Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help Weight Loss?
- Study show that the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar can help increase satiety levels which means less food and less body fat in the long run.
- Apple cider vinegar with a restricted calorie diet encourages weight loss. Study shows that ACV can significantly reduce body weight, BMI, hip circumference, visceral adiposity index and appetite score while decreasing triglycerides and total cholesterol levels.
- Research has also shown that daily intake of apple cider vinegar by obese subjects for over 12 weeks helped them loose weight.
We want to help answer the question “does apple cider vinegar help with weight loss efforts?”. ACV is one of those drinks people seeking to loose weight are advised to add to their list of fat burning recipes. Over here in Nigeria, the drink is a very popular one in the fitness community.
And I have also experimented with ACV before. But for a different reason. It was for oral health but my family members that shared the bottle with me, did so for the primary purpose of loosing weight. And they all claimed the tonic helped them with their weight loss journey. At that time my favorite weight loss drink was ginger tea and is still on that favorite list, that is getting longer and longer by the day.
But over here on Naturally Healthy Talk we believe that it is not just enough to say a particular product works because of just personal experience alone. Research and medical studies is where we like to draw assurance from.
And that is why we try to back up our claims with these studies. Without which our personal experience is just another layman’s claim. That could lead us into trouble.
Before delving into the relationship between apple cider vinegar and weight loss. We should take a general look at what apple cider vinegar is.
Legend states that a courtier in Babylonia (c. 5000 BC) “discovered” wine, formed from unattended grape juice, leading to the eventual discovery of vinegar and its use as a food preservative. Hippocrates (c. 420 BC) used vinegar medicinally to manage wounds. Hannibal of Carthage (c. 200 BC), the great military leader and strategist, used vinegar to dissolve boulders that blocked his army’s path. Cleopatra (c. 50 BC) dissolved precious pearls in vinegar and offered her love potion to Anthony. Sung Tse, the 10th century creator of forensic medicine, advocated hand washing with sulfur and vinegar to avoid infection during autopsies.
It is a fact that ACV has therapeutic effects and this is due to its inherent bioactive components such as acetic acid, gallic acid, catechin, ephicatechin, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, and ferulic acid which are responsible for causing antioxidative, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, antitumor, antiobesity, antihypertensive, and cholesterol-lowering responses when consumed.1
How Is Apple Cider Vinegar Made
Apple cider vinegar comes from apples that have been crushed, distilled, and then fermented. A basic description would be, covering the crushed apples with water and leaving them at room temperature until the natural sugars ferment and form ethanol. But let us go a step further.
The process involves crushing the apples which creates a liquid that is then mixed with yeast to convert and accelerate the process of alcoholic fermentation. The sugar (dextrose, glucose, and fructose) from the apples is what is converted into ethanol alcohol. Which is the first stage of the fermentation process.
The ethanol alcohol is then converted into acetic acid by airborne bacteria, called acetobacter, to produce vinegar.
Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help With Weight Loss?
Acetic acid is the main active component of apple cider vinegar. Which is also known as ethanoic acid and is responsible for both the taste and strong odour of ACV.
And this is the main ingredient that has been attributed to the weight loss benefit of ACV. And research around this acid and weight loss has more animal studies than human, to affirm the weight loss claims.
We shall begin with the animal studies and then whatever human studies is out there, would follow after.
In a rat study it was discovered that acetic acid was able to improve the ability of the liver and muscles to use sugar from the blood while also reducing the ratio of insulin to glucagon which may be beneficial for fat burning. In other words, acetic acid was able to lower blood sugar and insulin levels in rats. 2
In another animal study. Diabetic rats treated with acetic acid or acetate were protected from weight gain, encouraging genes that reduced belly fat storage and liver fat. Also in another study, mice fed with a high-fat diet supplemented with acetic acid showed a significant increase in the genes responsible for fat burning, which consequently led to less body fat. 3, 4, 5
Another study suggest that acetate has a direct role in central appetite regulation. Which means that it may help suppress centers in our brain that control appetite and ultimately how much food we consume. 6
It is obvious that these animal studies all point to one fact. That the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar can help with weight loss. But animal research is not enough to draw conclusions from. And that is why we must now look to whatever human study on the subject that is out there.
The first human study that we shall be making mention of is a randomized clinical trial carried out to check if apple cider vinegar has beneficial effects on the management of body weight and serum metabolic profiles in overweight or obese individuals.
The study divided the participants into two groups. The first group was subjected to a restricted calorie diet with 250 calories a day deficit and 30 mL/d of apple cider vinegar while the control group was only subjected to a restricted calorie diet, for 12 weeks.
What the study discovered was that ACV was able to significantly reduce body weight, BMI, Hip circumference, visceral adiposity index (VAI) and appetite score. While also significantly decreasing Plasma triglyceride and total cholesterol levels and increasing high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) concentration in the ACV group in comparison to the control group (the ACV group lost 8.8 pounds while the control group lost 5 pounds). With the study concluding that ACV along with a restricted calorie diet can be considered an effective weight management strategy for overweight and obese individuals. 7
In a study that is the first to demonstrate that vinegar reduces body weight, BMI, and body fat mass
in obese Japanese, subjects were randomly assigned to three groups during the 12-week treatment period. Each group ingested 500 ml daily of a
beverage containing either 15 ml of vinegar [750 mg AcOH (acetic acid)], 30 ml of vinegar (1,500 mg AcOH), or 0 ml of vinegar (0 mg AcOH, placebo).
The two group that ingested vinegar showed significant reduction in body weight, BMI, visceral fat area, waist circumference, and serum levels than in the placebo group. Leading the researchers to conclude that daily intake of vinegar might be useful in reducing obesity.
In fact, those who drank two tablespoons had lost close to 4 pounds, while those who drank one tablespoon lost 2.5 pounds. (Those who drank the placebo actually gained a little bit of weight.)
According to the study: “Body weight, BMI, and Body Fat Ratio values in both the low and high-dose groups began to decrease from week 4. Furthermore, body weight and BMI values in the high-dose group were significantly lower than those in the low-dose group at weeks 8 and 12, indicating dose dependency. The circumferences of the waist and hip in the high- and low-dose groups started to decrease from weeks 4 and 8 respectively. As compared with the
placebo group, both the high- and low-dose groups had significantly lower body weights, BMIs, and BFRs at weeks 4, 8 and 12, circumferences of waist and hip at weeks 8 and 12, and waist-hip ratios at week 12.” Showing that apple cider vinegar does help with weight loss. 8
In another human study subjects consuming 2 tablespoons of red raspberry vinegar daily with free access to food and water for 4 weeks lost weight whereas the control group consuming a similar amount of cranberry juice daily for 4 weeks had a slight weight gain. This particular study pinpoints the fact that vinegar is indeed a worthy help mate in the fight against obesity.
In another study, healthy volunteers consumed 3 levels of vinegar (18, 23, and 28 mmol acetic acid) with a portion of white wheat bread; bread consumption (no vinegar) was used as a control meal. When the hunger and satiety feelings of volunteers were evaluated it was noted that satiety increased with rising acetic acid level. 9, 10
With all the studies above, it is quite clear that apple cider vinegar can really help us on the road to a slimmer waist and smaller stomach size. But like every other weight loss drink out there that actually works, apple cider vinegar is best used with a well structured diet plan and regular physical exercise.
If you are on a budget and would love to have another weight loss drink with a cheaper price tag then check out the post on Lipton black tea for weight loss. For those who don’t already know, black tea is another effective but cheap tea that can help burn those extra body fat. It would make sense to have that in your weight loss arsenal.