What Does Apple Cider Vinegar Do to Belly Fat?

Trimming fat around your waistline has the potential not only to boost your self-confidence but also to reduce your risk for heart disease and diabetes. Belly fat can be stubborn, and consuming apple cider vinegar, along with diet and exercise, may help your efforts to shed the muffin top.

Apple cider vinegar has been used for its various medicinal properties for eons. (Image: vonEisenstein/iStock/GettyImages)

Tip

Although you can't target specific areas of your body for fat loss, using apple cider vinegar in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise can help you lose fat all over, including belly fat.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Weight Loss

Acetic acid, one of the major components of apple cider vinegar, may help with weight loss because it may suppress fat accumulation. Consuming a daily dose of vinegar led to a lower body weight, waist circumference and abdominal fat mass, according to a 2009 study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry.

The researchers hypothesized that the acetic acid was responsible for the change, but this does not mean apple cider vinegar is a magic bullet for burning fat. A healthy diet and exercise are the best ways to beat belly fat, and apple cider vinegar may give you a boost.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Belly Fat

Many health claims have been made about apple cider vinegar, but science does not back up all of them. One of the most well-studied properties of apple cider vinegar is its ability to improve insulin sensitivity. This is good news for diabetics, but it may also be helpful for those wanting to shed a few pounds. Insulin is a hormone that enables your body's cells to utilize energy from sugar in your bloodstream, but it is also a growth hormone.

When levels of insulin in your bloodstream are high — such as after consuming a high-carbohydrate meal — your body is more likely to store fat. If your body is resistant to insulin, it will produce more insulin in an attempt to reduce blood sugar levels. Consuming apple cider vinegar with a high-carbohydrate meal increases insulin sensitivity, according to a 2004 study published in Diabetes Care.

Apple Cider Vinegar Increases Satiety

The cornerstone of getting rid of belly fat and losing weight is to burn more calories than you take in. Cutting calories is often easier said than done, however. Apple cider vinegar may help you eat less by increasing your feelings of fullness after a meal. Subjects who consumed vinegar along with a bread meal reported increased satiety after the meal, according to a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2005.

Another study published that year in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that when vinegar is consumed with a meal, calorie consumption throughout the rest of the day drops by 200 to 275 calories. Both studies used only small numbers of people, however, so the evidence is not conclusive.

Scientists aren't sure why apple cider vinegar may affect appetite — it could be related to increased insulin sensitivity, but it's also possible that the potent flavor kills appetite. If you consume a healthy, low-calorie diet full of fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains, adding apple cider vinegar may help you resist the urge to overeat or snack between meals.

Apple Cider Vinegar Considerations

Apple cider vinegar is safe to consume every day, as side effects are extremely rare. In one case, a woman reported inflammation in her esophagus after consuming vinegar in an attempt to dislodge a piece of crab shell in her throat. Other extremely rare side effects are accidental aspiration of vinegar and high potassium levels with overly high daily doses.

Consult with your physician before you start any diet and exercise program. Be sure to dilute apple cider vinegar with water if you plan to drink it, or you can mix it with olive oil and use it as a zesty salad dressing.

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