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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Conrad

Apple Cider Vinegar

Does drinking ACV really promote weight loss, or deliver on any of the other popular rumors swirling around it? Let's look at the pros and cons.

Does ACV Cause Weight Loss?

There's no rigorous science to back up the claim that apple cider vinegar kicks off a metabolic process that results in weight loss.

"Apple cider vinegar doesn’t have any physiological properties that speed up your metabolism or melt fat," Abby Langer, R.D.

Pros of ACV:

1. The reason we get bad cravings at times is due to low blood sugar levels. Since apple cider vinegar may be able to control our blood sugar levels, your cravings might decrease.

"It may have some effect in terms of decreasing the increase in blood sugar that happens after eating a carbohydrate in people who are prone to high blood sugar," says Dr. Kahan, although the mechanism behind this isn't totally clear. "Vinegar is an acid that changes the pH of food, which can affect how quickly something is metabolized and absorbed," he says. "It could also affect the enzymes that are responsible for metabolizing and absorbing the nutrients of different foods."

2. Some claim that taking apple cider vinegar with meals will help digest proteins faster and therefore generate higher levels of growth hormone. This is claimed to break down more fat cells. Unfortunately, there’s no evidence to support such ideas, but it might help reduce stomach bloat.

3. According to a UK study, it may be that vinegar can suppress appetite. When offered a pleasant-tasting vinegar drink, one that was less palatable, or a non-vinegar drink with their breakfast, volunteers who downed both vinegar drinks felt slightly nauseated. Not surprisingly, this suppressed their appetite. But, suppressing your appetite is not the best solution to lose weight. What's more effective is looking at what you are eating and seeing where to adjust to satisfy you.

4. Several studies have reported on the effects cider vinegar can have on blood glucose levels. One small study of healthy volunteers found that adding vinegar to a meal reduced glucose and insulin levels — at least for 45 minutes — and increased satiety for up to two hours. Another small study of people with type 2 diabetes reported adding vinegar to a high carbohydrate meal reduced the subsequent rise in the blood glucose level. However, this effect was only apparent for a high glycemic index carbohydrate, such as mashed potatoes. When the carbs came from a lower GI food such as wholegrain bread, the vinegar had no effect.

5. Like all vinegars, it has virtually no kilojoules and, mixed with extra virgin olive oil, makes an excellent salad dressing.

6. A 2006 study showed evidence that vinegar could lower cholesterol. However, the study was done in rats, so it’s too early to know how it might work in people.

Cons of ACV:

1. The acid in vinegar erodes tooth enamel.

2. The acid can cause damage to the lining of your esophagus.

What to Focus on for Weight Loss

Using apple cider vinegar as a detox or quick fix is not the best mindset. The detox industry is not the most reliable. What type of food you consume, calorie intake, and exercise is more important.

Weight loss: calories eaten < calories spending.

It seems that ACV can aid in weight loss by promoting satiety and lowering blood sugar and insulin levels. There aren't many cons to taking ACV, so it's something you can definetly experiment with.

How to Consume Apple Cider Vinegar Safely

Most people can safely consume reasonable amounts of apple cider vinegar by following these general guidelines:

Limit your intake: Start with a smaller amount and gradually work up to a maximum of 2 tablespoons (30 ml) per day, depending on your personal tolerance.

Minimize your tooth exposure to acetic acid: Try diluting the vinegar in water and drinking it through a straw.

Rinse your mouth: Rinse with water after taking it. To prevent further enamel damage, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.

Consider avoiding it if you have gastroparesis: Avoid apple cider vinegar or limit the amount to 1 teaspoon (5 ml) in water or salad dressing.

Be aware of allergies: Allergies to apple cider vinegar are rare, but stop taking it immediately if you experience an allergic reaction.

Personally, I take ACV every now and then. No specific routine. I tried taking 1 tbsp before each meal and felt the nauseating side effect. Physically I did not notice any difference after being consistent for only a little over a month, so I maybe needed to stick with it longer. I believe in the end that calories in < calories out will help you lose weight.

What are your thoughts on AVC?


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