If you search for apple cider vinegar on the internet you will find SO many wild and wonderful claims. Indeed, the health claims I found on a quick ‘Google’ search are that
apple cider vinegar can:-
- Improve Type 2 Diabetes
- Lower cholesterol
- Treat eczema and other skin conditions
- Lower blood pressure
- Act as a natural antibiotic
- Prevent osteoporosis
- Help prevent some cancers
- Aids digestion
- Lower the risk of cardiovascular disease
- Aid weight loss
However, like other alternative and natural products, there is a huge lack of science-based research to validate such claims. This post in the main part, will examine the claim that apple cider vinegar aids weight loss.
What are the Magic Ingredients of Apple Cider Vinegar
The miraculous claims for the healing power and apple cider vinegar for weight loss supposedly relate to its apparent nutritional content.
Apple cider vinegar is said to be rich in minerals, fiber, enzymes, vitamins (especially calcium, potassium and beta-carotene) pectins and amino acids.
However, if you actually look at the nutritional content of apple cider vinegar it contains zero to very small amounts of these nutrients. Indeed, not sufficient amounts of vitamins or fibre to make any nutritional measurable difference.
So what is the magic ingredient of apple cider vinegar that has sustained the health claims for many, many years? Well, apple cider vinegar is high in acetic acid and this may help increase the body’s ability to digest and absorb essential minerals locked in food.
What is the Scientific Evidence of Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss
In several animal studies acetic acid was found to prevent the accumulation of fat.
However, one of the main studies of apple cider vinegar for weight loss in humans was carried out by a Japanese trial in 2009.
The Japanese trial assigned 175 participants to three groups. The subjects had similar weight and body mass index and waist circumference measurements.
The groups of ‘obese’ participants drank 500 ml of a drink daily containing either 15 ml of vinegar, 30 ml of vinegar or no vinegar at all. After a 12 week period the study concludes that body weight, body mass index, visceral fat levels and waist circumference were significantly lower in both the vinegar taking groups compared to the control group.
The study concludes that:-
…a daily intake of vinegar might be useful in the prevention of metabolic syndrome by reducing obesity
What about the claim that taking Apple Cider Vinegar can help with impaired Glucose Tolerance
One of the claims that is pertinent to apple cider and weight loss is that apple cider vinegar can help with levelling glucose levels.
Again, earlier research on animals supports the claim that vinegar has a glucose-lowering effect. One 2015 research study examined the effect on humans. Although the study was very small with only 8 participants, reports were positive.
The eight study subjects are over the age of 46 with a high body mass index and impaired glucose tolerance. The subjects took 0.50 mmol vinegar before a mixed meal or a placebo.
This research study concludes for patients with impaired glucose tolerance, vinegar ingestion improves muscle glucose uptake and blood flow to the forearm. Furthermore, arterial plasma triglycerides decreased.
The study concludes that vinegar may be beneficial for improving insulin resistance, especially in the pre-diabetic state.
Possible Side Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar
Although on the whole adding apple cider vinegar to your weight loss routine will not do any harm, there are a couple of issues to be aware of:-
- Firstly, apple cider vinegar is very acidic and if taken in the wrong doses, it may lead to tooth erosion.
- Secondly, the amount of apple cider vinegar for weight loss taken per day is important. Too much apple cider vinegar (more than 1 to 2 tablespoons per day) may decrease potassium levels.
- Lastly, vinegar can interact with other prescribed medications, especially laxatives, diuretics and drugs for diabetes and heart disease. Thus, it is really important to always check with your doctor before taking any alternative supplements or products.
How to take Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss
Apple cider vinegar needs to be taken diluted with water. Interestingly, there is no exact recommended amount of apple cider vinegar for weight loss per day.
I would suggest starting with 1 to 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in at least 8 ounces of water taken 3 times a day before meals. If there are no side effects, you can gradually increase the amount of apple cider vinegar up to 1 tablespoon.
Furthermore, ensure that the apple cider vinegar is totally organic and contains ‘the mother’. The ‘mother’ refers to unfiltered apple cider vinegar that contains strands of proteins, friendly bacteria and enzymes.
Dr Halls Conclusions on Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss
Dr. Halls Recommended Weight Loss Posts
- Full Index of ALL our posts on Weight Loss
- How to Lose Weight Fast: Moose and Doc’s 8-step guide to fast, effective weight weight loss.
- Quick Weight Loss Naturally: Another 4 step guide on easy, natural ways to lose weight
- Coconut Oil and Weight Loss: All the science behind coconut oil for weight loss. Does it really work?
- Green tea weight loss: Again, all the scientific research behind green tea for weight loss. This one is well worth a read
- Shed Pounds now with this 4-Day Diet
- Protein Shakes for Weight Loss: Do they work? Find out here.
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- Kondo T, Kishi M, Fushimi T, Ugajin S, Kaga T. (2009) Vinegar Intake Reduces Body Weight, Body Fat Mass, and Serum Triglyceride Levels in Obese Japanese Subjects Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry,73:8, 1837-1843 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661687
- Mitrou P, Petsiou E, Papakonstantinou E, Maratou E, Lambadiari V, Dimitriadis P, Spanoudi F, Raptis SA, Dimitriadis G. (2015) The role of acetic acid on glucose uptake and blood flow rates in the skeletal muscle in humans with impaired glucose tolerance. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jun;69(6):734-9 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25626409