using topical vinegar for a shorter duration.
Does apple cider vinegar benefit your hair? The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar will remove residue from product buildup and help you get shiny, lustrous locks.
Does apple cider vinegar make you poop? Apple cider vinegar, just like apples, is high in pectin, a soluble fiber, which can help you poop.
Should I take apple cider vinegar before or after a meal? You may think that drinking apple cider vinegar after food might aid weight loss. Drinking apple cider vinegar on an empty stomach maximizes health benefits and boosts ability to process food. If you want to drink it after food, wait for at least 20 minutes.
Can apple cider vinegar have negative effects on the body? Yes, taking too much apple cider vinegar (multiple times, every day) will have negative effects on the body.
Does apple cider vinegar go bad? Vinegar does not expire after a certain time, but its quality will certainly deteriorate (most people are not fond of the changes in taste that are occurring) over time (especially after opening the bottle). Sometimes the apple cider vinegar can become cloudy or hazy, but it’s still safe to use.
Can apple cider vinegar be used for bad breath? Yes, apple cider vinegar is extremely acidic. This high level of acidity helps to eliminate bacteria, especially in the mouth. Its antiseptic qualities also help break down plaque that can form on teeth and assist in the digestive process, which may help bad breath caused by indigestion. It is recommended that you either gargle with apple cider vinegar for 10 seconds or mix 1 tablespoon in an 8 oz glass of water when you encounter bad breath.
What does apple cider vinegar taste like? While the name may imply that apple cider vinegar could taste similar to standard apples found in your local grocery store, it generally tastes much sourer and tends to have a less than pleasant after taste for some. Those with an aversion to the taste may find it best to mix apple cider vinegar into their food or meals.
Can apple cider vinegar help with headaches? Yes, apple cider vinegar could indirectly help with headache relief. Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar will generally contain iron, potassium, and calcium. These particular minerals and the high acidity level found in apple cider vinegar could help with headaches.
How is apple cider vinegar made? Apple cider vinegar is made using a very extensive process. First, apples are crushed to set the base of the liquid. Bacteria and yeast are subsequently added to the apple juice to begin the process of alcoholic fermentation. This converts the naturally occurring sugars to alcohol. In the final step, the alcohol is converted into vinegar by using acetic acid-forming bacteria.
Is apple cider vinegar safe during pregnancy? While there are still quite a few questions regarding the safety of apple cider vinegar during pregnancy, many women have found it to be helpful for many pregnancy symptoms. Currently, there have been no documented reports of harm or complications as a result of drinking apple cider vinegar during pregnancy.
Is apple cider vinegar safe while breastfeeding? While apple cider vinegar is generally safe, nursing mothers must be very careful when drinking apple cider vinegar. Raw apple cider vinegar contains bacteria that may be passed into your breastmilk, causing risk to the baby. Pasteurized vinegar, however, is perfectly safe to consume while breastfeeding.
Who should take apple cider vinegar? Apple cider vinegar can provide many benefits to multiple people. Those with chronic health concerns would be best suited to take apple cider vinegar on a regular basis.
Can I use apple cider vinegar for sinus problems? Though the research on this specific topic is still in its very early stages, there are some reports that indicate apple cider vinegar may be able to help with sinus issues.
Is apple cider vinegar the best type of vinegar? The answer to this question will vary based on your specific needs and goals. Those looking for a nutritional supplement will find a better solution in apple cider vinegar, while those looking for assistance with blood sugar levels or digestive support will be better suited to explore white vinegar. It is always recommended that you do research based on your goals before using apple cider vinegar regularly.
What is “the mother”? The “mother” in apple cider vinegar refers to the bacteria added to the yeast infused apple juice in the first step of the apple cider vinegar process. This bacteria initiates the conversion of alcohol into acetic acid. It is known as the mother due to its role in the vinegar making process.
Can apple cider vinegar help with psoriasis? Yes, while there is no current cure for psoriasis, apple cider vinegar has a history of success in treatment for many skin conditions, including poison ivy. It is recommended that consumers consult with a physician prior to beginning the long-term use of apple cider vinegar for this purpose.
Can apple cider vinegar be taken topically? Yes, though there is not a current cream option for apple cider vinegar, many people have used it as a topical solution. This has mostly been seen in the treatment of chronic illnesses such as poison ivy and eczema and should not be considered a long-term or permanent solution.
There are many claims on the internet touting apple cider vinegar as a miracle compound. Unfortunately, it’s not so black and white. Many of these claims are primarily based on anecdotes and are not supported by science. That being said, natural and alternative treatments often receive less attention and published research, but a lack of research doesn’t necessarily indicate there is no value.
What has been confirmed in multiple studies is that apple cider vinegar can promote weight loss, blood sugar control, and acne healing.
The typical recommended dosage is 1-2 tablespoons diluted in water, consumed one to several times a day maximum.
It’s not a miracle remedy, but a great all-natural alternative to give your health a boost.