Apple Cider Vinegar & Congestive Heart Failure

By Natalie Stein , last updated March 19, 2012
Apple cider vinegar, made from fermented apples, is a natural source of iron, calcium and copper. It has a reputation for being a natural treatment for a variety of health conditions, and you may be wondering if it may help prevent or treat congestive heart failure. Convincing evidence does not exist for a role of apple cider vinegar in heart failure, and the safest approach is to discuss health concerns with your doctor.

Background

Heart failure, or congestive heart failure, occurs when your blood cannot pump blood well enough to supply your body with enough oxygen. You cannot cure congestive heart failure once you get it, and the goal of treatment is to prevent complications such as liver failure, heart attack and stroke. A healthy diet and lifestyle can reduce your chances of developing congestive heart failure, as well as help you maintain your quality of life once you get heart failure. You can use apple cider vinegar to help you control risk factors such as obesity and high blood pressure, but vinegar may interact with medications.

Weight Control

Obesity increases your risk for congestive heart failure and may lead to complications if you have heart failure, according to MayoClinic.com. Individuals who support apple cider vinegar as a weight loss aid believe that drinking apple cider vinegar can help you lose weight, but science does not support this claim. The only way to lose excess body fat is to reduce your calorie intake so that you are consuming fewer calories than you expend.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, can cause heart failure or complications of heart failure, such as kidney disease. According to Columbia University, some individuals take apple cider vinegar supplements to lower blood pressure, but these supplements are not necessarily effective. However, apple cider vinegar can help you lower high blood pressure if you use it to reduce a high sodium intake. Too much sodium causes high blood pressure, and apple cider vinegar is a low-sodium alternative for flavoring your food instead of using salt or salty seasonings.

Considerations

Most individuals may be able to include apple cider vinegar in a healthy diet to prevent or control congestive heart failure, but too much can lead to a sore throat because of the high acid content, according to MayoClinic.com. In addition, apple cider vinegar may interact with prescription medications, such as insulin, diuretic drugs and blood thinners. Other factors in a healthy lifestyle for your heart include refraining from smoking, exercising with your doctor’s approval, choosing a balanced diet and reducing your stress levels.
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