Somewhere in your kitchen, you probably have a bottle of apple cider vinegar. We’ve all heard how great apple cider vinegar can be for keeping drains fresh and getting rid of soap scum. But the most popular uses for this household staple right now involve reducing belly fat and losing weight.
Here’s the thing: despite what you might read online, apple cider vinegar won’t help you slim down. If you’re rushing to the store to buy apple cider vinegar (especially in pill form) to reduce fat, you might as well be throwing your money in the trash.
The “apple cider weight loss” myth is an old wives’ tale that’s essentially been debunked. Yet we’re now seeing apple cider vinegar pills popping up in magazines, on health websites and in trending Instagram feeds. Here’s what you need to know about what apple cider vinegar really does to the body and what dietary supplements are more effective for weight loss.
What is apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is a substance made from apples that undergo a fermentation process. The sugar naturally found in apples turns into alcohol, and then acetic acid, during this process. The main component in apple cider vinegar is acetic acid, but you’ll also find malic acid and water in your bottle of apple cider vinegar.
Why is apple cider vinegar being touted for weight loss?
Certain people claim that the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar is essential for a variety of bodily functions, including lowering blood sugar, suppressing appetite and reducing fat storage. Many of these claims point to ancient cultures, including the Greeks, that drank vinegar in order to stay healthy.
But only 5% to 6% of vinegar actually contains acetic acid, and adding higher amounts of acid to your diet can have more consequences than positive results.
What does it really do?
Drinking apple cider vinegar, or taking apple cider vinegar pills, doesn’t actually do much at all to help you lose weight. This is yet another example of modern research not supporting ancient claims. However, there was a small study done on rats that revealed apple cider vinegar can impact blood sugar levels. While this doesn’t directly cause weight loss, it does mean that diabetics should steer clear of the apple cider vinegar trend.
Claims that apple cider vinegar curbs appetites were supported by a small study of 144 people. But a curbed appetite doesn’t lead to healthy weight loss. Eating less can sometimes result in nutritional deficiencies, and this strategy is only beneficial if the original diet contained an excess of calories or fat for the person’s daily activities.
People with low levels of potassium should also avoid taking apple cider vinegar. Likewise, if you have had kidney problems in the past, you should steer clear of apple cider vinegar and anything with especially high acidity.
In reality, there are more risks to drinking apple cider vinegar than benefits. Drinking or consuming anything with such high acidity levels will increase your risk of tooth enamel damage and could cause an unpleasant burning sensation in your stomach. Of course, that’s the special appeal with apple cider vinegar pills. Advertisers claim that dehydrating the apple cider vinegar will reduce the drawbacks of guzzling back a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and putting your teeth at risk of damage. But doing so doesn’t reduce the risk of kidney or intestinal damage that comes with too much acidity.
Consuming dehydrated apple cider vinegar won’t give you the results you are looking for. Why do we know this? Because there are no studies that show that apple cider vinegar pills will help you lose weight. In fact, there have been no studies done on apple cider vinegar pills in the first place.
You don’t have to steer clear of vinegar or apple cider vinegar, but know that consuming it in excess will not give you the weight loss results that you are looking for. If you want to add vinegar into your diet, consider it as a salad dressing.
If you’re looking for a supplement to help you safely lose weight, consider a fat burner instead. The highest quality fat burner products contain proven active ingredients that can help trigger processes that, when paired with exercise, promote fat-busting processes in the body. But notice we said “paired with exercise.” If you’re looking for a weight-loss supplement that works without the hard work of physical activity, you’re likely going to be stuck with a so-called miracle pill that doesn’t deliver. (And no, scientists haven’t perfected the “exercise pill” yet, either.)