Cider vinegar, specifically, apple cider vinegar, has a long history of use in folk medicine for various health benefits such as weight loss. While many of the uses lack clinical support, some clinical studies support cider vinegar's ability to boost weight loss.
The primary component of all vinegar is acetic acid, which is partially responsible in the benefits, so you don't have to limit yourself to cider vinegar for weight-loss benefits. Consult your physician before supplementing cider vinegar for weight loss.
Although there's no specific dosage of cider vinegar for weight loss, recommendations typically range from 1 to 2 teaspoons.
Review the Research
Cider vinegar may enhance weight loss by preventing blood sugar spikes and boosting satiety. Consuming 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar prior to eating a meal of bagel and juice effectively lowers after-meal glucose levels, according to an older study published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism in February 2010, which means you won't see rapid blood sugar spikes that trigger hunger. The effect is more pronounced when taken at mealtime as opposed to several hours before meals, write the authors.
According to an April 2018 study published by Journal of Functional Foods, the addition of apple cider vinegar to a restricted calorie diet led to greater weight loss than the restricted calorie diet alone, over a 12 week period. Blood sugar and cholesterol levels dropped and levels of "good cholesterol" or HDL increased.
Don't Expect Miracles
While supplementing vinegar before meals may boost weight loss, it's crucial to have realistic expectations. The Journal of Food Science published a review of the anti-obesity affects of vinegar in its May 2014 edition, and the results are modest. Authors found clinical data showing consuming vinegar led to a decreased intake of 200 to 275 calories per day.
Over the course of one month, this daily reduction would lead to a weight loss of 1 to 1 1/2 pounds, which suggests supplementing vinegar is no magic bullet to shedding pounds, but it may have a subtle influence on weight loss.
Consider Cider Vinegar Side Effects
Small amounts of cider vinegar, such as the amount used in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism study, is unlikely to cause problems. Participants in the study reported no side effects. However, certain fad diets recommend higher amounts that may cause problems.
The acidic content of vinegar may cause irritation to your throat and lining of your stomach. It may even erode your teeth, warns a case study published in the Dutch Journal of Dentistry in December 2012. The report describes a 15-year-old girl who experienced tooth erosion from daily consumption of an entire glass of apple cider vinegar for weight loss purposes.
According to Harvard Health, apple cider vinegar consumption has been shown to lower potassium levels. This can cause an issue for individuals taking diuretics or other medications that also have the same side effect. Be sure to check with your doctor to determine if apple cider vinegar is safe for you.
- Journal of Food Science: "Functional Properties of Vinegar"
- Dutch Journal of Dentistry: "Unhealthy Weight Loss. Erosion by Apple Cider Vinegar"
- European Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Vinegar Supplementation Lowers Glucose and Insulin Responses and Increases Satiety After a Bread Meal in Healthy Subjects
- Journal of Functional Foods: "Beneficial Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar on Weight Management, Visceral Adiposity Index and Lipid Profile in Overweight or Obese Subjects Receiving Restricted Calorie Diet: A Randomized Clinical Trial"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Apple Cider Vinegar Diet: Does It Really Work?"
- Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism: "Examination of the Antiglycemic Properties of Vinegar in Healthy Adults"