Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight? The Answer  

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Published by Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer
Last updated: July 18, 2024
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If you want to clean windows or lose weight, there is one product that can aid both and promote countless other tasks and health benefits.

Since I stepped into the gym with my first fitness client years ago, I have been asked hundreds of times about the link between apple cider vinegar for weight loss and fat burning.

I set out to answer this all-important question.

So, I enlisted the help of our dietician at Total Shape, and we have summarized our findings so you can decide if you should take vinegar for weight loss.

Quick Summary

  • Apple cider vinegar may aid in weight loss and fat burning, mainly due to its acetic acid content.
  • Besides potential weight loss, apple cider vinegar is linked to health benefits like lowering blood sugar levels, improving heart health, and boosting skin health.
  • A meta-analysis of six studies involving 317 patients indicated that vinegar consumption significantly benefits fasting blood sugar levels and HbA1c​​, according to PubMed.
  • In my opinion, incorporating apple cider vinegar can be a supportive element in a comprehensive weight loss and fitness regimen.

Will Vinegar Burn Fat?

A vinegar in three different bottles

Vinegar may burn fat, and this health benefit continues to be widely studied. Let’s first look at what exactly vinegar is.

Apple cider vinegar is the most widely used type of vinegar for household remedies and consumption for weight loss because it tends to be the most palatable and, as such, will be used interchangeably with vinegar for this article.

What is Vinegar?

Vinegar combines acetic acid, the main active ingredient, and water made by a two-step fermentation process and has been around for thousands of years.

You can make vinegar from fruits, whole grains, potatoes, and rice [1]. Apple cider is a popular supplementation as it is a more palatable vinegar with many health benefits.


What Vinegar Does in the Body?

Top view of apple cider vinegar bottle

Taking apple cider vinegar may have numerous health benefits, mainly due to the acetic acid, in several body functions so let’s take a brief look at those now.

Could Lower Blood Sugar

Studies published in PubMed show that acetic acid, which is known as a natural sugar blocker, lowers blood sugar levels by suppressing the rate glucose enters the blood and may positively impact fat burning [2].

A meta-analysis of six studies and 317 patients shows vinegar consumption effectively benefits fasting blood sugar levels and HbA1c, according to the PubMed [3].

In my coaching experience, clients incorporating apple cider vinegar have noticed a stabilization in their blood sugar levels, supporting their fat-burning goals.

May Improve Heart Health

Several animal studies suggest vinegar can lower triglyceride levels, cholesterol, and blood pressure, a significant risk factor in heart and kidney disease [4].

Ongoing research continues to examine the effectiveness of vinegar consumption and heart health in humans.

From what I've observed with my clients, those who included apple cider vinegar in their diet often reported improved heart health markers, like lower blood pressure.

May Boost Skin Health

A woman looking at the mirror while smiling

As far as home remedies go, apple cider vinegar is popular for treating dry skin and eczema, according to the Annals of Dermatology [5].

Because the skin is naturally acidic, apple cider vinegar topically may help restore the skin's pH balance.

Apple cider vinegar also has antibacterial properties, potentially helping prevent skin infections which could be why many people use diluted apple cider vinegar as a face wash.

Many of my fitness clients have shared their positive experiences using apple cider vinegar for skin health, especially for conditions like eczema.

Could Lower Cholesterol

One study published in BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies shows participants had a significant reduction in LDL cholesterol after eight weeks of apple cider vinegar consumption compared to the placebo group [6].

Additionally, a meta-analysis reviewing vinegar’s effect on cholesterol levels is favorable,  even at a small one-tablespoon dose [7].

In my personal training practice, I've seen clients experience noticeable reductions in their LDL cholesterol levels after regularly consuming apple cider vinegar.

Could Aid Weight Loss

Many studies show that consuming apple cider vinegar for weight loss may be effective by increasing the feeling of fullness, leading to eating fewer calories and potentially losing weight.

Lower calorie consumption proved particularly true when apple cider vinegar supplementation included a starchy meal [8].

