Does Taking a Spoon Full of Apple Cider Vinegar Every Night Really Help You Lose Weight?

Apple cider vinegar with honey and lemon, natural health remedies
A spoonful of vinegar may help your weight loss efforts. (Image: ThamKC/iStock/Getty Images)

Some alternative health proponents recommend the consumption of apple cider vinegar for a variety of maladies, including obesity. There is very little scientific evidence that shows that taking a spoonful of apple cider vinegar each night can help you to lose weight, but one 2009 study showed a possible link. Your weight, as well as your weight loss, hinges on the number of calories you consume and the number that you expend.

Vinegar and Weight Loss

A 2009 Japanese study headed by Tomoo Kondo and colleagues showed a potential link between vinegar consumption and weight loss. In the study, obese Japanese men consumed either no vinegar, 3 tsp. of apple vinegar, or 6 tsp. of apple vinegar mixed into a beverage each day for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, the men who had ingested the beverages containing vinegar had lower body mass indexes and waist circumferences than those who had not consumed any vinegar. After the study ended, the men's BMIs and waist measurements returned to their original numbers. This shows that the apple vinegar may have contributed to their weight loss.

Skepticism

The Mayo Clinic's Katherine Zeratsky, registered dietitian, does not feel that consuming apple cider vinegar is likely to help in the battle of the bulge. She states that there is little scientific support for the idea that vinegar can reduce your appetite or help you lose weight. She does point out that for most people, small and occasional doses of vinegar are unlikely to present a health danger, so trying the home remedy may not hurt.

Warnings

Although most healthy people can take apple cider vinegar in small amounts with no problem, taking too much may cause throat or stomach irritation. It can also interact with certain medications, such as insulin or diuretics. Do not take any home remedy, including apple cider vinegar, without talking to your doctor first. Tell him if you are taking any prescription, over-the-counter or herbal medications to avoid potentially dangerous interactions.

Weight Loss

A more effective way to lose weight is to focus on eating healthy foods in moderate amounts, and to exercise regularly. To lose weight, you must consume fewer calories than you need to maintain your weight. This is called a calorie deficit. The Weight-Control Information Network recommends eating fresh fruits and vegetables, lean sources of protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. Gradually add exercise to your daily regimen. Some good exercises to start with include walking, biking and swimming. See your doctor before starting any weight-loss program and ask her help in setting reasonable goals.

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