Pain symptoms associated with arthritis make patients look for solutions and home remedies to control their flare-ups. Sometimes, arthritis can be really painful, and it is a debilitating and crippling ailment that progresses as time passes by. While some remedies improve the symptoms associated with arthritis, others may also control and slow down its progression. However, there are many myths surrounding this disease and its multiple home remedies.
You have probably heard about apple cider to improve arthritis symptoms, and there are both good and bad comments about it. It is often included in the list of arthritis myths, but many people report an improvement in their symptom after using this type of product. So, what is the truth about it? Can we trust apple cider as a remedy? Is it effective in controlling arthritis pain?
Down to the facts: Apple Cider Vinegar Medical Study
After researching on academic sources, the truth is that we can’t find major clinical trials on apple cider as a remedy for arthritis. Since there are no current trials, many web pages and organizations disregard apple cider as an alternative and merely state that it is another myth. However, the same could have been said about green tea, used as a millenary remedy against various diseases, until science uncovered the medical importance of various polyphenols in this beverage, including one called Epigallocatechin gallate. For more information and a detailed ncbi study.
Reasons why apple cider Vinegar may improve your arthritis symptoms
In this article, we will try to make an unbiased stand presenting the health benefits associated with apple cider and the reasons why it is a potential remedy for arthritis. Instead of seeing apple cider as a cure-it-all remedy, we will go through its molecular constituents with a scientific perspective and reach to a conclusion about whether or not apple cider should be considered an arthritis myth.
Even though there are no clinical trials, there are many reasons why apple cider vinegar is likely to improve your arthritis symptoms. If you are among those who used apple cider vinegar and had an improvement in your symptoms, these are the top 6 causes:
- Fixes mineral deficiencies: Apple cider contains many different minerals, including calcium, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium. Altogether, they would improve your symptoms if you lack one of them. Thus, apple cider may also act as a mineral supplement.
- Contains magnesium to strengthen your bones: Another important mineral apple cider has is magnesium, which is associated with bone structure and bone health. Magnesium plays an important part in maintaining healthy joints, and it would relief arthritis symptoms in patients with a deficiency.
- It has an antioxidant potential: There are studies about the antioxidant potential in apples and apple cider. It has acetic acid and beta-carotene, which are known to scavenge free radicals and neutralize their adverse effects on the joints, the blood vessels, and many other tissues. If you’re under intense oxidative stress, the antioxidant potential in apple cider vinegar is likely to help.
- Promotes digestion: Apple cider vinegar is known to have acids and enzymes to make the digestion process better. It is also known to modulate enzymes in the gut and others in the liver. The gut is deeply involved in immunomodulation, and it is linked to the nervous system as well, which is why an improvement in digestion is likely to improve pain symptoms and inflammation as well.
- Flushes out toxins: Apple cider contains substances such as acetic acid, malic acid, and pectin, which have the potential to bind toxins and flush them out of the system. While this effect depends on what we eat, it may be the reason why apple cider vinegar improves arthritis symptoms in many patients.
- It fights off inflammation: There is moderate scientific evidence about the anti-inflammatory effects of apple cider vinegar and its potential to reduce pain associated with inflammation, which is the basis of arthritis pain. In this regard, apple cider is likely to reduce inflammatory damage in joints, contributing to slow down the progression of the disease.
Are the Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar Just a myth?
Sometimes, when testing theory in practice, the results do not meet what we initially expected. Many in vitro findings would suggest a substance is capable of doing something, but in real life, it does not work. That’s why clinical trials are essential to establish a new therapeutic regimen. They also identify possible risks associated with a novel therapy and compare the effectiveness of a given treatment with other known drugs.
We do have a valid reason to use apple cider vinegar, and we have what it is often called anecdotic evidence. There are plenty of testimonials about the effectiveness of apple cider as adjuvant therapy, and the main reasons why it works are listed above. Thus, we can’t say that using apple cider vinegar to improve pain in arthritis is a myth. It highly depends on each individual.
While there are no clinical trials to prove the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar in arthritis, we also lack trials to systematically refute its use as adjuvant therapy. In the meantime, our medical approach on apple cider should be similar to drinking green tea before it was actually proven as a home remedy.
How can you use it to alleviate you Arthritis?
Using apple cider vinegar depends on each case, but it is always recommended you choose the unfiltered (raw) variant, which does not look transparent but a bit cloudy. Some people would simply have one tablespoon of apple cider in the morning and another in the afternoon. While this is fine, you can also dilute in water, which is likely to be safer if you suffer from acid reflux and gastric problems. Another option to improve its taste is to mix it with a bit of honey, which also has anti-inflammatory effects.
If you have stomach cramps or abdominal discomfort after starting to use apple cider vinegar, it is best to discontinue its use and talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Every organism reacts differently, and you might be sensitive to the acidity of apple cider vinegar or any other constituent.
As a final summary, in the next table, we will review the top reasons why apple cider vinegar is likely to be effective in relieving arthritis pain:
|Top reasons why apple cider relieves arthritis pain|
|Fixes mineral deficiencies||Contains calcium, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium|
|Strengthens your joints||Magnesium contributes to your bone and joint health|
|Antioxidant potential||Acetic acid and beta-carotenes scavenges free radicals|
|Digestion Aid||Contains acids and enzymes to improve digestion|
|Flush out toxins||Acetic acid, malic acid and pectin binds toxins to flush them out|
|Fights off inflammation||Reduces inflammatory damage in joints|
Heikefelt, C. (2011). Chemical and sensory analyses of juice, cider and vinegar produced from different apple cultivars.
Bragg, P. C., Patricia Bragg, N. D., & Bragg, P. C. (2003). Apple Cider Vinegar Miracle Health System. Health Science Publications, Inc..
Halima, B. H., Sarra, K., Houda, B. J., Sonia, G., & Abdallah, A. (2016). Antihyperglycemic, antihyperlipidemic and modulatory effects of apple cider vinegar on digestive enzymes in experimental diabetic rats. Int. J. Pharmacol, 12, 505-513.
Moallem, S. A., & Barahoyee, A. (2010). Evaluation of acute and chronic anti-nociceptive and anti-Inflammatory effects of apple cider vinegar. Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, 57-57.
Budak, N. H., Ozçelik, F., & Güzel-Seydim, Z. B. (2015). Antioxidant activity and phenolic content of apple cider. Turkish Journal of Agriculture-Food Science and Technology, 3(6), 356-360.