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Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight?

Emma

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Kathy Shattler, MS, RDN

apple cider vinegar pregnancy

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) for weight loss is one of the most popular pieces of advice that you’ll find online—ACV is considered to be a staple in many vegan, organic, and fitness-forward diets, and it’s not just because it’s delicious, either.

Apple cider vinegar can be used to do all sorts of stuff. It’s a chemical-free cleaning agent, an awesome hair cleanse, and can even be used to tone your skin. When taken daily, either as a part of each meal or even as a simple beverage, it might even be able to help you lose more weight than you would otherwise.

What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is yeast-fermented apple juice[1]. Commercial apple cider vinegar contains approximately five percent acetic acid, the source of many of its most famous qualities.

Apple cider vinegar can be used in a myriad of ways—you can drink it in tonics, add it to sauces and salad dressings, marinate meat in it, and even use it to wash your hair. Many associate it with health benefits like lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, and weight loss. Can taking apple cider vinegar for weight loss really make an impact?

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Aid Weight Loss?

Does apple cider vinegar make you lose weight? There’s tons of literature on the merit of apple cider vinegar for weight loss. 

One popular Japanese study improved the body composition and serum triglyceride levels[2] in a group of obese test subjects. Both 15 mL and 30 mL of apple cider vinegar daily helped them lose several pounds each, the latter dose helping them lose just a bit more.

This equates to approximately one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar a day; the trial participants were asked to quit smoking, limit alcohol intake, avoid strenuous exercise, and eat late at night. They were not assigned a restricted-calorie diet, however. Simply taking their allotted ACV dose in two equal portions, one after breakfast and one after dinner, was enough to amplify their body fat mass reduction greatly. 

The placebo group experienced none of these benefits, and the high-dose vinegar consumption group was the most successful in the modest weight loss that they were able to achieve. This suggests that apple cider vinegar for weight management might be a dose-dependent function. However, the food science backing these claims suggests that even moderate apple cider vinegar intake confers plenty of health benefits in its own right.

What is it about the apple cider vinegar diet that helps you burn belly fat? It’s an extremely low-calorie additive and condiment, but the health benefits of acetic acid might go much deeper than its role as a simple ingredient replacement or alternative. However, we know that acetic acid affects the genes[3] that regulate the fatty oxidation proteins in the liver, thus suppressing the accumulation of body fat.

Other Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Another awesome benefit of apple cider vinegar is that it may suppress your appetite[4]

It does so by improving satiety, helping your body recognize fatty compounds and other nutrients more candidly and quickly. In the trial linked here, the subjects studied reduced their caloric intake at each meal by recognizing their own satiety before finishing. If you struggle with impulse control, this might help with weight loss significantly. 

Apple cider vinegar can also help you regulate your blood sugar after every meal and snack. This secondary effect might be able to help you control cravings immediately after eating, as well as later on in the day. Your insulin response is also much tamer[5] with the inclusion of apple cider vinegar. These truths apply equally to those with diabetes and other similar conditions as well as to the completely healthy individual.

How To Add Apple Cider Vinegar To Your Diet

You can use apple cider vinegar in a ton of different ways. Many love it as part of their morning and nightly ritual. Use a tablespoon or two of it in your morning tea or even in a refreshing iced beverage.

Later on in the day, you may consider using it to prepare your favorite meals with fewer calories. Marinating meat in apple cider vinegar is one way to give each meal a flavorful boost without the oil found ordinarily in a high-fat diet. The fewer calories consumed, the more bodyweight you’ll end up losing.

The beneficial effects of apple cider vinegar go beyond losing more weight—the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar is excellent for breaking down tough, fibrous vegetables like kale and cabbage and the muscle fibers in meat mentioned previously. Adding apple cider vinegar to salad dressings and other sauces can also aid your weight loss aspirations.

You’ll enjoy the chemically-driven benefits of apple cider vinegar no matter how you prefer to include it in your daily routine. What are the risks that you need to be aware of when taking apple cider vinegar, though?

