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What You Need to Know Before You Try Apple Cider Vinegar for Adrenal Fatigue

Apple cider vinegar (ACV), a popular household staple, has long been touted as a remedy for numerous ailments. But is there any truth to the claim that drinking it can support sluggish adrenal glands?

A fermented beverage made from the juice of apples, the unfiltered version of this liquid — labeled as “with the mother” — contains visible strands of proteins, probiotics, trace minerals, enzymes, B vitamins and plant-based antioxidants known as polyphenolic compounds, according to the University of Chicago Medicine 1. It’s these nutrient-dense strands that give ACV most of its (potentially) healing qualities.

Read more: Recommended Amount of Apple Cider Vinegar Per Day

ACV and Adrenal Fatigue

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center describe this mythical illness as a cluster of symptoms, including a weakened immune system, a decreased sex drive, difficulty in handling stress, and fatigue (accompanied by the need for stimulants such as:

  • caffeine
  • sugar
  • in order to stay awake) 59

However, the adrenal glands actually produce additional cortisol (as well as other hormones) during times of stress. They don't break down.

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Since adrenal fatigue is not a recognized disorder, there are no studies that show a possible connection with ACV. Actual adrenal insufficiency (called Addison's disease) is a rare condition diagnosed via a series of blood tests 7. According to the Mayo Clinic, Addison's disease is treated with hormone replacement therapy. While dietary changes may benefit some patients with adrenal insufficiency, these changes center on adopting a high-sodium diet, per the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases 789. They don't have anything to do with ACV, and there's no evidence indicating that ACV helps prevent or improve adrenal insufficiency 7.

The Endocrine Society advises that people who don't have adrenal insufficiency but who show symptoms associated with "adrenal fatigue" get tested for each individual ailment 49. Per the organization, stress could be at the root of their symptoms, since stress can cause people to disregard their physical and emotional wellbeing.

Be wary of any practitioner or website that offers adrenal supplements, as well as any products touting adrenal support or adrenal cleanses. “If you are experiencing unexplained fatigue, body aches, weight loss, low blood pressure or other symptoms, you should see your doctor,” says Largeman-Roth.

Read more: What Are the Negatives of Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Every Day?

  • Since adrenal fatigue is not a recognized disorder, there are no studies that show a possible connection with ACV.
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