When you are trying to lose weight, any little thing that could help speed things up or make the journey easier can stir up a lot of interest. The rumour that apple cider vinegar is helpful for weight loss has been around for years. So is there any truth to it?
In short the answer is… it might be, but probably not for the reasons you think.
The health claim
The idea is that having apple cider vinegar every day helps you lose weight through interfering with fat storage and suppressing appetite. While studies on animals have shown this to be a possibility, human trials have shown only modest results, around 1-2kg in 3 months. Better success seems to be found when apple cider vinegar is combined with a reduced calorie diet.
The effect on blood sugars
What has been found however, is that the daily ingestion of apple cider vinegar helps to control blood sugar levels, especially in pre-diabetic participants. The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar is thought to reduce the breakdown of carbohydrate during digestion.
This may affect appetite by limiting rises in insulin, which is known to stimulate appetite. It also reduces the number of calories being absorbed through starches. The same doesn’t seem to apply to sugar or processed carbohydrates that require little digestion, such as white bread.
Apple cider vinegar may possibly be helpful in supporting weight loss and helping to manage blood sugar levels, but shouldn’t be considered an alternative to healthy a healthy reduced calorie diet on its own. It should also be consumed with caution, as it can cause stomach upset, indigestion, and erosion of tooth enamel in some circumstances. Always discuss the inclusion of any natural or alternative therapy for your weight loss with your health practitioner.