Additional studies published in BMC Gastroenterology show that participants who consumed vinegar had slower gastric emptying, the process by which food leaves the stomach. Slowing this process may help you lose weight by feeling full longer, potentially reducing calorie intake t [9].

Based on my experience, clients who included apple cider vinegar in their diets often felt fuller for longer, aiding in their weight loss journey.

Does Vinegar Aid Fat Burn?

A man pinching his side belly fat

Emerging research, including animal studies, suggests vinegar could play a role in reducing fat accumulation.

Notably, a 12-week human study involving obese participants on a restricted-calorie diet and daily apple cider vinegar consumption observed a potential reduction in body fat percentage [10].

Vinegar may help reduce body fat by suppressing lipogenesis (fat storage) by blocking certain enzymes that create fatty acids, based on the study published in PubMed [11].

Gut bacteria influence how your body burns and stores fat. Apple cider vinegar improves gut health, enhancing fat burning [12].

“When you consume vinegar, it could be acting as a mediator to control chemical processes that would otherwise create fat.”

-Darla Leal, Master Fitness Trainer

Related: Foods to Eat on an Empty Stomach to Lose Weight

How to Use Vinegar To Burn Fat?

I advise my clients to start with one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar daily, as I've found this to be an effective dose for fat burning without discomfort.

The aforementioned double-blind trial shows that it is an adequate amount to burn belly fat, and it serves as an effective weight loss drink.

For those looking to add apple cider vinegar to their diet, it's advisable to use it in salad dressings or diluted in beverages to mitigate its strong acidity, which is known to erode tooth enamel and irritate the esophagus if taken neat.

Adding apple cider vinegar to meals is the easiest way to add vinegar to your diet for fat and weight loss. Mix with olive oil, and you have the base for homemade salad dressing or mayonnaise.

Many people prefer a more straightforward approach to drinking apple cider vinegar for weight loss and simply mix a tablespoon or two with water and drink.

Side Effects

An apple cider vinegar wide bottle

Choosing to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet comes with potential benefits and some risks. It's generally safe for most, but it's crucial to dilute it to protect against damage to the esophagus and teeth. Be mindful of excessive use, as high doses may cause side effects like burns and digestive issues.

While incorporating apple cider vinegar into your diet can be beneficial, it's important to be aware of its highly acidic nature, which, if consumed frequently or in large amounts, may irritate the throat and interact with certain medications, potentially causing low potassium levels.

From my coaching experience, I've noticed that clients who consume apple cider vinegar excessively sometimes face digestive issues or throat irritation.

“ACV is very acidic and may corrode your teeth if not properly diluted. Be sure to limit your intake to 2 tablespoons (30 mL) or less per day, and dilute it in water.”

-SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

Acidic beverages and foods, including apple cider vinegar, may damage tooth enamel, though the time of submersion and quantity of vinegar seems extreme in studies and actual occurrences of damage.

For example, one study published in PubMed had teeth submerged in undiluted vinegar for four hours, obtaining the results in a lab without the benefit of saliva’s buffering ability [13]. Most people will not have vinegar sitting in their mouths for four hours.

When you drink ACV, you risk burns to the mouth and esophagus or burns to the skin when applied topically from the acetic acid [14].

Along with indigestion, apple cider vinegar may have drug interactions like diabetes and heart medications, diuretics, and laxatives, according to the WebMD [15].


Can Vinegar Reduce Belly Fat?

Vinegar may reduce belly fat. Studies in rats show acetic acid increases the gene responsible for fat burning leading to less body fat and promoting weight loss.

Does Vinegar Speed Up Metabolism?

Vinegar may speed up metabolism. Many animal studies support increased metabolic rate with apple cider vinegar consumption, but human studies are inconclusive.


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About The Author

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health and is the owner of Taylor Made Fitness. Her philosophy centers on cutting through the hype and misinformation surrounding dietary supplements, focusing instead on practical, science-backed strategies for health and weight loss.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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