Can you eat vinegar with acid reflux?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “Can you eat vinegar with acid reflux?” and the information on acid reflux in detail.

Can you eat vinegar with acid reflux?

Yes! Numerous studies have highlighted the potential benefits of apple cider vinegar (ACV) in reducing postprandial glycemic response. 

It achieves this by slowing down gastric motility, a phenomenon that might appear counterintuitive when considering its potential impact on upper gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. (1)

Vinegar has been a popular home remedy for addressing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). One theory suggests that if GERD is caused by low stomach acid levels, consuming vinegar could stimulate the production of stomach acid, thereby enhancing digestion. 

Another hypothesis proposes that vinegar might help create a more acidic environment in the gut, effectively neutralizing harmful pathogens. Although no published research supports these theories. (2)

What is acid reflux?

Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or heartburn, is a common condition encountered frequently by gastroenterologists. 

It involves the backflow of stomach contents into the esophagus, oral cavity, and/or lungs, leading to a variety of symptoms and potential complications. (3)

What are the symptoms of acid reflux?

GERD is defined through a consensus, encompassing typical symptoms like heartburn and regurgitation, which determine its prevalence. 

However, it’s important to recognize that GERD can also present with extraesophageal symptoms, such as chronic cough, asthma, chronic laryngitis, and respiratory issues.

Apart from the typical symptoms, GERD may manifest in atypical ways like dyspepsia, epigastric pain, nausea, bloating, and belching. However, diagnosing GERD can be challenging, as these symptoms can overlap with other conditions. (3)

What are the health effects of vinegar?

Vinegar has been linked to a wide array of reported health benefits, making it a subject of growing interest. 

Some of these potential advantages include improved digestive system function, appetite stimulation, antioxidant properties, assistance in exhaustion recovery, lower lipid levels, and regulation of blood pressure.

One of the reasons for these positive effects is the presence of polyphenols in vinegar, which have shown promise in preventing lipid peroxidation, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, inflammation, DNA damage, and certain types of cancer.

The diverse organic acids, particularly acetic acid, found in vinegar possess antimicrobial properties that can penetrate the cell membranes of microorganisms, leading to their demise and offering potential health benefits.

Furthermore, vinegar’s impact on insulin sensitivity may make it valuable in managing diabetes, as several studies suggest its potential benefits in this area.

Research indicates that incorporating 0.3% of dietary acetic acid from food sources might be linked to reduced serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while also promoting lipid homeostasis and aiding in lowering cholesterol levels.

It’s important to note that while vinegar shows promise in these areas, further research is necessary. (4, 5) 

Which foods are linked to acid reflux?

Certain foods are commonly known to increase the risk of acid reflux, and it’s important to be cautious with their consumption. These foods include coffee, chocolate, alcohol, mint, spicy foods, and acidic foods like tomatoes or oranges. 

Additionally, spices such as chili pepper, black pepper, cayenne, and nutmeg may worsen symptoms. These particular foods have the potential to irritate the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a group of muscles located at the bottom of the esophagus. 

The LES plays a crucial role in regulating the passage of food from the esophagus into the stomach while also preventing stomach acid from escaping and causing damage to the esophageal tissue.

However, when the LES becomes weakened or relaxed, stomach acid can escape into the esophagus, leading to tissue damage and causing the uncomfortable sensation known as heartburn. (3, 6)

How to manage acid reflux? 

Managing GERD relies significantly on lifestyle modifications. Patients are often advised to adopt various lifestyle interventions to alleviate symptoms. 

These include weight loss, elevating the head of the bed, quitting tobacco and alcohol, avoiding late-night meals, and eliminating foods that can potentially exacerbate reflux symptoms.

Dietary changes play a crucial role, involving the avoidance of caffeine, coffee, chocolate, spicy foods, highly acidic foods like oranges and tomatoes, as well as foods high in fat content.

Medical interventions can be considered, it may include the use of antacids, histamine-receptor antagonists, or proton pump inhibitors, as prescribed by healthcare professionals.

In cases where lifestyle and medical interventions do not yield satisfactory results, surgical options can be explored. Laparoscopic fundoplication or bariatric surgery are potential surgical approaches, particularly for obese individuals.

Referral for surgery in GERD patients may be considered for various reasons, such as the desire to discontinue medical therapy, non-compliance with medication, adverse effects associated with medical treatment, esophagitis that does not respond to medical therapy, or persistent symptoms. (3)

Other FAQs about Vinegar that you may be interested in.

Can you eat mother of vinegar?

Does homemade vinegar & olive oil dressing need refrigeration?

Why does vinegar smell so bad?

Can I use vinegar instead of mirin?


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question “Can you eat vinegar with acid reflux?” and the information on acid reflux in detail.


  1. Schulz RM, Ahuja NK, Slavin JL. Effectiveness of Nutritional Ingredients on Upper Gastrointestinal Conditions and Symptoms: A Narrative Review. Nutrients. 5;14(3):672. 2022.
  2. Harvard. The Nutrition Source. Vinegar, Harvard T. H. Chan. School of Public Health 677 Huntington Avenue, 2019.
  3. Katz, P. O., Gerson, L. B., & Vela, M. F. Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 108(3), 308–328. 2013.
  4. Chin Wai Ho, et al, Varieties, production, composition and health benefits of vinegars: A review, Food Chemistry, 221, 2017,
  5. Launholt TL, Kristiansen CB, Hjorth P. Safety and side effects of apple vinegar intake and its effect on metabolic parameters and body weight: a systematic review. Eur J Nutr. 59(6):2273-2289. 2020.
  6. Kim Rose-Francis, Katey Davidson, Does Cinnamon Trigger Acid Reflux? All You Need to Know. Healthline Media LLC. 2021.

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