Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is the bearer of good news, when it comes to health. It keeps your cholesterol low, helps when you have acid reflux, lowers blood pressure … here’s the full list of ACV benefits for the uninitiated. But can it do the impossible? Can you use apple cider vinegar for weight loss?
Yes, you can and should. This vinegar, made from the cider or the fermented juice of crushed apples, has 5–6% acetic acid, which is the active ingredient and has a lot of beneficial effects on the body, including weight loss. And you need just 2 tablespoons of ACV a day, which costs you just 6 Cal. Let’s see how it helps you lose weight.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps You Full Longer
Usually, your blood glucose (what we call blood sugar) level rises after a meal as the food breaks down into glucose. How much or how fast the glucose levels rise and how long you feel full depends on the food you eat – for instance, fast carbs like white bread or rice break down faster and yield more glucose. They
Your Stomach Empties More Slowly
If you take ACV before your meal, it slows down digestion or the rate at which food passes from the stomach into the small intestine. This is known as gastric emptying. A slow gastric emptying delays the release of glucose into the bloodstream.1
So You Eat Less Calories Through The Day
Naturally, when you
You Use Glucose More Efficiently
Bonus: ACV can lower your risk of post-meal heart attacks by keeping the blood glucose levels low.
ACV also makes skeletal muscles more receptive to insulin and take up the glucose from the blood. As a result, drinking it before a meal makes both post-meal blood glucose levels and insulin levels drop.
This is good news. A high blood glucose level after a heavy meal often triggers heart attack, and high insulin levels promote fat storage. Of course, the more vinegar you have, the lower your post-meal blood glucose and insulin levels, but just 10 ml of good-quality organic ACV should suffice.5 6
Tip: When you buy ACV, look for the organic label and for a filmy layer of the “mother” in the vinegar. Or make your own organic ACV at home.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar Reduces Appetite
ACV reduces your appetite by increasing the feeling of fullness and satiety. A study has found that acetates (salts of acetic acid) of the carbohydrates in your diet suppress the appetite center in the hypothalamus.7 As acetates are salts of acetic acid, some suggest that having ACV with your meals may increase the acetate levels and curb your
3. Apple Cider Vinegar Reduces Total Body Fat
The right kind of weight loss is all about fat burning. In the wrong kind, you end up losing muscles. So diet has a tricky role to play; it has to help you lose fat but not muscles. But even when it comes to burning fat, diet can sometimes help you lose the fat under your skin (subcutaneous fat) but not the more harmful visceral fat around your vital abdominal organs.
In one study, 1 tbsp ACV daily accounted for a loss of 1.2 kg (avg.) and 2 tbsps for 1.9 kg. Bonus: It can help treat metabolic syndrome by reducing total body fat, BMI, abdominal fat, and serum triglycerides.
A study on a group of obese Japanese people, however, found that having apple cider vinegar daily for 12 weeks helped them reduce both types of fat. It reduced their total body fat mass, BMI, and serum triglyceride levels and also gave them a slimmer waist.
Having just 1 tablespoon a day helped them reduce 1.2 kg (2.6 pounds) on average. Those who had 2 tablespoons
It’s best to continue having ACV daily for that extra boost to your metabolism.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar Checks Fat Storage
When you eat a high-calorie diet, or suffer from diabetes, the glucose from your food is not effectively taken up by cells to produce energy. So your body starts storing the excess glucose as glycogen in the liver. But if there’s still some extra glucose, your body stores it as fat in adipose tissues.
ACV helps because it keeps you from creating fat and storing it. Rather, it helps you in burning fat.
Interestingly, a study on rats with type 2 diabetes found that acetic acid can influence the genes responsible for fat storage and burning.
On the one hand, it suppressed the genes responsible for making fatty acids in the liver. On the other,
If you are accumulating fat with a high-fat diet, there’s hope. Acetic acid could prevent obesity in rats fed with a high-fat diet by activating fat-burning genes.11 That doesn’t mean you should keep having a lot of fat,
5. Apple Cider Vinegar Can Burn Stored Fat
Usually, it would take you more than 30 minutes of aerobic exercise to use up all the available glucose and the stored glycogen before you can get down to fat burning.
