Apple Cider Vinegar and Weight Loss
Drinking apple cider vinegar isn’t likely to be effective for weight loss. Proponents of the apple cider vinegar diet claim that drinking a small amount of apple cider vinegar before meals or taking an apple cider vinegar supplement helps curb appetite and burn fat. However, there’s little scientific support for these claims.
Although occasional use of apple cider vinegar is safe for most people, it won’t likely lead to weight loss — and it may pose problems of its own. For example:
- Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic. It may irritate your throat or affect your teeth enamel if you drink it often or in large amounts.
- Apple cider vinegar may interact with certain supplements or drugs, including diuretics and insulin. This may contribute to low potassium levels.
- Women with osteoporosis should be wary of apple cider vinegar. Used regularly, apple cider vinegar could reduce bone density.
Several studies have found that vinegar — including apple cider vinegar — may lower blood sugar levels. This could have benefits for people with diabetes. Some types of vinegar have also been shown to make people feel fuller. This could support the traditional use of apple cider vinegar for weight loss. People use apple cider vinegar for many other uses, including vaginitis, general detoxification, skin health, and high blood pressure, though there are no clinical trials examining these conditions to refute or support the traditional use.
Animal and laboratory studies have found evidence that apple cider vinegar might help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and slow the growth of some cancer cells. However, this research is only in its early stages. It’s too soon to say whether the same results will be seen in people.
Because apple cider vinegar is an unproven treatment, there are no official recommendations on how to use it. Some people take 2 teaspoons or more a day of apple cider vinegar mixed in a cup of water or juice. Tablets with 285 milligrams of dehydrated apple cider vinegar are also commonly sold. Taking apple cider vinegar at full strength could erode the enamel of the teeth and burn the mouth and throat. Throat injury from an apple cider vinegar tablet has also been reported. For someone with diabetes, apple cider vinegar may worsen digestive problems.
Remember, there’s no magic bullet for weight loss. The key to losing weight is burning more calories than you consume. Choose a variety of healthy foods — such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean sources of protein — and include physical activity in your daily routine.