Can You Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Lose Weight?

by Dr. Ahmed Zayed
Published on November 20, 2019

People have been using apple cider vinegar for a very long time due to its various health benefits. From the name itself, this kind of vinegar is made with crushed apples that are combined with yeast for the purpose of converting their sugar to alcohol. Bacteria are then added for the fermentation of alcohol into acetic acid.

Since apple cider contains low calories as well as potassium, amino acids, and antioxidants, there is no doubt how this can promote our entire well-being. Furthermore, its disinfecting properties are capable of killing harmful bacteria and toxins in the body. In fact, it has huge potential for us to lose weight. The acetic acid in the apple cider is capable of reducing our body fats as well as suppressing our body fat build up.

Let us learn what apple cider vinegar is, how it can help you to lose weight, its health benefits, and the best way to take it.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

There are two steps in the fermentation process of an apple cider vinegar. As mentioned earlier, apples are combined with yeast after they are crushed or cut. The purpose of this is to convert the apple’s sugar into alcohol. The fermentation process requires bacteria to be added to the alcohol to convert it into acetic acid.

Traditionally, it takes around one month to produce apple cider vinegar. But due to modern technology, some manufacturers are capable of hastening the process that it can be done even within the day.

The main active component found in apple cider vinegar is acetic acid, also known as ethanoic acid. Acetic acid is an organic compound known for its strong odor and sour taste. In fact, apple cider vinegar contains around 5 to 6 percent of acetic acid. Aside from that, it also contains water and other acids such as malic acid, gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, p-coumaric acid, ferulic acid, and a lot more (1). Well, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar is only around three calories, without carbohydrates.

How Apple Cider Vinegar Helps in Losing Weight

The acetic acid in apple cider helps in losing weight

Since apple cider vinegar is high in acetic acid, it can help in promoting weight loss. It was shown that apple cider vinegar could lower the levels of blood sugar. It is capable of improving the ability of our muscles and liver to absorb sugar from the blood (2). Although the study focuses on rats, researchers believe that such observation is also applicable to people. In fact, apple cider vinegar is found to decrease the levels of insulin, which is an excellent means of burning fats.

Of course, it is also useful for those who are suffering from diabetes, pre-diabetes, or even those who are merely suffering from low levels of sugar due to some other reasons (3). A study has shown that consuming two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before sleeping can decrease our blood sugar by 4 percent (4).

Acetic acid is known to activate hepatic AMPK (5). Probably that is the reason why it helps in improving our metabolism. The enzyme AMPK is responsible for burning fats and decreasing the production of fats and sugar in our liver.

Another study has shown that apple cider vinegar can reduce the storage of fats in our body (6). The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar can also increase the genes capable of burning fats. Probably that is another reason why people who take apple cider vinegar have less body fat buildup.

Aside from that, apple cider vinegar can suppress appetite. If we are capable of controlling our appetite, we can reduce our food consumption. That is also one of the reasons why we lose weight if we take apple cider vinegar (7).

It reduces calorie intake and increases fullness

Apple cider vinegar is said to promote fullness; that is why we tend to decrease our calorie consumption. In fact, it is said to be a natural appetite suppressant because consuming vinegar can enhance satiety (8).

In a study conducted among 11 people, those who consume apple cider vinegar with a meal high in carbohydrates have a 55 percent lower response of blood sugar within an hour after eating. Those people also end up consuming 200 to 275 calories lower than their usual calorie intake (9).

Furthermore, it also results in the slowing down of the food, leaving the stomach. Another study found out that taking apple cider vinegar with a starchy meal is capable of slowing the emptying of the stomach.

But, before taking apple cider, it is best to consult an expert because some people may be suffering from a condition that makes it harmful to them. For instance, those who are suffering from gastroparesis, which is commonly experienced by people with type 1 diabetes, are not recommended to take apple cider vinegar because it can worsen the same as it delays stomach emptying (10).

It can aid you in losing weight and body fats

A study has shown the impressive effects of apple cider vinegar when it comes to our weight and body fats (11). In this study conducted among 144 obese Japanese, they were asked to consume either of the choices- 1 tablespoon of vinegar, two tablespoon of vinegar, and placebo drink- every day.

Even if they continue their diet and activity throughout the day, while restricting their alcohol intake, it was shown that those who consume vinegar experienced weight loss, decreased body fat, waist circumference, and triglycerides. On the other hand, those who take a placebo drink gained around 0.4 kilograms and increased their waist circumference.

Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Aside from its benefits in weight loss, it has various uses in the health community. It is claimed to offer a lot of benefits that are mostly supported by studies. It is also used to cure numbers of diseases since then. People also keep this for cooking and household purposes. Here are some of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar:

Kills various types of harmful bacteria

A long time ago, people used vinegar to clean, disinfect, and treat warts, lice, fungus, and ear infections. Even the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, used to utilize vinegar to clean wounds. Just imagine that it was 2,000 years ago.

