Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight?

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Daniel Pavlik Sr DC

Apr 21, 2020

If you’re a health-conscious person, you’re probably aware of the recent increase in interest around apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is reputed to have several health benefits, but perhaps the most intriguing is the possibility of using apple cider vinegar for weight loss.

Apple cider vinegar has been used medicinally for thousands of years, perhaps as long as humans have been consuming apples. It’s been applied externally to beautify the skin and to treat infections. If you take apple cider vinegar internally, it is thought to have a range of positive effects — including the promotion of weight loss as part of a healthy lifestyle.

What is apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is made by crushing fresh ripe apples and extracting their juice. The juice is then fermented into a hard cider, and then further processed to create cider vinegar. This vinegar can be consumed or taken in supplement form.

Apple cider vinegar has been used alone or compounded with other ingredients to treat everything from acne to scurvy. It has been used as a rinse for the hair and as a preservative for fresh fruits and vegetables.

What is known about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar has long been noted for its health-giving properties. Thanks to modern research, we now understand these a little better. Cider vinegar is now known to have antiseptic effects, making it an excellent topical remedy for problems with your throat or skin. Perhaps most interesting for modern users, however, is the potential that apple cider vinegar might offer as an aid to weight loss.

Studies in recent years have looked at the place of vinegar in a healthy weight loss regimen. Some studies have looked at the use of acetic acid (the primary acid found in apple cider vinegar) in obese laboratory rats and mice. The studies did note some improvements in the animals’ metabolisms and also in the distribution of fat around their bodies. The places in the body where fat is distributed are, of course, almost as important as the amount of stored fat when it comes to good health.

A later study involved human participants who were given water to drink containing varying amounts of vinegar, although the specific type isn’t mentioned. This did show some positive results, with participants who were given vinegar losing a small amount of weight over the course of the trial.

What the various studies seem to suggest is that vinegar, including cider vinegar, can slow the rate at which your body processes food. It can also prevent starchy foods from causing a spike in blood sugar.

While more research is needed to state definitively that apple cider vinegar can help you lose weight, anecdotal evidence from cider vinegar fans suggests that it can help make weight loss easier as part of a range of lifestyle changes. Many people, both in and out of experimental conditions, reported feeling less hungry and more satisfied with their food when they used cider vinegar.

How can you use apple cider vinegar?

You can use apple cider vinegar in your recipes as you would any other vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is delicious, with a mild fruity taste. Cider vinegar is excellent in salad dressings or used to bring a delightful piquancy to your sauces.

You can also drink cider vinegar. Because it’s very acidic, it’s a good idea to mix your vinegar with a large glass of water to prevent indigestion. One to two tablespoons of cider vinegar is a commonly recommended quantity. You can also obtain cider vinegar in capsule form. Some people prefer to take their vinegar in the morning, before breakfast, while others prefer to take it with or after food.

As with any supplement, it’s a good idea to seek medical advice when you begin taking cider vinegar for weight loss. Your healthcare provider can also support you in losing weight.

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