Does Apple Cider Vinegar Work For Weight Loss? (The Truth)
Apple cider vinegar has been used as a health food for a long time. Historical records of its use date back to 5000 BC. Hippocrates, who was an ancient physician, prescribed apple cider vinegar to his patients for coughs, colds and even wounds. Many say it helps you lose weight and improve digestion, but just how accurate are these claims?
Apple cider vinegar has a lot of health benefits and based on the evidence I think that it may be worthwhile to keep a bottle of it in your home.
What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider is made by first crushing apples and combining them with yeast. This converts the sugar from the apples into alcohol. Bacteria are also added in order to ferment the alcohol into what we call acetic acid.
Acetic acid is the key ingredient in organic apple cider vinegar which is responsible for many of the spouted health benefits.
Keep in mind that the research I’ll cover below only applies to apple cider vinegar with “mother” which is the cloud of good bacteria created by the fermentation process.
Raw and organic apple cider vinegar is the only vinegar which is alkaline-forming in the body. Other vinegar is acidic. This helps to balance pH levels in the body. This is the brand of apple cider vinegar I recommend.
The acetic acid is what gives apple cider vinegar the very pungent and sour odour which many people think is disgusting. Personally, I don’t mind the smell. You should expect the genuine liquid to have a murky and cloudy appearance.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help With Weight Loss?
I must first disclose that some of these studies are based on animal trials.
Insulin And Blood Sugar
Apple cider vinegar lowers blood sugar levels. When you are insulin resistant you have too much sugar in the blood which can cause a lot of problems (1).
Maintaining stable blood sugar levels is key for your well-being both cognitively and physically, increasing insulin sensitivity can be achieved several ways, including intermittent fasting, exercise and the ketogenic diet.
Even though the ketogenic diet has certain advantages, remember that virtually any diet that eliminates sugary processed foods is going to have a dramatic effect on blood sugar levels.
If you’re struggling with cutting out sugar from your diet and you’re looking for apple cider vinegar to solve these problems then I suggest you read this article on how to kill sugar addiction naturally.
Apple cider vinegar has also been shown to increase the metabolic rate of rats. When they were exposed to acetic acid they showed an increase of AMPK, which is an enzyme tied to fat storage and the amount of sugar being produced by the liver (2).
Remember, the best way to increase your metabolism is to gain muscle. Muscle is metabolically active and this means that the more you have the more calories you burn by doing nothing.
If you want to learn more, I suggest watching this video on the 4 proven ways to boost your metabolism.
Your appetite is generally going to be the main driver of how much weight you lose. Decreasing your caloric intake is obviously a big part of losing weight and it seems apple cider may be able to help do this through decreasing appetite (3, 4).
As I previously explained, apple cider vinegar helps to control blood glucose levels.
One study showcased this in the most convincing way. Researchers explored what would happen if apple cider vinegar was consumed after a high-carb meal.
11 participants were shown to have a 55% drop in blood sugar levels one hour after eating when they consumed apple cider vinegar. Now it’s important to recognise that this is a small sample size.
Another reason it’s speculated that apple cider vinegar helps with decreasing one’s appetite is due to the rate at which your stomach is emptied. Stomach emptying is slowed down when apple cider vinegar is taken with a starchy high carb meal.
Stomach emptying is slowed down when apple cider vinegar as taken with a starchy high carb meal.
Because of this change in the speed of stomach emptying, researchers came to the conclusion that it was the apple cider vinegar responsible for the decrease in appetite as well as lowered blood sugar and insulin levels (5).
This appetite suppressing quality of apple cider vinegar actually leads to people consuming 200-275 fewer calories for the rest of the day, which can certainly add up over time (6).
Improved Digestion And Gut Health
One common myth is that apple vinegar is a dense source of vitamins. There are some, but not as many as people make it out to have.
Just like apple juice, it has a range of B vitamins, vitamin C and small quantities of minerals such as magnesium, iron, potassium pectin and iron.
Pectin which is a soluble fibre found in fruits and vegetables is helpful for good digestion by promoting and encouraging the growth of good bacteria.
Pectin works by slowing down nutrient absorption by binding to foods inside your digestive tract that aren’t able to be metabolised.
When it carries waste from your body it leaves behind probiotics inside your gut which grow and protect your gut health. This is why regular consumption of apple cider vinegar is useful for regulating the body’s digestive system.
Prebiotics set the stage for probiotics to increase in numbers and diversity.
Lower LDL Cholesterol
Bile production in the liver is important for creating and processing and breaking down cholesterol. Having excess triglycerides or LDL cholesterol can build up and are closely interlinked with atherosclerosis which increases the risk for a heart attack or stroke.
Whether it’s cholesterol per se which is causative is another story. This is a complex issue which is explained well in this video on the truth about cholesterol.
An interesting research project found that apple cider vinegar reduces LDL “bad” cholesterol and triglyceride levels in people with high cholesterol (11). This was a small sample group, but the research seems promising.
Other Uses Of Apple Cider Vinegar
Hippocrates, the ancient physician I briefly mentioned earlier would prescribe apple cider vinegar for wounds as it is anti-bacterial. Vinegar, in general, helps kill off pathogens and dangerous bacteria (12).
The use of apple cider vinegar really does go beyond potential weight loss. This brand of apple cider vinegar is by far one of the most popular and cheap brands which I recommend.
Apple cider vinegar can also be used for your hair, cleaning, your skin and even in order to stop hiccups. Whether you want to use it for these reasons is completely up to you, but it goes to show how versatile this ancient liquid is.
Apple cider vinegar clearly has some benefits, but it’s not a magic cure for weight loss.
If you’re looking for a way to lower blood sugar levels, improve your digestion and aid your weight loss then apple cider vinegar may be a helpful tool in your toolbox.
The most evident benefits of apple cider vinegar include:
• Lower blood sugar and insulin levels
• Lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides
• Increases your metabolism
• Decreases your appetite