By Dirk Anderson

Ellen White wrote of the injurious effects of vinegar consumption:

The salads are prepared with oil and vinegar, fermentation takes place in the stomach, and the food does not digest, but decays or putrefies; as a consequence, the blood is not nourished, but becomes filled with impurities, and liver and kidney difficulty appears. Heart disturbances, inflammation, and many evils are the result of such kind of treatment, and not only are the bodies affected, but the morals, the religious life, are affected.1

While excessive amounts of vinegar can slow digestion, there is no evidence that drinking the small volume of vinegar found in salad dressings causes any of the serious problems mentioned by Ellen White.

Vinegar has been used as a natural medicine since ancient times. It is mentioned in the biblical books of Ruth and in Proverbs. In ancient Greece, Hippocrates prescribed vinegar for some of his patients. Sailors at sea used vinegar to prevent scurvy. Scientific evidence has proven vinegar to be helpful for:2

  • Reducing cholesterol (specifically, the dangerous LDL type)
  • Helping those with type 2 diabetes to control their blood sugar
  • Reducing body weight, including visceral fat

Eating vinegar may be particularly beneficial for diabetics. Studies have found that the acidity in vinegar "slows the digestive process...curtailing rapid rises in blood sugar."3

Like so many of her other health counsels, it appears Mrs. White may not have had all the facts about the health benefits of vinegar.

See also


1. Ellen White, Letter 9, 1887.

2. "Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar", WebMD, Dec. 2, 2020.

3. Jean Carper, Your Miracle Brain, p. 131. "One Italian study showed that adding only four teaspoons of vinegar to an average meal depressed blood sugar by as much as 30 percent! ... Combining vinegar with high GI white potatoes, as in making potato salad reduced the glycemic index 25%, according to tests by Jennie Brand-Miller."

Category: Contradictions
Please SHARE this using the social media icons below