- Some people believe cider vinegar has many health benefits, from curing acne to losing weight
- The idea is that acetic acid produced during the fermentation process can help control appetite and burn fat Indications that this may be true. Experts say it's anything but a magic ball for weight loss.
If you've spent more than a second on the Internet, you probably have an Instagram post, health history, or Facebook status update that's constantly on the wonders of apple cider vinegar. ACV, as its fans call it, has been touted as an acne treatment, dandruff and sunburn pacifier. Some research suggests that drinking apple cider vinegar may help you lose weight, which is why people add it to tea, smoothies, or just drink it alone. It is also popular with marinades and salad dressings.
But can a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar actually help you burn fat? We asked the experts what you should know:
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
For those unfamiliar with apple cider vinegar, it is simply apple cider vinegar with yeast that starts the fermentation process. Mostly, two tablespoons of water are added, although some people take it in weft form. A single tablespoon of cider vinegar contains only three calories, meaning that dieters do not have to worry about drinking their calories.
What are the side effects of apple cider vinegar?
As with most things, it's best to consume apple cider vinegar in moderation as too much can damage teeth and bones, according to the case reports.
Take this warning story as an example: A 28-year-old woman was diagnosed with low potassium and osteoporosis because of her ACV consumption. She visited the hospital and complained of convulsions, and the doctors found that she had low-potassium and fragile bones. They believe that she lost bone mass because they drank 8 ounces of vinegar a day.
Diabetics should also exercise caution when taking apple cider vinegar, as WebMD may lower blood glucose levels. Certain medications such as insulin, digoxin (used to treat heart problems) and diuretics may interact negatively with ACV.
The Science behind Apple Cider Vinegar and Weight Loss
There is some evidence that acetic acid may be good for weight loss, as it targets body fat. Carol Johnston, associate director of the Nutrition Program at Arizona State University, who has conducted extensive research on this topic. If you consume small amounts of acetic acid over apple cider vinegar, your metabolism will be activated so that your body uses fat as an energy source instead of storing it, says Johnston.
In a study of overweight rats, fat diets lost a considerable amount of body fat when acetic acid was added to their diet. In another study published in the journal Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry, people lost an average of four pounds within 1
Acetic acid in vinegar may be beneficial in others as it suppresses your appetite, says Johnston. Apple cider vinegar has been found to be most effective when combined with a diet containing starchy foods as the acid slows down the digestion of starch. This may help dieters, as slow digestion will make you feel fuller and longer.
There is also evidence that drinking cider vinegar before a starchy meal can help keep your blood sugar stable and less likely to make you want sweet snacks.
But does apple cider vinegar actually help you lose weight?
Johnston says it's worth a try – assuming you're not immediately looking for results. "Vinegar is not a magic ball to lose weight. I've seen a very small weight loss of one to two pounds at 12 weeks in my studies, "she told the Washington Post .
If you eat wholefoods high in starch such as potatoes or rice, you can try making apple cider vinegar a daily precursor to your meals. There is no official recommended dosage as the research of apple cider vinegar use is limited, but Johnston recommends drinking one to two tablespoons of eight ounces of water before the meal. (Be careful not to add more – as it contains acetic acid, drinking a ton of ACV can cause burns to the esophagus or erosion of the enamel.)
There is also a lot of hype on health blogs and message boards about unpasteurized vinegars still containing the clumps of bacteria and yeasts (the "mother") that form during the fermentation process. While most brands filter out the bulk, others include them, believing they could improve the health benefits of apple cider vinegar; But there are no studies that support this idea.
To sum up, apple cider vinegar is not a magic weight loss solution, and experts agree that you need to adapt to your diet and exercise routines much better than taking vinegar.