Does apple cider vinegar help you lose weight? This may be the pressing question on your mind, particularly if you’re on a weight loss journey. It’s no secret that that apple cider vinegar has many health benefits, these range from curing acne to dealing with a nasty case of athletes foot.
However, it’s the weight loss aspect that has peaked a lot of peoples interest in it.
For a number of years, Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been recommended as a super elixir for weight loss. While this is great news, it needs to be said, like most natural remedies for weight loss, this is not a magic solution to fix bad habits.
But before you switch off…
There is enough evidence to suggest that apple cider vinegar still does have some value as a weight loss aid.
What is Apple Cider vinegar
Before we find out what apple cider vinegar does in the body, let’s find out what it actually is.
The process of making Apple cider vinegar is done in a two-step fermentation process (1). The apples are first sliced and then crushed, blending with yeast which converts the sugar into alcohol. After this process, the addition of bacteria ferments the alcohol into acetic acid.
For traditional apple cider vinegar the entire process takes around one month however, many manufacturers have accelerated the process so it takes days.
The main component of Apple Cider Vinegar is Acetic acid. This organic compound is also known as ethanoic acid, and it has a strong and sour taste. Incidentally, the term acetic is derived from acetum, which is the Latin word for vinegar.
Around 5–6% of apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid. There are also contains water and small amounts of other acids, such as malic acid.
Apple Cider Vinegar is very low in calories, with one tablespoon (15 ml) delivering just three calories and virtually no carbs.
Acetic Acid Has Various Benefits for Fat Loss
Acetic acid is a short-chain fatty acid which dissolves into hydrogen and acetate in your body.
There have been studies with animals that studies suggest it’s the acetic acid in apple cider that could potentially promote weight loss. This happens in a number of ways :
- Decreases insulin levels: In research involving rats, acetic acid was found to reduce the ratio of insulin to glucagon, which could help in fat burning
- Lowers blood sugar levels: In the same study with rats, acetic acid showed a marked ability to improve the liver and muscles ability to take up sugar from the blood (2).
- Improves metabolism: In other research, rats were exposed to acetic acid began to increase in the enzyme AMPK, which boosts fat burning while decreasing fat and sugar production in the liver (3).
- A reduction in fat storage: When administering AVC to diabetic and obese rats, the acetic acid prevented increasing weight gain and also elevated expression of genes that reduce belly fat storage and liver fat.
- Burns fat: A study with mice who were fed a high-fat diet while being supplemented with acetic acid, saw a major increase in the genes responsible for fat burning. (4).
- Suppresses appetite: Other studies have connected acetate with a suppression of appetite. This is because it actively suppresses centers in the brain that control appetite, leading to reduced food intake
Will apple cider vinegar help me lose weight?
While animal studies are well and good, it would be nice to know that Apple Cider Vinegar legitimately worked on people.
Scientists at the Department of Nutrition at Arizona State University discovered that following a dose of ACV, dieters at 200 to 275 calories less per day. Seems small at first, but those numbers add up.
There have been other studies showing how Apple Cide Vinegar keeps dieters fuller for longer. Carol Johnston, a nutritionist at Arizona State University states;
If you consume small amounts of apple cider vinegar your metabolism is activated and that serves to help your body use fat as energy.
In a study published by the journal Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry, people lost an average of two kilos in 12 weeks after consuming a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar during this period.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Worth Trying For Weight loss?
So in response to; does apple cider vinegar help you lose weight? The answer is a cautiously optimistic yes. There is evidence to suggest that Acetic acid is responsible for increasing metabolism and burning fat.
Is it a magic bullet – no, it will only go as far as you are willing to let it. What I mean is if you’re eating ridiculously badly, then Apple Cider Vinegar won’t get you shredded in a week. But with careful eating, some exercise and Apple Cider Vinegar combined, the scales are like to start moving.
Although there is no fixed amount recommended, more or less the figure would be to mix a couple of tablespoons in a glass of water before meals.