Apple Cider
Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss Myth Vs. Reality
Author

Fact Checked By Jill Armijo, PTA, CHC

The Weight-loss Dilemma

If you want to lose weight, you're not alone.

We all want to fit into the cutest swimsuits, slide easily into the airplane seat, and feel confident walking down the street.

According to the CDC, almost half of Americans are trying to lose weight (1).

That's a lot of people, so you're in good company.

People of all shapes and sizes spend billions of dollars each year on products, coaches, therapies, and diet plans to help them shed unwanted weight (2).

Some people are trying to avoid calamity due to obesity, and others just want to lose that last stubborn ten pounds.

One of the cheapest and easiest solutions people are talking about worldwide and social media is the Apple Cider Vinegar Diet, or "detox."

People are curious about whether it works, what formulas are best, and how to incorporate it into their lifestyle.

Many people are using ACV, whether in liquid or capsule form.

Some wonder why it isn't magic for them, while others wish they'd known about it 20 years ago.

Advertisements are convincing, tempting us to look for an easy fix to everything from diabetes to losing that "pandemic 15."

Is apple cider vinegar everything they say it is, or just another gimmick?

The good news is that apple cider vinegar (ACV) has several health benefits, one of the most important being that it's safe and effective.

It helps people lose weight gradually, adding nutrition and antioxidants to their diet without drastically changing their lifestyle or getting rid of entire food groups.

Why Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar has been used over centuries for many purposes, from cleaning and cooking to wellness and medicine (3).

It's great for cleaning because it kills germs, sometimes even better than harsh chemicals you buy at the store.

It works well in baking, cooking, and whipping up sauces and salad dressings.

ACV has been used for medicinal purposes throughout the world for centuries, and millions of people continue to provide natural goodness to their healthcare using ACV.

What does the research say, and can it help you lose weight?

As with most weight loss approaches, results vary, and each person is different.

Scientists study the effects of interventions, and their tests rarely show that something will always work or never work.

A research trial could severely limit participants' calories, and some might not lose weight.

Test subjects could all hang by their toenails from the rafters for ten minutes every day, and someone will lose weight.

People are unique, and what works for one won't work for another and vice versa.

When trying something new, it's advisable to consult research, make your choices with a health professional's advice, and then proceed with wisdom, implementing new interventions gradually.

Many weight-loss tactics are touted to help you shed pounds fast. Steer clear of those.

Any consistent, healthy changes take time. Be patient. More isn't always better.

Recommended use of ACV helps people lose weight gradually and consistently, allowing the body to adjust and enjoy better health over time.

Research shows that ACV may also provide other health benefits such as decreasing diabetes symptoms, lowering blood sugar, and improving cholesterol levels (4).

Basic Facts We Know

The process of fermenting sugar from apples and adding yeast creates alcohol. Adding bacteria makes acetic acid, the main active ingredient in apple cider vinegar (5).

Acetic acid kills many harmful bacteria and prevents their growth.

Apple cider vinegar disinfects surfaces and preserves foods naturally (6).

Studies have shown that ACV acts as an antioxidant, which can prevent diabetic complications in the liver and kidneys (7).

Antioxidants prevent damage from free radicals that cause cell damage because of environmental stress.

All our bodies need this kind of help (8).

ACV helps limit blood sugar spiking after meals by slowing the passage of food from the stomach to the lower gastrointestinal tract and decreasing sugar absorption into the bloodstream (9).

Promising Study For Further Research

  • ACV promotes insulin sensitivity to help lower blood sugar and prevent spiking, keeping you feeling better, more energetic, and more productive (12).
  • Taking apple cider vinegar with meals often helps people feel full sooner, thus eating less (13). 

It's empowering to push your plate away before you've polished off every last morsel of food.

Your mother might feel super bad about starving children somewhere, but you'll feel confident and well-nourished without feeling sick.

  • Taking ACV with a high-carb meal can decrease insulin resistance (10). 

Insulin resistance helps us hold onto our fat supply because, along with muscle and liver cells, they can't use glucose from the bloodstream to create energy.

So your pancreas tries to pick up the slack by making more insulin, but blood sugar levels can eventually get out of control (11).

  • Daily supplementation of ACV can reduce triglycerides, cholesterol, and blood pressure (14). 

Studies continue to assess the benefits of apple cider vinegar for your heart.

  • Apple cider vinegar provides a good source of potassium (15). 

Many of us don't get enough potassium, even if we think we're eating foods high in this mineral.

Processing foods often leaches potassium out, and adds large amounts of salt due to the loss of flavor during canning, for instance. (16)

  • You can create delicious and healthy foods, like baked goods, using ACV with baking soda for leavening, stovetop suppers with tangy sauces, and delicious salad dressings that take only a minute to mix with olive oil and your favorite herbs and spices (17) (18).
  • ACV may slowly decrease body fat over time, with consistent use (19). 

This is the benefit you want for the long run. 

Anyone can starve for a few days and lose a little weight, but it only stays off with continuous, consistent practices, such as eating right, exercising, and supplementing with what your body needs the most and may not be getting through diet alone.

Study Methods

Scientists and researchers create and carry out animal and human studies using various methods, dosing amounts, times of day, and proximity to mealtimes with ACV supplementation (20).

Usually, researchers use double-blind studies so that participants and test administrators don't know which individuals are taking the ACV and which are taking a placebo.

This technique prevents bias and perceived outcome possibilities (21).

The best studies use a large group of participants, regular, sensible dosing over 12 weeks to 6 months.

These tests show favorable results between control groups and those who took ACV during the studies. (22)

Reliable and effective researchers usually administer the typically recommended dosage amounts between 1-2 tablespoons (10-30 mL) per day (23).

Test participants may be asked to take doses at mealtimes, either in a drink or prepared with food, in the morning on an empty stomach or with breakfast, or at night before bed (24).

Myths And Side Effects

The following statements are offered freely to millions of people but are not proven facts.

  1. Apple cider vinegar will make you lose weight fast.
  2. Apple cider is the answer everyone has been waiting for.
  3. Apple cider vinegar is natural, so it can't hurt you.

Small doses of ACV is beneficial, as with many supplements or diet interventions, but it can have adverse effects if taken too often, in too large amounts, or with health conditions or medications that don't mix well.

The following are some problems that can arise with the overuse of apple cider vinegar.

Gastroparesis – When food stays in the stomach too long, it can cause mild bloating and nausea (25).

Indigestion – It's no fun when taking ACV before meals results in decreased appetite (26).

Drug interactions – ACV may increase the moderate effects of insulin, digoxin, and some diuretics (27).

To take optimal care of your body, always use moderation and incorporate new products into your diet, as indicated by the package label.

Reality Is Worth Believing

Losing weight by supplementing your diet with apple cider vinegar may provide you with additional great health benefits, including (28)

  • Preventing candida
  • Normalizing microbiome
  • Improving cholesterol level
  • Aiding digestion
  • Suppressing appetite
  • Controlling blood sugar levels
  • Boosting energy
  • Accelerating fat burning
  • Curbing carb cravings
  • Speeding up metabolism
Author

Fact Checked By Jill Armijo, PTA, CHC

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