As you browse through the internet checking in for weight loss procedures, then you would have definitely come across apple cider vinegar as one of the ingredients to lose weight.
But is it really true that apple cider vinegar aids in weight loss?
A lot of the research on vinegar's relationship with weight loss is in animals, mainly mice and rats. Studies show that acetic acid, the main component of apple cider vinegar, can suppress body fat accumulation and metabolic disorders in obese rats. But of course, mice are not men, and rats are not women, so these findings prove little.
Studies in humans have been small, which limits their validity. Nutritionist Lisa Drayer said: "But they do suggest a weight loss from apple cider vinegar is plausible. For example, some research suggests that it might promote satiety and make you consume fewer calories throughout the day."
The most-cited study to prove a connection to weight loss was done in 2009 with 175 "obese" Japanese subjects, ages 25 to 60, who were split into three groups. Considered "obese" by Japanese standards, each subject's BMI was between 25 and 30; in the United States, people aren't considered obese until their BMI exceeds 30. Anyone who had high cholesterol or diabetes or was using medications was excluded.
Over a 12-week period, the groups consumed a beverage that contained either one tablespoon of vinegar, two tablespoons of vinegar or no vinegar at all. At the end of the three months, those who consumed any amount of vinegar had a lower body weight, a smaller body mass index, less visceral fat, a smaller waist measurement and lower triglyceride levels than the placebo group that drank no vinegar.
"Only 2 to 4 pounds in three months over a placebo," Drayer explained. "That's only a third of a pound a week. Most diets have a much bigger result. So you would you definitely have to do many other things to accomplish any significant weight loss."
Dietitian Carol Johnston has been studying the effects of acetic acid on diabetic blood glucose levels since 2004. While she believes the Japanese study's findings make sense due to animal research, she too is quick to point out that the weight loss in humans was "very, very modest."
Johnston's research has shown significant benefits from vinegar, however, is in blood sugar control. Over the years, she's done a number of studies that show vinegar helps control blood sugar spikes for people with type 2 diabetes and those who are prediabetic, also known as insulin-resistant.
But she stresses that if you choose to drink your vinegar, make sure that the tablespoon is added to a full glass of water. Properly diluting vinegar is key. Otherwise, it can damage your teeth, throat and stomach lining.