Does Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar For Weight Loss Really Work?

Many swear by apple cider vinegar as the holy grail to weight loss, but is it really? Here’s some science behind this trend you need to know for weight loss.

19 Aug 2022

There are many people who wish to turn back time so that they can fit into a pair of skinny jeans or a bodycon dress just like in their college days or when they were in their best shape. To get back in shape by losing a few extra kilos, people tend to search for a lot of information on the internet that can lead them to some effective solutions. Amid several options, apple cider vinegar is one household name that has been making a buzz for quite some time now.


For ages, vinegar has been used to flavour and preserve foods, heal wounds, fight infections, clean surfaces, and manage diabetes. However, many recent scientific investigations have documented that vinegar ingestion reduces the glucose response to a carbohydrate load in healthy adults and in individuals with diabetes. In short, apple cider vinegar probably won’t hurt you. You can try it because it’s calorie-free, adds lots of flavour to food, and has health benefits.


Vinegar has a deep rooted history of over 5000 years and according to folklore, vinegar was discovered in Babylon when unattended grape juice which turned sour was used as food preservatives.


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What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Vinegar, from the French vin aigre, meaning “sour wine,” can be created from any fermentable carbohydrate source, such as wine, molasses, dates, apples, pears, grapes, berries, potatoes, malt, and whey. From a production viewpoint, apple cider vinegar is predominantly apple juice, but adding yeast turns the sugar in the juice into alcohol. Yeasts ferment the natural food sugars to alcohol and this is a process called fermentation. Next, acetic acid bacteria (Acetobacter) convert the alcohol to acetic acid. That’s what gives vinegar its sour taste and strong smell, as stated in the early study in Medscape General Medicine, 2006.


As we all know apple cider vinegar is commonly used in almost all households used for cooking and possesses great health benefits like clearing up acne, and dandruff, healing sunburns, being used in dry cleaning and effective in weight loss as well.


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Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar For Weight Loss

Many holistic health experts believe in apple cider vinegar, but whether it will really help you lose fat isn’t so straightforward. In other words, drinking apple cider vinegar will not shed weight directly, rather it supports the efforts that lead to weight loss by boosting satiety, controlling sugar levels or reducing insulin. There isn't much research to back the weight loss claim but constant users of apple cider vinegar and some animal research suggest that the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar may promote weight loss in several ways:

1. Reduces appetite

According to a 2014 study published in Nature Communications, apple cider vinegar effectively suppresses the region in the brain that has a direct role in central appetite regulation. Ingesting vinegar promotes short-term satiety which can help in managing weight loss.


2. Controls spike in blood sugar

Consuming vinegar daily proved to be effective in type 2 diabetes in adults. A 2018 study in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine shows that drinking vinegar in people with diabetes before meals induced lesser spikes in their blood sugar levels .


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3. Reduces insulin levels

The British Journal of Nutrition cited a study conducted on the effect and role of acetic acid in insulin levels in rats. Rats who were fed acetic acid exhibited lower serum lactate concentration and a lower ratio of insulin to glucagon, which may cause fat to burn. Another study in Medscape General Medicine, 2006 shows that vinegar ingestion improved postprandial insulin sensitivity by 34 per cent.


4. Declines fat storage

A 2016 study cited in Critical Reviews in Food Science And Nutrition shows that feeding obese mice acetic acid, showed a significant drop in lipid accumulation in the adipose tissue, protection against accumulation of fat in the liver, and improved glucose tolerance.


5. Burns fat

A study investigated the impact of acetic acid on the prevention of obesity in high-fat-fed mice. The mice were administered with 1.5 per cent of vinegar for 6 weeks. It was observed that vinegar stops the accumulation of body fat and liver lipids, as per 2009 Journal of Agricultural And Food Chemistry.


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What Are The Side Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is a natural tonic and drinking won’t harm your body unless you overdo it. Just as vinegar, apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid as its core component and is highly acidic. Ingesting in excess amounts can cause the following health problems:

  • Throat pain: As per a case report in 2020 issued in Clinical Endoscopy, a 15-year old suffered corrosive esophageal injury after consuming vinegar daily.
  • Damaged tooth enamel: A 2014 comparative study in Clinical Laboratory, those who frequently consumed salads dressed with bio vinegar and raspberry vinegar, were reported to have damaged their tooth enamel by 20 per cent.
  • Weak bones: Harvard Health Publishing has cited the study that shows consuming apple cider vinegar continuously may lead to low potassium level and affect bone mineral density. It may also cause progressive bone loss and hindrance in new bone formation.
  • Nausea, heartburn or bloating: Daily intake of 1400 mg of acetic acid or vinegar caused frequent burping, bloating and changes in bowel movement as vinegar reduces hunger and too much appetite suppression may built up gas and leave you feeling nausea and bloated, according to a 2013 randomised controlled trial issued in the International Journal of Obesity.


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Right Way To Use Apple Cider Vinegar For Weight Loss

To avail the benefits of apple cider vinegar effectively, it is highly recommended to stick to a certain quantity. Following this method will help in lowering the risk of any side effects. According to a 2016 review published in the paper Current Opinion in Food Science, drinking around 15 millilitres of vinegar a day or any quantity that contains around 750 milligrams of acetic acid is the ideal quality to gain the potential health benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar.


Since the acidic level is high in vinegar, it is better to use it in as salad dressing. Avoid consuming directly like taking a short as it may irritate your mouth and throat.


The best time to drink apple cider vinegar is 30 minutes before meal, to minimise the risk of acid reflux and bloating.


To protect yourself from burning your throat and oesophagus, dilute the apple cider vinegar. The best practice and measurement to consume vinegar is by mixing 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar in 1 cup of water.


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1. What is the best time to drink apple cider vinegar for weight loss?

Drinking apple cider vinegar 30 minutes before meals twice a day helps in feeling full and reduces the amount of food intake in a day.


2. Can we drink apple cider vinegar before bed?

Yes, you can drink apple cider vinegar 30 minutes before bed to avoid the risk of acid reflux and bloating.


3. Who should avoid apple cider vinegar?

People who take insulin, have lower bone density, history of dental issues or indigestion problems should avoid taking it.




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