Does Apple Cider Vinegar Soften Gallbladder Stones?

Some home remedies and folk cures have some basis in fact, though not all of them do. Proponents claim apple cider vinegar has all sorts of benefits, from lowering blood pressure to dissolving gallstones. Raw apple cider vinegar is high in nutrients and acetic acid, but it is not strong enough to dissolve gallbladder stones.

Gallstone Facts

Gallstones are very much like kidney stones, except that they form inside of your gallbladder. They range in size from about as big as a grain of sand to the size of a walnut or golf ball. Gallstones can be made of bile or of cholesterol, and you may have them and never know it. Occasionally, a gallstone will block the bile duct, causing bile to build up in the gallbladder. This causes pain and can lead to infection that causes jaundice.

Apple Cider Vinegar Facts

Adherents of folk remedies and complementary and alternative medicine are referring to raw apple cider vinegar when they sing its praises. The clear apple cider vinegar on your grocery store shelves has been processed to the point that it retains very little of its natural nutrients, which are concentrated in the sediment, called "mother," that makes it cloudy. Apple cider vinegar is high in calcium, potassium, malic acid and acetic acid. The acetic acid is strong enough to burn your mouth and throat if taken undiluted, but it won't soften or dissolve gallstones.

Benefits

Apple cider vinegar plays a part in regulating the insulin response to eating a diet high in refined starches. When you eat refined starches, your body breaks them down into simple sugars that it uses for energy. Your pancreas responds by releasing insulin to clean the extra sugar out of your bloodstream. This sudden drop in blood sugar tells your brain that you're hungry, which can lead to you going back for seconds even though you've had enough calories. Apple cider vinegar helps slow this insulin response, making you feel full for a bit longer.

Warning

If you are experiencing the symptoms of gallstones, do not try to treat the condition yourself. It may not be gallstones, and if it is you need to be examined by a physician. Many doctors are open to discussing complementary and alternative remedies as well as lifestyle and diet changes, so consult your doctor.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES University of Maryland Medical Center: Gallstones Go Ask Alice!: Apple Cider Vinegar University of Michigan College of Pharmacy: Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar on Postprandial Glucose Levels in Adults With Type 2 Diabetes Global Healing Center: The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar