ISLAMABAD: Apple cider vinegar is made when apple cider is fermented twice. This process creates tart, amber-colored vinegar rich in acetic acid.
Apple cider vinegar is one of the more common types of vinegar produced worldwide. It is touted as a natural health cure, with a number of suggested health benefits. Some of these health claims have potential, with small studies to back them up. Others, however, have little to no evidence of their validity.
In this article, we investigate the claim that consuming apple cider vinegar can help with weight loss.
Evidence and studies
Can drinking apple cider vinegar help someone lose weight? The answer might be yes, but it is not proven.
The weight loss claims surrounding apple cider vinegar may stem from several small studies, mostly on animals. Nonetheless, these studies do show some possible benefits of apple cider vinegar and could open the door to further research.
Body fat reduction
Apple cider vinegar is a popular natural health treatment, and is thought to aid weight loss.
Acetic acid, a compound found in apple cider vinegar, has been cited in some studies as the active ingredient that helps with weight loss.
A study in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry found that mice who were given acetic acid were less likely to gain body fat.
The mice that were given the acetic acid had higher energy expenditure, oxygen intake, and burned more fat for energy than those given just water. The authors state that this suggests acetic acid could help suppress body fat buildup.
A similar article in the same journal found that consuming vinegar did help reduce body fat, though the reduction was small. This study used 155 people who were considered obese with a body mass index (BMI) of 25–30.
Over 12 weeks, three groups were given either 15 milliliters (ml) of vinegar, 30 ml of vinegar, or a placebo. Overall, those who consumed 15 or 30 ml of vinegar had a lower body weight, smaller waist, and less abdominal fat than those who did not have the vinegar.
A study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at how glucose, insulin, and feelings of fullness were different in those who consumed acetic acid versus those who did not.
Twelve people were given three different levels of vinegar with acetic acid after eating a portion of white bread. Another group was given bread with no vinegar.
The authors found that the people who received the highest dose of acetic acid had lower blood sugar and insulin after eating the bread than the other groups. They also found that the higher the dose of acetic acid, the fuller the participants felt.
The authors suggest that fermented and pickled products that contain vinegar with acetic acid may help people feel fuller and lower blood sugar responses after a meal.
Lower body weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol
A study in the Annals of Cardiology and Angiology found that apple cider vinegar showed "anti-obesity" effects in rats.
Two groups of rats were fed a high-fat diet, but one group was given apple cider vinegar daily while the other received no vinegar.
Those that were given a daily dose of apple cider vinegar ate less overall and weighed less than those who were not given the apple cider vinegar. The mice fed the apple cider vinegar also showed lower blood sugar and cholesterol.
Questions about appetite-suppressing effects
Apple cider vinegar has not been shown to have appetite-suppressing effects.
There is at least one study that has questioned whether apple cider vinegar is a good way to help people eat less.
A study in the International Journal of Obesity found that vinegar did suppress appetite in the sample of people studied. But the authors state this appetite-suppressing effect was largely because people felt nauseous after consuming the vinegar.
As such, the authors of this study do not feel that vinegar is an appropriate way to help control appetite.