Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help Me Lose Weight?

Medically Reviewed By Adrienne Seitz, MS, RD, LDN

Research in humans is limited, but research in animals suggests that acetic acid may help with weight loss. Specifically, it may help break down fat faster, provide a longer feeling of fullness, and prevent fat from building up around the stomach. However, there are several risks involved with consuming apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar produced from apples. This process makes acetic acid, which may have some medicinal properties.

You should always consult your doctor before introducing apple cider vinegar into your diet. The acidity in apple cider vinegar can cause tooth erosion, stomachaches, and throat burning. Apple cider vinegar can also interact with insulin, diuretics, and digoxin. 

This article explains why apple cider vinegar can help with weight loss and how to use it for this purpose.

How can apple cider vinegar help you lose weight?

there is a jug of apple cider vinegar on a table
Madeleine_Steinbach/Getty Images

There are limited studies that definitively show how apple cider vinegar can help humans lose weight.

However, there have been several animal studies Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source that have yielded promising results. Due to the limitations of these studies, you should proceed with caution when introducing apple cider vinegar into your diet for weight loss. You should also consult your registered dietitian or doctor for further guidance on whether or not apple cider vinegar may be a useful weight loss tool. 

Please be aware that the following studies are small and mostly involve the use of animals. The use of apple cider vinegar in humans, either for weight loss or for other purposes, is not widely studied with definitive results and may bring more risks than benefits.

Changing other lifestyle factors, such as diet and exercise, may be a safer and more effective way to lose weight.

It could help you feel fuller for longer

Since research in humans regarding apple cider vinegar and weight loss has been minimal, scientists are unsure if it can help you lose weight. Researchers think Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source that apple cider vinegar may slow the emptying of your stomach. This makes you feel fuller for longer.

They also believe that it may help your body produce insulin and use glucose more efficiently.

It may help the body break down fat and protein

The same study hypothesizes that apple cider vinegar may help the body release more bile to break down fat faster.

Some research Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source in goldfish indicates that this type of vinegar increases the enzyme the body uses to break down protein as well. When your body breaks down fat and protein faster, it can be easier to maintain a moderate weight. 

It could help lower fat and blood sugar levels

Some older research Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source in animals suggests that apple cider vinegar reduces the fat the body makes overall. The same study indicates that the vinegar lowers animals’ blood sugars. 

Apple cider vinegar may also Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source reduce A1C levels. This is a blood test that can indicate whether or not you may have diabetes. Research shows that the results become more pronounced the longer the participants have apple cider vinegar in their diet. 

Learn tips for monitoring your blood sugar here.

Acetic acid explained

Researchers believe Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source that acetic acid is the main ingredient in apple cider vinegar that helps with weight loss. 

In mice, introducing acetic acid into the diet reduces blood sugar after 8 weeks. Research Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source in rats indicates that this type of acid prevents fat from building up on the belly and in the liver. It also helps rats break down fat faster in their muscles. Another older study Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source found the same results in mice.

Researchers Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source also believe that acetic acid may temporarily reduce appetite. It works with the brain to minimize that hunger feeling. This research was performed in mice and not in humans. 

In Japan, an older study Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source indicated that acetic acid might reduce triglyceride levels. In this study, participants with obesity introduced 1–2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into their diets. The participants also reduced their hip size and overall weight. 

What are the risks of apple cider vinegar for weight loss?

The risks associated with apple cider vinegar center on its acidity.

Research suggests Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source that apple cider vinegar can cause stomach burning. Other older cases Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source report tooth erosion. The acidity can also burn your throat. You can help minimize these risks by never drinking apple cider vinegar without diluting it first. Mixing apple cider vinegar with a large glass of water can prevent these side effects. 

Apple cider vinegar can also cause bloating. Sometimes, this acidity can irritate your stomach as well. People with acid reflux may experience worsening symptoms after consuming it. 

Apple cider vinegar can also interact with some medications. It may cause low potassium if you take it for too long or if you take it too frequently. If you develop a low potassium level, it may interfere with digoxin. Insulin and diuretic medication can also decrease potassium. Low potassium becomes more pronounced when you take these medications with apple cider vinegar. 

Summary

Apple cider vinegar is produced from apples using a two-step fermentation process. Acetic acid is one of the products created. It gives apple cider vinegar its potential medicinal and weight loss properties. Although studies in humans are limited, studies in various animals may indicate that apple cider vinegar could be a useful weight loss tool.

More studies in humans are needed to confirm the safety of apple cider vinegar in people. 

However, the acidity in apple cider vinegar can cause tooth erosion and an upset stomach. You can dilute the vinegar in water to lessen its acidic effects. It can also react with some medications, including insulin, diuretics, and digoxin. 

You should consult your healthcare team before introducing apple cider vinegar into your diet.

Was this helpful?
83

Medical Reviewer: Adrienne Seitz, MS, RD, LDN
Last Review Date: 2022 Jul 25
View All Food, Nutrition and Diet Articles
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.