Can I take Probiotics with Apple Cider Vinegar

Can I Take Probiotics With Apple Cider Vinegar Same Time?

According to a 2020 survey, about 50% of Americans reported using Apple cider vinegar for health and wellness purposes.

Similarly, the usage of probiotic supplements is constantly increasing ( demographics show 61% of Americans used probiotics in 2020).

But do these products also go well when taken together? Or does the vinegar’s acidity reduce the efficacy of the probiotics strains?

Key Highlights
  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar contains both probiotics and prebiotics, but filtration strains them out.
  • ACV does not harm probiotic strains or natural gut microbiota. In fact, it does the opposite.
  • User experience proves ACV, especially the mother-containing version is beneficial for gut health.
  • If you’re planning to try ACV for probiotics, I would rather recommend you opt for a supplement like Yourbiology’s or Culturelle’s as they offer better gut health benefits.

Keep reading to find out if ACV is good or bad for probiotics and natural gut microbiota.

Is Apple Cider A Probiotic?

Apple cider vinegar is a mixture of fermentation by-products secreted by probiotic bacteria growing over apple juice.

However, these fermenting agents are sometimes left inside the vinegar bottles instead of complete filtration. You can see it as the gunk floating at the bottom of the bottle, making vinegar murky. 

Let’s take a look at the vinegar manufacturing process to understand this;

Apple Cider Vinegar is prepared by fermentation of Apple juice.

  •  After squeezing the fruits, the liquid is left in the tank for 3-4 weeks. This tank is not completely sealed but has a small opening covered with cheesecloth to allow entry and colonization by natural microbes (but prevent big-sized molds).
  • Microbes like Saccharomyces cerevisiae act on the juice and produce alcohol.
  • Then the cider vinegar mother (a culture of acetic acid bacteria, aka. probiotics) is added to this alcoholic solution. These bacteria convert alcohol to acetic acid and malic acid, giving the cider vinegar its characteristic tangy taste.

Up till this point, yes, Apple cider vinegar has probiotics. But later on, the vinegar is filtered, and the “mother” is strained, leaving the clear filtrate without probiotics.

In short, unfiltered Apple cider vinegar with mother contains probiotics, but the filtered version doesn’t.

Microbial diversity analysis shows that the probiotics involved in making Apple cider vinegar are lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus sp. and  Oenococcus sp. mainly) and acetic acid bacteria (Acetobacter sp., Komagataeibacter sp., and Gluconobacter sp).

Some brands also sell Apple cider vinegar containing the mother/ probiotics. And Reddit comments show that many users prefer the raw, unfiltered version over the filtered vinegar.

reddit discussion on acv

Probiotics Vs. Apple Cider Vinegar – Best Taken Together At The Same Time or Apart? 

It depends on your tolerance level, which you’ll have to test.

If taking probiotics and vinegar makes you nauseous, take them separately. But if you don’t experience heartburn or other side effects, you can take them together. 

But microbes are mostly pH sensitive, won’t the vinegar acidity kill probiotics? 

To answer this, I looked into some research chronicles, and here’s what I found:

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Destroy Gut Bacteria?

To date, no scientific evidence suggests that Apple cider vinegar can affect the gut microbiota negatively. And users also have similar opinions, as many users suggest in this Reddit thread too.

In contrast, ACV and friendly bacteria actually work hand in hand. 

Apple cider vinegar contains microbial secretions (organic acids). So, it provides many benefits as the bacteria residing in your gut would give. 

For example, it improves immunity and fights pathogenic organisms. 

An animal study conducted in 2020 shows that dietary intake of Apple cider vinegar improves immune response and makes intestinal tissues healthier.

Similarly, a study on the antimicrobial effects of Apple cider vinegar shows that ACV fights and kills harmful bacteria, mainly E-coli, S. aureus, and C. albicans.

Researchers found that ACV disrupts the cellular structure of these germs and also detoxifies their harmful secretion and metabolic enzymes. Hence, it limits the growth of harmful microbes in your blood and protects you against their toxic secretions.

