Apple Cider Vinegar and Weight Loss

August 1, 2011

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Wouldn’t it be great if all you had to do to lose weight and keep it off was to drink a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar mixed into a glass of water or juice every day?

Some people do tout apple cider vinegar for weight loss either in liquid form or in so called “diet supplements.” But does the claim that apple cider vinegar aids weight loss hold any merit?

While a handful of small scientific studies have found vinegar in all forms may have a slight effect on weight and other health concerns, they are a far cry from saying so without a doubt or that vinegar alone is a solution to excess weight.

It’s also important to note that when studies did see some correlation, it was a modest amount, not pounds and pounds of weight loss. And you should keep in mind that like any alternative or natural treatment, apple cider vinegar may interact with some prescription medications, so check with your doctor first.

Some experts theorize that vinegar, which contains acetic acid, may help stabilize blood sugar and/or play a role in appetite suppression. But again, it’s important to remember these are just theories and more studies are needed to back up those claims or to determine how much of an effect it has.

Interestingly, if you are going to try adding apple cider vinegar to your diet, you’re better off going with the liquid version from your local supermarket than buying apple cider supplements. One 2005 study analyzed several brands of such supplements and found they contained little, if any, apple cider vinegar and none in the amounts listed on the package. Like all unregulated weight loss supplements, I’d steer clear because of their potential to contain potentially harmful substances.

However, it’s unlikely that two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar a day mixed into a cup of juice or water will harm your health, but it also won’t be a miracle weight loss cure. If you’re looking to add more vinegar to your diet, consider drizzling it on salads or using it more often in your cooking, instead.

In fact, instead of turning to apple cider vinegar for weight loss, why not do something that has been shown to help promote weight loss – eat more fresh apples! A recent study found that people who ate three apples a day lost more weight than those who didn’t.

Remember, apple cider vinegar is not an easy fix for the complicated problems surrounding obesity. To make real progress in your weight loss goals, consider working with a medical professional trained to address the nutritional, physical, and emotional dynamics at play like we do at The Center for Medical Weight Loss, and you’re likely to see much better results.

Dr. Michael Kaplan

Founder and Chief Medical Officer

The Center for Medical Weight Loss

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