Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help with Weight Loss?

Apple cider vinegar is a well-known health tonic. It has been used by humankind for thousands of years.

Studies show that apple cider vinegar has many health benefits, including lowering blood sugar levels.

But is it helpful for weight loss?

This article discusses the facts behind apple cider vinegar and weight loss. You’ll also learn how to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet.

Photo By Petro

What is apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is a vinegar made from fermented apple juice. It is produced via a two-step fermentation process (1). Apple cider vinegar is used in marinades, salad dressings, food preservatives, chutneys, and vinaigrettes.

The apples are first crushed and combined with yeast to make apple cider vinegar. Combining the apples with yeast converts their sugar into alcohol. Next, bacteria are added to the whole mixture to ferment the alcohol into acetic acid.

It takes about a month to prepare traditional apple cider vinegar. However, some manufacturers can speed up the process so that it takes just a day.

Acetic acid is the most active component of apple cider vinegar.

Acetic acid, also known as ethanoic acid, has a strong odor and sour taste. Acetic acid is an organic compound. The name acetic is derived from acetum, the Latin term for vinegar.

Acetic acid constitutes about 5–6% of apple cider vinegar. It also contains trace amounts of malic acid and water (2).

A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar contains no carbs. But it has about three calories.

Photo by Tijana Drndarski on Unsplash

Acetic acid helps with fat loss

Acetic acid, a short-chain fatty acid, is a significant component of apple cider vinegar. When it gets into your body, it dissolves into hydrogen and acetate.

Several studies suggest that acetic acid in apple cider vinegar can enhance fat loss in many ways:

  • It lowers blood sugar levels: In a rodent study, acetic acid improved the uptake of sugar from the blood by the muscles and the liver (3).

  • Decreases insulin levels: Acetic acid has been found to reduce the ratio of insulin to glucagon. Of course, this can help fat burn faster (3).

  • Acetic acid improves metabolism: A study showed that rodents exposed to acetic acid had a high AMPK. This enzyme enhances fat burning and decreases the production of sugar and fat in the liver (4).

  • Reduces fat storage: Some studies have shown that treating diabetic, obese rats with acetate or acetic acid prevented weight gain and increased gene expression, reducing liver fat and belly fat storage (56).

  • Fat burning: A study found that feeding rodents with a high-fat diet supplemented with acetic acid significantly increased genes for fat burning, resulting in less body fat buildup (7).

  • Apple cider vinegar has appetite-suppressant effects: One study suggests that acetic acid may suppress the appetite-controlling center of your brain, reducing food intake (8).

The results from these animal studies look promising, no doubt. However, more human studies are needed to confirm these initial findings.

Photo by i yunmai on Unsplash

Apple cider vinegar increases satiety (fullness) and reduces the intake of calories

Apple cider vinegar can promote satiety, decreasing calorie intake (910).

In a small study involving 11 people, subjects who took vinegar alongside a high-carb meal had their blood sugar level reduced by 55% precisely one hour after eating.

The subjects also reduced their daily calorie intake by 200–275 (10).

Moreover, apple cider vinegar allows food to remain longer in the stomach.

In one study, for instance, taking apple cider vinegar alongside a starchy meal slowed stomach emptying significantly — this increased feelings of fullness and reduced insulin and blood sugar levels (11).

Apple cider may help you lose body fat and weight

A human study showed apple cider vinegar enhances weight loss and burning fat (12).

The study lasted for 12 weeks and involved 144 obese adults. The subjects were given either a tablespoon of vinegar or a placebo daily.

Subjects were required to restrict their alcohol intake. Intake of other diets was not affected. Subjects who consumed a tablespoon of vinegar daily had the following benefits:

  • 2.6 pounds weight loss
  • 0.7% decrease in body fat percentage
  • 1.4 cm (0.5 in) decrease in waist circumference
  • 26% decrease in triglycerides

On the other hand, the placebo group experienced a 0.4 kgs (0.9 lbs.) gain and a slight increase in their waist circumference.

The study indicates that adding at least one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to your daily diet may help with weight loss. It can also possibly reduce your body fat percentage and decrease the triglycerides in your blood.

How to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet

There are several ways to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet.

One way is by using it with olive oil as a salad dressing. Apple cider vinegar is tasty with cucumbers, tomatoes, and leafy greens. You can also use it for pickling vegetables or mix it with water and drink it.

The recommended amount of apple cider vinegar for weight loss is 15–30 ml daily (1–2 tablespoons) and should be spread into 2–3 doses. Apple cider vinegar is best taken before meals but taking it after is fine.

Taking more than the recommended amount (1–2 tablespoons) may be harmful. For instance, it may interact with drugs or erode your tooth enamel. Start with a teaspoon to see how well you can tolerate it. Taking more than a tablespoon at a time may cause nausea.

Apple cider vinegar should be mixed with water as the undiluted form can burn the inside of your esophagus and mouth. You can add lemon juice, ginger, and honey to help with the taste.


According to recent animal studies, taking apple cider vinegar in moderate amounts may promote weight loss.

Other types of vinegar may provide similar benefits. However, apple cider vinegar is more potent because of its high acetic acid content.

When you take the vinegar, dilute it in water and start small with just a teaspoon.

What’s your favorite way to consume ACV?

Disclaimer: Dr. Berner does not diagnose, treat, or prevent any medical diseases or conditions; instead, he analyzes and corrects the structure of his patients with Foundational Correction to improve their overall quality of life. He works with their physicians, who regulate their medications. This blog post is not designed to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or services to you or any other individual. The information provided in this post or through linkages to other sites is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation, or the advice of your physician or another healthcare provider. Foundation Chiropractic and Dr. Brett Berner are not liable or responsible for any advice, the course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services, or product you obtain through this article or others.

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