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Potential Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Although there are no conclusive research results supporting apple cider vinegar’s positive health effects in human, a few studies suggest it might be beneficial for metabolic health.

Weight loss

Apple cider vinegar is often touted as a weight loss aid. Yet most of the scientific evidence for this claim comes from studies showing that acetic acid can increase fat burning and prevent weight gain in mice and rats.  In the first study, 144 obese adults were assigned to take either 15 ml (1 tablespoon) of vinegar, 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of vinegar, or a vinegar-flavored placebo daily for 12 weeks (1).

By the end of the trial, participants who took 1 tablespoon of vinegar per day lost an average of 2.6 pounds (1.2 kg) and those in the 2-tablespoon-per-day group lost 3.7 pounds (1.7 kg). They also had small decreases in body fat, waist size, and triglycerides (1).

In another 12-week randomized trial, 39 overweight adults were assigned to eat a reduced-calorie diet alone or with 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of apple cider vinegar per day (2).  By the end of the study, those in the apple cider vinegar group lost an average of 8.8 pounds (4 kg), compared to 5.3 pounds (2.4 kg) in the diet-only group.

Appetite suppression and increased satiety

Some studies have found that vinegar can reduce hunger and help people feel full.  In a small trial, people ate identical meals on two separate occasions. When they consumed 20 ml (1.3 tablespoons) of vinegar in water prior to the meal, they ended up taking in 200-275 fewer calories for the day than when they drank water before the meal (3).

Better blood sugar control

Strong evidence supports the use of apple cider vinegar for lowering blood sugar levels when it is consumed with a high-carb meal (4).

Results from one study of 11 participants with type 2 diabetes suggest that consuming apple cider vinegar with a high-protein, very-low-carb snack before bed may improve fasting blood sugar levels (5).

Improved insulin sensitivity

In addition to reducing blood sugar levels, apple cider vinegar may help increase insulin sensitivity and decrease post-meal insulin response when consumed with a high-carb meal.

In one study, people with insulin resistance who took 20 ml (1.3 tablespoons) of apple cider vinegar before a high-carb meal had a 34% improvement in insulin sensitivity compared to consuming a placebo drink before an identical meal (6).

  1. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry 2009:  Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects 
  2. Journal of Functional Foods 2018:  Beneficial effects of apple cider vinegar on weight management, visceral adiposity index and lipid profile in overweight or obese subjects receiving restricted calorie diet: A randomized clinical trial 
  3. The Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2005:  Vinegar and peanut products as complementary foods to reduce postprandial glycemia
  4. Clinical Nutrition ESPEN 2019: Vinegar (acetic acid) intake on glucose metabolism: A narrative review
  5. Diabetes Care 2007: Vinegar ingestion at bedtime moderates waking glucose concentrations in adults with well-controlled type 2 diabetes
  6. Diabetes Care 2004: Vinegar improves insulin sensitivity to a high-carbohydrate meal in subjects with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes