Is Apple Cider Vinegar Really a “Magic Pill” for Weight Loss?
Chances are your grandmother and even her grandmother used apple cider vinegar to help with cleaning, killing bacteria, disinfecting, treating nail fungus, lice, warts and even ear infections. But they also consumed it because it was believed to help you achieve a slimmer waistline.
What about modern times? Apple cider vinegar has been shown to have numerous benefits for blood sugar and insulin levels, making it a great daily addition for people with diabetes, pre-diabetes and everyone who wants to keep their blood sugar levels under control. (1)
Who would have thought that such an everyday food staple could have such profound effects on our lives?
But, does apple cider vinegar also help with weight loss, as some would have you believe?
Surprisingly, yes, and it’s even been proven by numerous studies.
A Swedish study showed that when people consume vinegar with a meal they report feeling fuller after eating than those that didn’t take vinegar. Put simply, vinegar makes you feel full sooner and thus help decrease the amount of food eaten. (2)
It’s not just about feeling fuller. UK research shows that acetic acid in vinegar can stop junk food cravings and help with better control over appetite. (3)
A study by Carol Johnston from Arizona State University shows that drinking apple cider vinegar before a carbohydrate-filled meal can reduce blood sugar spikes that would usually occur after eating. (4)
Her study further shows that the acetic acid in vinegar can affect how the food we eat is digested. In short, it may prevent some of the starches we eat from being absorbed into the bloodstream, decreasing the calorie intake from our food.
It gets even better, a 2009 double-blind placebo-controlled study in Japan showed that regular apple cider vinegar intake can decrease abdominal fat and waist circumference. (5)
However, the problem is that all of these great benefits would require you to take at least 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily. The problem isn’t just in the taste, but taking apple cider vinegar directly might also damage your teeth and throat.
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S Johnston, Carol & M Kim, Cindy & J Buller, Amanda. (2004). Vinegar Improves Insulin Sensitivity to a High-Carbohydrate Meal in Subjects With Insulin Resistance or Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes care. 27. 281-2. 10.2337/diacare.27.1.281.
Ostman, Elin & Granfeldt, Yvonne & Persson, L & Björck, I. (2005). Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses and increases satiety after a bread meal in healthy subjects. European journal of clinical nutrition. 59. 983-8. 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602197.
Frost G, Sleeth ML, Sahuri-Arisoylu M, et al. The short-chain fatty acid acetate reduces appetite via a central homeostatic mechanism. Nat Commun. 2014;5:3611. Published 2014 Apr 29. doi:10.1038/ncomms4611
Johnston C, S, Steplewska I, Long C, A, Harris L, N, Ryals R, H: Examination of the Antiglycemic Properties of Vinegar in Healthy Adults. Ann Nutr Metab 2010;56:74-79. doi: 10.1159/000272133
Kondo, Tomoo & Kishi, Mikiya & Fushimi, Takashi & Ugajin, Shinobu & Kaga, Takayuki. (2009). Vinegar Intake Reduces Body Weight, Body Fat Mass, and Serum Triglyceride Levels in Obese Japanese Subjects. Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry. 73. 1837-43. 10.1271/bbb.90231.