The Potential Downsides of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a completely safe ingredient to include in any ordinary reduced-calorie diet. However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when you consume apple cider vinegar.

Mostly, these issues stem from either drinking too much apple cider vinegar at once or drinking it in undiluted quantities that expose you to its harsh chemical nature. If you drink vinegar to help with weight loss, a tablespoon or two diluted in warm water will generally be a safe dose to stick with.

The Bottom Line

Using apple cider vinegar as a tonic or substituting it for other, higher-calorie ingredients are great ways to promote weight loss as part of a normal, healthy diet. Apple cider vinegar cleanses your system, all while adding a tangy little kick to each meal, snack, or beverage that you add it to.

Apple cider vinegar helps with weight loss and a million other things. Give it a shot in your next salad or cup of tea and see where it takes you.


+ 10 sources

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  1. Hadi, A., Pourmasoumi, M., Najafgholizadeh, A., Clark, C.C.T. and Esmaillzadeh, A. (2021). The effect of apple cider vinegar on lipid profiles and glycemic parameters: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, [online] 21(1). Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8243436/ ‌
  2. Tomoo KONDO, Mikiya KISHI, Takashi FUSHIMI, Shinobu UGAJIN & Takayuki KAGA (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, DOI: 10.1271/bbb.90231
  3. ACS Publications. (2020). Acetic Acid Upregulates the Expression of Genes for Fatty Acid Oxidation Enzymes in Liver To Suppress Body Fat Accumulation. [online] Available at: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf900470c ‌
  4. Darzi, J., Frost, G.S., Montaser, R., Yap, J. and Robertson, M.D. (2013). Influence of the tolerability of vinegar as an oral source of short-chain fatty acids on appetite control and food intake. International Journal of Obesity, [online] 38(5), pp.675–681. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23979220/ ‌
  5. Shishehbor, F., Mansoori, A. and Shirani, F. (2017). Vinegar consumption can attenuate postprandial glucose and insulin responses; a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, [online] 127, pp.1–9. Available at: https://www.diabetesresearchclinicalpractice.com/article/S0168-8227(16)30851-8/fulltext
  6. ‌Feldstein, S., Afshar, M. and Krakowski, A.C. (2015). Chemical Burn from Vinegar Following an Internet-based Protocol for Self-removal of Nevi. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, [online] 8(6), p.50. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4479370/ ‌
  7. Lhotta, K., Höfle, G., Gasser, R. and Finkenstedt, G. (1998). Hypokalemia, Hyperreninemia and Osteoporosis in a Patient Ingesting Large Amounts of Cider Vinegar. Nephron, [online] 80(2), pp.242–243. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9736833/ ‌
  8. Gheflati, A., Bashiri, R., Ghadiri-Anari, A., Reza, J.Z., Kord, M.T. and Nadjarzadeh, A. (2019). The effect of apple vinegar consumption on glycemic indices, blood pressure, oxidative stress, and homocysteine in patients with type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia: A randomized controlled clinical trial. Clinical Nutrition ESPEN, [online] 33, pp.132–138. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31451249/
  9. ‌Schulz, R.M., Ahuja, N.K. and Slavin, J.L. (2022). Effectiveness of Nutritional Ingredients on Upper Gastrointestinal Conditions and Symptoms: A Narrative Review. Nutrients, [online] 14(3), p.672. Available at: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/14/3/672/htm ‌
  10. Hlebowicz, J., Darwiche, G., Björgell, O. and Almér, L.-O. (2007). Effect of apple cider vinegar on delayed gastric emptying in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus: a pilot study. BMC Gastroenterology, [online] 7(1). Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2245945/
Emma

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

Emma Garofalo is a writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. A lover of science, art, and all things culinary, few things excite her more than the opportunity to learn about something new." It is now in the sheet in the onboarding paperwork, apologies!!

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

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