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Apple Cider Vinegar for Psoriatic Conditions

Managing PsA

May 01, 2023

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Photography by Jayk7/Getty Images

Photography by Jayk7/Getty Images

by Stefanie Remson


Medically Reviewed by:

Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT


by Stefanie Remson


Medically Reviewed by:

Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT


While it’s often touted as a natural wonder, the research is still out on whether ACV helps psoriatic conditions. Read on for the known health benefits, side effects, recipes, and more.

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What is apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar — or simply ACV — has been used for over 5,000 years for preserving food, fighting infection, and treating illnesses. It’s also used in a lot of at-home healthcare remedies that have been passed down for generations.

Vinegar is traditionally made in a two-stage fermentation process:

  1. The first stage involves mixing fermentable carbohydrates (like apples, pears, or malt) with yeast. ACV is then made, specifically using the simple sugars in apples, by converting this mixture to ethyl alcohol (ethanol).
  2. The second stage involves adding acetic bacteria, called acetobacter, to the ethanol. This is then converted into acetic acid after it oxidizes from exposure to oxygen in the air.

The full process takes about a month, although modern manufacturing in advanced factories has made this process shorter and more efficient.

ACV has relatively low acidity compared to other types of vinegar. It contains trace amounts of vitamins B1, B2, and B6, biotin, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid, and vitamin C. It also contains small amounts of the minerals sodium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium. (All of these vitamins and minerals are also found in apples.)

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ACV and psoriatic conditions

If you have an autoimmune disease, like psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis (PsA), you might be on the hunt for convenient, affordable, and natural ways to improve your overall health.

Although ACV consumption is not directly tied to PsA, optimizing your overall health is always beneficial when you have a chronic autoimmune disease.

So, is apple cider vinegar a superfood or a super-fad?

Ultimately, more research is needed to strongly recommend ACV to treat psoriatic conditions, but let’s talk about the benefits, side effects, and ideal ways to consume ACV.

ACV for weight loss

Research in mice has found that the acetic acid in ACV may reduce body fat and decrease fat buildup. Regularly consuming ACV may even lead to improved appetite and body weight regulation through complex communication with the brain.

In the past, when this has been challenged, the argument was that consuming ACV causes nausea, which decreases calorie consumption, which then may lead to weight loss.

The most compelling clinical trial in 2018 showed that ACV, in combination with a restricted calorie diet, could decrease appetite, body weight, BMI, and total cholesterol, and even increase “good” HDL cholesterol.

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ACV and allergic responses

ACV may reduce the allergic response to some foods, like lentils and chicken. This suggests that ACV may alter the immune response somehow, which could benefit people with immune dysregulation or dysfunction.

Insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels

Insulin is a hormone secreted from your pancreas in response to consuming carbohydrates. Some people have insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes (T2D) — when their body doesn’t use insulin as efficiently as it should to regulate their glucose levels.

Research in 2004 suggests that ACV raised insulin sensitivity in participants with T2D and significantly reduced fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Regularly consuming ACV has also shown modest reductions in blood sugar levels overall.

Adding ACV to meals has also shown promise in reducing insulin demand and even delaying gastric emptying rates, which can make you feel fuller for longer.

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Cholesterol levels and heart health

In a 2017 study in mice, ACV was shown to alter lipid metabolism. In an older study involving rats with diabetes, it was also shown to decrease triglyceride levels and increase the good type of cholesterol (HDL).

Another study in rats showed overall reduced cholesterol, while this rat study showed a reduction of blood pressure when consuming ACV.

More research is needed in humans to confirm these effects.

Antimicrobial properties

Some researchers believe that ACV may have antibacterial and antifungal properties against Candida albicans, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli.

ACV may even help break the barrier called biofilm, which can often lead to reinfections in humans. In a 2013 cell study, ACV stripped the biofilm of Streptococcus pyogenes from the tonsils, which can cause recurrent tonsillitis.

Acetic acid, the component of vinegar that results from fermentation, has been used to topically treat and prevent pseudomonal wound infections after cosmetic facial peels.

It has even been suggested that ACV is as effective at killing some bacteria (E. faecalis) as sodium hypochlorite (aka bleach). This finding may have a big clinical impact in a world with growing antibiotic resistance.

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Potential side effects of consuming ACV

Tooth enamel decay

Acidic beverages can wear away tooth enamel, and ACV is no exception. Consuming too much or undiluted ACV can quickly break down the protective outer coating on your teeth.

Skin burns

With many people with skin conditions desperate for natural remedies, ACV skin burns have become more common. Extended periods of soaking can cause burns, as well as attempts to remove moles.

The skin benefits of ACV have overall been declared a myth. They do not alter the skin’s bacterial microbiome or help with dermatitis.

Esophageal injury

Just like the skin on the outside of your body, the skin on the inside can burn, too. Ingesting acidic ACV — especially in a pill or gummy form — can get stuck in the esophagus, causing a very serious erosion.

Medication interactions

ACV may interact with some medications.

ACV given with digoxin and diuretics may cause abnormal potassium levels. It may also interfere with some diabetes medications, causing blood sugar levels to drop dangerously low.

Other interactions may not be currently known since ACV can alter the gut and gastric emptying.

How to consume ACV safely

Recommended doses for ACV are not well established. In general, the typical suggested dose is 15–20mL (1–2 tablespoons) before, after, or with meals.

As a rule: Start low and go slow. This means you should start with the lowest dose possible and increase frequency as slowly as possible.

Never consume ACV without diluting it first. Typically, you can mix it with:

  • 8–12 ounces of ice water
  • a full mug of hot tea with lemon
  • 8–12 ounces of fruit juice to disguise the taste

Another option is to add it to your salad dressings, mixing it with your daily salads.

It’s also recommended to drink ACV through a straw to avoid exposure to your tooth enamel. After consuming, rinse your mouth with water and wait at least 30 minutes prior to brushing your teeth to avoid further damage.

Always discuss using ACV with a medical professional before you start. Although it’s rare, you’ll want to watch for an allergic reaction.

Don’t use ACV on your skin unless specifically instructed by your doctor to do so.

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The takeaway

Right now, much of the research on ACV has been done on animals, which doesn’t always mean it will work in humans — although it’s a good start for data collection.

The jury is still out on whether ACV will benefit your psoriatic conditions. Be sure to talk with a healthcare professional before consuming ACV regularly.

Medically reviewed on May 01, 2023

28 Sources

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About the author

Stefanie Remson

Ms. Stefanie Remson MSN, APRN, FNP-BC is the CEO and founder of She is a family nurse practitioner and is a rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patient herself. She has spent her entire life serving the community as a healthcare professional and has refused to let RA slow her down. She has worked with The Arthritis Foundation, The Lupus Foundation of America, Healthline, Grace and Able, Arthritis Life, Musculo, Aila, and HopeX. You can learn more at her website and on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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