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Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight? The Answer  

Anthony Diaz
Published by Anthony Diaz
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: August 2, 2022

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

  • Vinegar’s active ingredient, acetic acid, has many health benefits, including the potential to help you burn visceral fat and lose weight.
  • Apple cider vinegar is the most popular for consumption as it is more palatable than other kinds of vinegar.
  • To avoid harming your teeth and esophagus, you should drink diluted apple cider vinegar.

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.

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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 show that acetic acid 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 [3].

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.

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 [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.

Could Lower Cholesterol

One study 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].

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 [6].

Additional studies 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 [7].

Does Vinegar Aid Fat Burn?

A man pinching his side belly fat

Vinegar may aid fat burning, and ongoing research on vinegar’s effect on reduced belly fat and sustainable weight loss is promising.

One animal study shows vinegar may suppress fat accumulation leading to a 12-week study of obese human participants involving apple cider vinegar consumption and a highly-monitored restricted-calorie diet.

This double-blind trial concluded that daily vinegar consumption might lead to reduced body fat percentage [8].

Vinegar may help reduce body fat by suppressing lipogenesis (fat storage) by blocking certain enzymes that create fatty acids [9].

Gut bacteria influence how your body burns and stores fat. Apple cider vinegar improves gut health, enhancing fat burning [10].

“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.

How to Use Vinegar To Burn Fat?

Take one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily.

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.

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

So you have decided to consume apple cider vinegar. There are many health benefits but also some risks of side effects.

When participating in an apple cider vinegar diet, you must dilute the vinegar to reduce the risk of esophageal or teeth damage.

Apple cider vinegar use seems to be generally safe for most individuals.

Excessive use and high doses can lead to adverse side effects like burns and digestive issues.

“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 had teeth submerged in undiluted vinegar for four hours, obtaining the results in a lab without the benefit of saliva’s buffering ability [11]. 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 [12].

Along with indigestion, apple cider vinegar may have drug interactions like diabetes and heart medications, diuretics, and laxatives [13].

FAQs

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.

So, Should You Use Vinegar Burn Fat?

No doubt, vinegar provides weight loss benefits. Still, if you want to burn fat, it may be best to save the vinegar for your salad dressing to gain other health benefits and check the following proven fat burners.

In my years at the gym, I have supplemented with fat burners and a healthy diet and strict exercise routine to achieve weight loss and improve body composition.

Fat-burners enhance the hard work you are putting in and may get you to your results faster. I encourage you to give one a try.


References:

  1. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/vinegar/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16277773/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31667860/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26476634/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5125949/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16015276/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2245945/
  8. https://academic.oup.com/bbb/article/73/8/1837/5947518?login=false
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25168916/
  10. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/gut-bacteria-are-major-player-in-weight-loss-success
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24839821/
  12. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/apple-cider-vinegar-side-effects
  13. https://www.webmd.com/diet/apple-cider-vinegar-and-your-health

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