Since the habitual use of antibiotics make us become resistant to it, studies investigated how an antimicrobial alternative can help in curing various diseases. And because vinegar has an antimicrobial capacity, a study was conducted, and it was found that it is actually an effective agent in killing pathogens, including bacteria (12).

Vinegar can also be used as a food preservative. It means that we can put them in our food to keep it longer without spoiling it. It can inhibit bacteria such as E. coli. Using vinegar is actually the best way to preserve food because it is natural.

Fights diabetes and lowers blood sugar

Vinegar is very beneficial for patients who have type 2 diabetes. But, always take note that before consuming such, it is best to seek advice from an expert. People with type 2 diabetes have high levels of blood sugar. Probably, the reasons for this are because of their inability to produce insulin, or they are insulin resistance.

As mentioned, people who don’t have diabetes, but have high levels of blood sugar should not consume apple cider vinegar because it can cause various chronic diseases as well as accelerate aging. Although apple cider vinegar has powerful effects for those who have high blood sugar levels, it is more effective if we avoid consuming food rich in refined sugar and carbs.

Improves heart and lowers cholesterol

We cannot deny, but one of the major causes of death in the US is heart diseases. There are many biological factors resulting in an increased or decreased risk of heart disease. The good news is that some of these factors which increase our risk of heart diseases are improved by consuming vinegar.

A study has shown that people who ate a salad with vinegar have a lower risk of heart diseases (13). Apple cider vinegar is said to lower the levels of triglyceride and cholesterol, along with various heart disease risk factors. In addition to that, it also reduces blood pressure, which is known to be the most common risk factor for heart disease and kidney issues.

Protects against cancer

One of the common causes of death in the US is cancer. It is a terrible disease caused by uncontrolled cell growth. The good news is that apple cider vinegar is said to have anti-cancer effects. In fact, studies show that different kinds of vinegar help in killing cancer cells and shrinking tumors.

According to a study, both fruit and grain vinegar have various physiological functions, such as anti-infection, antibacterial, blood glucose control, antioxidation, weight loss, lipid metabolism regulation, and anticancer activities (14).

Improves PCOS symptoms

A study has shown that women who take vinegar for 90 to 110 days improved their insulin sensitivity and 57 percent of whom resumed their ovulation. It only shows that apple cider vinegar is actually useful in improving PCOS symptoms (15).

The Best Way to Take Apple Cider

There are many ways to make apple cider vinegar a part of your diet. One of the best ways to use it is to mix it with olive oil and serve them as a salad dressing. Its taste is also improved if combined with tomatoes, cucumbers, and leafy greens.

Apple cider vinegar can also be utilized to pickle vegetables. Well, you can also mix it with water and drink it for weight loss. Usually, 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider mixed with water every day are recommended.

But, some people suggest making 2 to 3 doses of water with apple cider and spreading this throughout the day. The best time to drink it is before meals. Remember not to consume more than the recommended dosage as it might bring harmful effects to your health.

If you are a neophyte, start with one teaspoon. You should observe whether or not your body is capable of tolerating it. If yes, then you should try to increase your dose to 2 teaspoons. Always take note that this should be mixed with water because undiluted vinegar can cause your mouth and esophagus to burn. If you don’t want that to happen, then strictly follow the instructions.

Since there are already tablet forms of apple cider vinegar, remember that taking it comes with higher risks. In one case, a woman experienced throat burns after the apple cider vinegar table was lodged in her esophagus (16).

Conclusion:

Indeed, apple cider vinegar offers a lot of health benefits, but it also comes with various risks. Apple cider vinegar helps in reducing cholesterol, losing weight, lowering blood sugar level, and improving diabetes symptoms. It can also be used for various cooking and household purposes.

In order to be safe, it is always best to consume within the recommended amounts. Don’t take too much of it; otherwise, it will have detrimental effects on our entire well-being. Taking moderate amounts of apple cider vinegar can help in many ways, especially if our goal is to lose weight.

There is no doubt why apple cider vinegar has been used by many for a very long time. Even the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, used this to clean wounds. In addition to losing weight, it is also effective in treating, disinfecting, and cleaning warts, lice, fungus, and ear infections.

References:

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24811350
(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16277773
(3) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-proven-health-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar#section3
(4) https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/30/11/2814.full
(5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16630552
(6) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26176799
(7) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24781306
(8) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23979220
(9) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16321601
(10) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18093343
(11) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661687
(12) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5788933/
(13) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10232627
(14) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1541-4337.12228
(15) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23666047
(16) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15983536

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