Let’s be honest: heartburn is a relatively modest term that does little to describe actual fire in the esophagus. It can be caused by malnutrition or health problems, and if this happens often, it is imperative to consult a doctor and review your diet. However, at the very moment of manifestation of heartburn, I want to find at least some remedy that will help reduce discomfort.
The Internet is replete with information that natural apple cider vinegar is just the right remedy. A graduate student at Arizona State University did a study in which people ate chili and then either took no medication, took an antacid that had apple cider vinegar, or drank apple cider vinegar diluted with water. The test subjects who took either of the two forms of vinegar tended to feel well and experience no symptoms of heartburn. However, the researcher adds that more research is needed to responsibly claim apple cider vinegar’s magical properties for treating heartburn.
However, vinegar is indeed works for some people who experience mild symptoms of heartburn. The acid in the stomach passes through the esophagus (which connects the throat and stomach) and irritates it, causing a burning sensation and a tight feeling in the chest. Apple cider vinegar is a mild acid that can theoretically lower stomach pH.
“Then the stomach doesn’t have to create its own acid,” says gastroenterologist and director of the Digestive Disease Project, Ashkan Farhadi. “In a sense, by taking a mild acid, you reduce the acidity of the stomach.”
The main thing to understand is: it doesn’t work for everyoneand sometimes using apple cider vinegar can make heartburn worse, especially if you have reflux or irritable bowel syndrome.
“Apple cider vinegar may be helpful for mild cases, but it definitely doesn’t help with moderate or severe reflux,” Farhadi concludes.
If you have a serious problem with heartburn on an ongoing basis, it is best to see a doctor. But if you have mild heartburn after eating wasabi, chili, ginger, and other spicy foods, you can try diluted a teaspoon of vinegar in half a glass of water and watch your condition. Farhadi recommends taking this drink on an empty stomach as it lowers the pH better.
An important point is the choice of apple cider vinegar. There are a lot of synthetic vinegar on the shelves in supermarkets, which, in fact, does not contain apples at all. You need to look for natural vinegar, which costs at least 2 times more than synthetic. It is sold in glass bottles (no plastic!) and contains either only apple cider vinegar or apples and water. And pay attention to the bottom of the bottle: in natural apple cider vinegar, you can notice the sediment, which, by definition, cannot be in synthetic.
You should also pay attention to the strength of the vinegar. Natural apple cider vinegar can have a strength of no more than 6%, while the synthetic indicator reaches 9%, and this is the same table vinegar. And there should not be any inscriptions like “Acetic acid” or “Apple flavored” on the label. Apple cider vinegar, period.
Natural apple cider vinegar is good. Synthetic is bad.
If apple cider vinegar helps, great! If you feel like your heartburn is only getting worse, it’s time to see your doctor and reevaluate your diet.