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Ulcerative Colitis: Can Vinegar Treat It?

Vinegar may do more than flavor salads, sandwiches and chips. According to new research, it may also help treat ulcerative colitis, a painful disease of the digestive tract that affects more than 200,000 Americans each year. The following explains how Columbus senior care providers can use apple cider vinegar as a simple at-home treatment.

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) involving chronic inflammation of the colon or large intestine. UC can cause ulcers, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and other painful symptoms that interfere with daily activities.

Scientists aren’t sure about what causes UC, but many suspect it is related to certain bacteria in the gut. Recent research provides evidence that vinegar, specifically apple cider vinegar, may foster the growth of benevolent gut bacteria that can reduce inflammation.

Scientists at Jilin University in China tested vinegar for ulcerative colitis treatment among laboratory mice. These specimens had chemically induced colitis and were given small amounts of vinegar in their drinking water. It is believed that the main ingredient, acetic acid, was responsible for the significantly reduced symptoms of ulcerative colitis in the test subjects.

Several conclusions can be drawn from the study:

  • Vinegar and acetic acid suppressed immune system responses that cause inflammation.

  • They also suppressed levels of circulating proteins that contribute to inflammation.

  • Mice treated with vinegar had more “friendly” gut bacteria. Other studies have shown these bacterial strains are beneficial for mice with symptoms of colitis.

  • Finally, vinegar appeared to reduce a type of cell death triggered by stressful conditions that is often linked to inflammation.

Vinegar has been used in traditional medicine for centuries in cultures throughout the world. It is inexpensive and safe in moderation. It can be purchased in variants such as apple cider vinegar, which can be diluted with water, or combined with honey to make it more palatable.

Diseases like ulcerative colitis can make life at home challenging for seniors. To help your loved one maintain independence at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Columbus. We provide specialized services such as stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care Columbus seniors can trust to make living with illness or injury more manageable. Our dedicated caregivers offer regular medication reminders, prescriptions pick-ups, and transportation to and from medical appointments to ensure your loved one keeps track of his or her health. Contact us today at (614) 481-8888 to learn more and schedule a no-obligation consultation with an experienced Care Manager.