Besides these effects, you also get prebiotic benefits from Apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider (the liquid obtained from squeezing out the crushed Apples) has a good amount of pectin fiber.

And pectin is an excellent prebiotic ingredient. It feeds probiotics and stimulates the growth of gut microbes.

Can You Mix Apple Cider Vinegar And Probiotics? 

Combining probiotics and ACV does not decrease the efficacy of these supplements.

Vinegar acids won’t affect the probiotic strains badly because of two reasons:

  • Firstly, most probiotics come in pH-resistant, delayed-release capsules nowadays. So, they open only in the intestines where the acidity level is optimum for their growth. 

    Resultantly, even if you take probiotics and Apple cider vinegar together, the acids never get in touch with the microbes.
  • Plus, if your probiotic pills are not pH resistant, it is still not an issue because most probiotic strains like Lactobacillus bacteria can tolerate ACV acids very well.

That’s because ACV is not as strong as synthetic vinegar and only has the organic acids produced by friendly bacteria. 

A probiotic user, Jim Cook, said in a Quora discussion that the Culturelle probiotics team told him he could drink Apple Cider Vinegar with probiotics. 

jim cook's discussion on Quora regarding probiotics

Also, some probiotic supplements include ACV for dual gut health benefits. Garden of Life and Probio Probiotic Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies are good examples of probiotic and ACV combinations.

How To Take Apple Cider Vinegar For Probiotics?

One way you can reap the probiotic benefits of apple cider vinegar is by opting for its mother-containing version, like the one by Bragg’s.

And secondly, I came across these gummies by Force Factor, which contain the goodness of both probiotics and apple cider vinegar.

However, both these products contain way lesser strains as compared to a multi-strain probiotic pill.

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As discussed above, most healthy individuals can take both Apple cider vinegar and probiotics together. 

But still, please remember that nausea and heartburn can be a concern here, as it is the common side effect of probiotics and ACV combination.

This effect usually fades away in a few days. And here are a few tips to avoid the initial acidity effect as well:

  • When starting supplementation, use 1 product, either Apple cider vinegar or probiotics. Once your gut becomes accustomed to it, start taking the other one too.
  • Spacing out the dosage can also help with heartburn issues. Take probiotics about 30 minutes before the meal (as it is the best time to take probiotics), and drink ACV right before you start eating.

A creative and delicious way is to use cider vinegar as a salad dressing while taking the probiotic pill as usual.

  • You can also take ACV with one meal and probiotics with another to ensure they don’t mess with each other.
  • Always dilute your vinegar because concentrated acid can damage your teeth and burn the food canal lining. The best practice is to mix 1-2 tablespoons of ACV in 1 glass of water (about 8 ounces).


How to take Apple cider vinegar for gut health?

To get help from ACV for digestion, bloating issues, and gas, mix 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) of concentrated vinegar in 1 cup of water and drink it before the meal, or sprinkle it on your favorite fruit or vegetable salad.

Is Apple cider vinegar a probiotic or prebiotic?

Well, it can be both or non, depending on the product. 

If you use a highly filtered vinegar with only the clear, acidic filtrate from Apple cider, it is neither a probiotic nor a prebiotic but just the acidic solution resulting from the fermentation process.

On the other side, if you use raw, unfiltered Apple cider vinegar, it will have both the probiotics (as the mother) and prebiotics (as pectin fibers from apple extracts).

Is Braggs Apple Cider vinegar a probiotic?

Braggs ACV has probiotics because it comes with Mother, raw and unfiltered. So, it provides the dual benefit of acetic acid vinegar and probiotics.

Final Takeaways

You can use probiotics with probiotics, and you can even take them both at the same time.

Apple cider vinegar and probiotics do not reduce each other’s efficacy. 

Instead, they synergize.

That’s why many gut health benefits are the same for both products, like improved digestion, relief from bloating, gas, and heartburn, and improved immunity against harmful bacteria.

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