Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been around for centuries. First discovered by accident in France in the 17th century, it was originally used as a medicine to treat wounds. In recent years, several studies have suggested that ACV may help with weight loss. Here’s the lowdown.
How Does ACV Affect Weight Loss?
In the study, “Apple Cider Vinegar as an Adjunct to Energy-Restricted Diet Modulating Lipid and Amino Acid Metabolism,” published in the journal Nutrients, researchers fed mice a diet rich in fruit and vinegar. The team found that after just three days, the mice had significantly fewer fat cells than usual—proof that ACV may help reduce body fat.
In addition, the mice that drank the ACV had healthier blood vessels and saw improvements in their cholesterol levels. The scientists attributed these effects to the acidity of the vinegar metabolizing down some of the fats and cholesterol in the diet. What’s more, the team found that the vinegar helped to reduce the cholesterol levels of both mice and humans.
Does Drinking ACV Help with Weight Loss?
In a double-blind study published in the journal Obesity, researchers investigated the effect that ACV has on weight loss. For the study, they selected 50 obese individuals who were not diabetic and randomly assigned them to one of two groups: one group drank a drink with 1% ACV, while the other group drank a calorie-matched placebo. Then, the individuals in both groups reduced their calorie intake by 300 calories per day for 12 weeks.
After 12 weeks, the researchers found that the group that consumed ACV, on average, lost 3.3kg (7.3lbs) compared to the placebo group, which lost 2.2kg (4.9lbs). The team also measured the participants’ cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and blood pressure at the start of the study and then again after 12 weeks. They found that all markers of the participants’ health improved significantly after drinking ACV compared to before they started the study.
Based on the study results, the researchers concluded that ACV, “due to its favorable effects on nutrient metabolism,” may be a “potential phytonutrient in the management of obesity.” Additionally, they suggested that ACV may “play a role in modulating the risk of metabolic diseases.”
When Should You Try ACV?
It’s important to note that this is not clinical research and the results might not be directly transferrable to humans. However, the researchers suggest that ACV may be most effective when used in combination with a low-calorie diet and exercise. In fact, they say that drinking any juice with added sugar inhibits the absorption of nutrients from food. Additionally, excessive drinking leads to an increase in triglycerides, which puts an individual at risk for heart disease.
For these reasons, the researchers suggest that obese individuals start by cutting out added sugars and white flour completely, then gradually reduce their calorie intake until they reach a healthy weight.
Is It Safe to Use ACV?
While there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that suggests ACV helps with weight loss, it’s important to remember that this is not medical research. Therefore, it’s hard to know for sure exactly how it works. It has been known in the past that unripe fruit causes stomach upset in some individuals, so if you have an adverse reaction, you might want to avoid drinking it.
However, based on the available evidence, it’s generally considered safe to use ACV.
How Much ACV Should You Drink?
While there is no clear evidence-based way to determine how much ACV you should drink, the authors of the study suggest that you should drink 3 ounces (85ml) twice a day, in the morning and at night, with a meal. Alternatively, you can drink 1 ounce (28ml) every hour or half hour, as required. The team behind the study also advise that you should drink the vinegar on an empty stomach, as eating food with it delays the metabolism of nutrients in the acid.
Some individuals may experience an upset stomach if they drink too much ACV. However, in most cases, this will subside within 24 hours, as long as they keep drinking it. In these cases, the individual may experience an “acidity” reaction, which is characterized by heartburn, sour stomach, or nausea. If you do experience any of these side effects, you should discontinue drinking the ACV and see a physician.
Is It Worth the Effort To Track Nutrients in Cider Vinegar?
One of the most interesting aspects of these studies is that the researchers track nutrients in the vinegar, rather than just relying on the participants to tell them what they are eating. This is important for two reasons. First, it takes away the bias that often occurs when people are asked to report the food they eat. Second, many people underestimate the nutrient value of food that is consumed raw, as they think it is not worth measuring. However, food chemistry is fascinating, and it is not that difficult to track nutrients in any given food or beverage.
In the study mentioned above, the scientists used a specialized algorithm to track the levels of 17 different nutrients in the vinegar. The results showed that, on average, the mice that drank the vinegar were higher in 12 different nutrients than the mice that drank the placebo. The team found that the mice that drank the vinegar had higher rates of fat oxidation—the process by which the body converts food into energy—and those who drank the acid had higher rates of amino acid oxidation as well.
How Does ACV Compare To Other Weight Loss Supplements?
One of the unique things about ACV is that apart from the fact that it is an old folk remedy with a long history of use, there have not been many studies that have specifically looked at its effect on weight loss. This makes it difficult to compare it to other weight loss supplements, as most people don’t typically compare apples to oranges.
However, based on the available evidence, it is generally accepted that ACV is a viable option for those who are seeking to lose weight.
In addition to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, grapefruit has been shown in studies to increase the body’s metabolic rate and block the absorption of nutrients from food, which can speed up the body’s fat-burning process and help people lose weight.
Similarly, dandelion root has been shown in studies to speed up the metabolic rate and enhance fat burning.
Where Can I Buy Apple Cider Vinegar?
If you’re interested in giving the stuff a try, you can purchase Apple Cider Vinegar in a number of different ways online retailers carry it, such as Amazon and Vitacost.com. When picking up your purchase, make sure that you get the original fruit, fermented acetic acid, and distilled water.
In the study mentioned above, the mice that consumed the organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar had the highest HDL cholesterol levels of all the groups. Additionally, the mice that consumed the organic fruit had the highest levels of antioxidants and the lowest levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and free radicals in their systems.
These results are consistent with previous studies, which have shown that organic fruit and vegetables contain higher levels of nutrients and have less pesticide contamination compared to conventionally grown produce. What’s more, organic food is often more expensive, but considering that healthy food usually costs more, you may be spending money to help your body stay healthy.
As mentioned above, many people underestimate the nutrient value of food that is eaten raw. While many fruits and vegetables have healthy compounds, it is the cooking process that usually reduces their nutrient value. A lot of effort is usually put into growing vegetables and creating recipes, so it is not surprising that many people neglect the importance of eating them raw. What’s important is that you get the nourishment that you need from the foods that you consume.