Intake of vinegar beverage is associated with restoration of ovulatory function in women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Tohoku J Exp Med. 2013 May;230(1):17-23. doi: 10.1620/tjem.230.17.


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of major causes of irregular menstruation. It is defined as a condition involving the combination of hyperandrogenism and chronic oligomenorrhea or anovulation, and is thought to have a variety of etiologies. Insulin resistance (impaired insulin sensitivity) has been suggested to be one of the etiologies of PCOS. PCOS patients often need to take medication to treat anovulation and infertility. Therefore, it would be beneficial to patients if simple non-pharmacological treatments can be developed. Recently the efficacy of vinegar to improve insulin resistance has been reported. To study the effect of vinegar on metabolic and hormonal indices and ovulatory function in PCOS, seven patients seeking a non-pharmacological treatment for PCOS took a beverage containing 15 g of apple vinegar daily for 90 to 110 days. Ovulation, the menstrual interval, fasting serum glucose level, fasting serum insulin level, luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and testosterone were compared before and after intake of the vinegar beverage. Intake of the vinegar beverage resulted in a decrease of the homeostasis model assessment insulin resistance index (HOMA-R) in six patients, as well as a decrease of the LH/FSH ratio in five of seven patients. Ovulatory menstruation was observed within 40 day in four of seven patients. These findings suggest the possibility of vinegar to restore ovulatory function through improving insulin sensitivity in PCOS patients, thus, avoiding pharmacological treatment. Intake of vinegar might reduce medical cost and treatment time for insulin resistance, anovulation, and infertility in patients with PCOS.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acetic Acid / pharmacology
  • Acetic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Ovulation* / drug effects
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / blood
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Testosterone
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone
  • Acetic Acid