When you have acetic acid, it delays the release of glucose. So your body has to turn to alternative energy reserves like glycogen and fat. It was seen that just 4 hours after rats had it, there was an increase in the breakdown of glycogen and fat in their skeletal muscles and liver.12
Of course, you’d obtain the best result if you combine your ACV supplementation with some serious moderate- to high-intensity workout. But if you are at your desired weight, just a daily helping of ACV could help keep off the extra pounds.
Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Right Before Your Meal
Apple cider vinegar has 5–6% acetic acid, which is not a lot but more than enough to produce desired effects. It’s best to dilute it with water or fruit juice. Start with 1 tablespoon (15 ml approx.) a day and move up to 30 ml. Don’t have more than 2 tablespoons a day as ACV has several side effects.
Drink ACV right before your meal and with both complex and fast carbs and fats for best results.
Some even advice drinking it before a workout to enhance fat burning. But be warned that it is acidic and might give you an acid reflux during the exercise.
A word of caution. Diabetics, especially those suffering from diabetic gastroparesis, need to consult their doctor before taking ACV regularly.
|↑1||Ebihara, Kiyoshi, and Akira Nakajima. “Effect of acetic acid and vinegar on blood glucose and insulin responses to orally administered sucrose and starch.” Agricultural and biological chemistry 52, no. 5 (1988): 1311-1312.|
|↑2||Östman, Elin, Yvonne Granfeldt, Lisbeth Persson, and Inger Björck. “Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses and increases satiety after a bread meal in healthy subjects.” European journal of clinical nutrition 59, no. 9 (2005): 983-988.|
|↑3, ↑4||Johnston, Carol S., and Amanda J. Buller. “Vinegar and peanut products as complementary foods to reduce postprandial glycemia.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 105, no. 12 (2005): 1939-1942.|
|↑5||Östman, Elin, Yvonne Granfeldt, Lisbeth Persson, and Inger Björck. “Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose
|↑6||Hlebowicz, Joanna, Gassan Darwiche, Ola Björgell, and Lars-Olof Almér. “Effect of apple cider vinegar on delayed gastric emptying in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus: a pilot study.” BMC gastroenterology 7, no. 1 (2007): 1.|
|↑7||Frost, Gary, Michelle L. Sleeth, Meliz Sahuri-Arisoylu, Blanca Lizarbe, Sebastian Cerdan, Leigh Brody, Jelena Anastasovska et al. “The short-chain fatty acid acetate reduces appetite via a central homeostatic mechanism.” Nature communications 5 (2014).|
|↑8||Kondo, Tomoo, Mikiya Kishi, Takashi Fushimi, Shinobu Ugajin, and Takayuki Kaga. “Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects.” Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry 73, no. 8 (2009): 1837-1843.|
|↑9||Yamashita, Hiromi. “Biological Function of Acetic Acid–Improvement in Obesity and Glucose Tolerance by Acetic Acid in Type 2 Diabetic Rats.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 56, no. sup1 (2016): S171-S175.|
|↑10||Sakakibara, Shoji, Toshimasa Yamauchi, Yoshifumi Oshima, Yoshinori Tsukamoto, and Takashi Kadowaki. “Acetic acid activates hepatic AMPK and reduces hyperglycemia in diabetic KK-A (y) mice.” Biochemical and biophysical research communications 344, no. 2 (2006): 597-604.|
|↑11||Kondo, Tomoo, Mikiya Kishi, Takashi Fushimi, and Takayuki Kaga. “Acetic acid upregulates the expression of genes for fatty acid oxidation enzymes in liver to suppress body fat accumulation.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 57, no. 13 (2009): 5982-5986.|
|↑12||Fushimi, Takashi, and Yuzo Sato. “Effect of acetic acid feeding on the circadian changes in glycogen and metabolites of glucose and lipid in liver and skeletal muscle of rats.” British Journal of Nutrition 94, no. 05 (2005): 714-719.|