Apple Cider Vinegar for a Healthy Body - Truth or Myth?

The apple cider vinegar diet is making the rounds as a “miracle cure”, but is it actually true?



People search for information on a variety of health topics using Google and many other search engines. That is not a surprise.

I was, however, astonished to learn that “apple cider vinegar weight loss diet” was among the fastest-rising health topic searches for Google in the year 2017.

Apple cider vinegar has been touted as a fat-melting magic potion for centuries. Some holistic health experts are even ready to swear by the stuff.

But this renewed interest made me particularly curious. And, most importantly, does this diet actually help you squeeze into a smaller jeans size?

What is Apple Cider Vinegar Diet?

Apple cider vinegar is derived from apples that have been trampled and distilled, followed by the process of fermentation. The resultant elixir is consumed in small quantities or used to make oral supplements.

Apple cider vinegar has a high level of acetic acid and certain other compounds which are supposedly responsible for its health benefits. The dosage recommendations for apple cider vinegar usually vary. However, most of them are on the order of 1-2 teaspoons with meals or before them.

How does the Apple Cider Vinegar Diet Affect you?

For thousands of years, compounds containing apple cider vinegar have been used for their supposed healing properties. They were used to kill bacterial infections, detoxify the body, improve strength, and even for getting rid of scurvy.

While no one still uses apple cider vinegar as an antibiotic anymore, it has recently been touted for weight loss. But what is the evidence?

Studies involving obese mice and rats have suggested that the acetic acid present in apple cider vinegar can reduce fat deposition and boost the body metabolism. The strongest evidence in this regard is a 2009 trial including 175 people who consumed a potion with 0, 1, or 2 tablespoons of vinegar every day. [1]

Three months later, those who utilised vinegar had experienced modest weight loss, mostly around 2 to 4 pounds. At the same time, apple cider vinegar had also lowered down their triglyceride levels.



Another similar study carried out at a smaller level found that the consumption of apple cider vinegar increased the feeling of satiety after eating, but that it did this by inducing nausea. [2]

All in all, the scientific evidence that the consumption of vinegar (be it apple cider vinegar or not) is a reliable source of losing weight in the long term is not at all compelling.

Are there other Benefits?

Despite having acidic properties, apple cider vinegar actually does the exact opposite in your body. It helps in the maintenance of an alkaline pH which is regarded as anti-cancer and is said to promote general wellbeing and vitality.

The pH of your body refers to the acidity and alkalinity of your body. Severe acidity can cause a number of health issues, such as acidosis- which damages the lungs and kidneys- and kidney stones.

Recent studies tend to support the observation that apple cider vinegar can control post-meal spikes in blood sugar. This makes apple cider vinegar a promising remedy for people with diabetes.

Apple cider vinegar- as a topical agent or a supplement- is also a great remedy to improve your skin health.

When applied topically, it can regulate the pH of your skin and fights various skin problems such as acne, sports, fine lines, and even warts. It has a strong detoxifying effect on the liver which manifests itself in the form of a healthy, glowing complexion.

The beneficial bacteria in apple cider vinegar also contribute to a healthy skin, mainly because our skin is just a reflection of what is inside and outside of us.

What do the Experts Think?

Despite the rising popularity of the apple cider vinegar diet, not all the experts are in favor of it. There is very little evidence to support the effects of this organic agent in burning fat and accelerating weight loss.

“Losing weight through the apple cider vinegar diet is not likely, as per the experts”.

In a 2014 review, scientists found that while there is a little evidence that vinegar helps with obesity and hyperglycemia, there is no evidence that supports its positive effects on body metabolism. [3]

At the same time, a 2016 study performed on rats indicated an improvement in the blood sugar, cholesterol, and satiation. This preliminary study indicated the metabolic disorders triggered by a high-fat diet can be thwarted by consuming apple cider vinegar.

Is there any Downside?

For most of the natural remedies, there is always a little risk. So, the common approach is “why not give it a try?” However, for diets with a high vinegar content, a few warnings must be kept in mind.

  • Vinegar must be diluted. It has a high acidity and can damage your tooth enamel if you sip it “straight”. According to a 2012 study, drinking one glass of apple cider vinegar every day can cause enormous tooth erosion. [4] People who intend to include apple cider vinegar in their diet must ensure that they mix 1 part vinegar in 10 parts water. Moreover, it is safe to rinse your mouth after consuming it.
  • It is better to consume apple cider vinegar as a part of a vinaigrette salad dressing to minimize the risk of side effects.
  • Apple cider vinegar has been reported to reduce the potassium levels in your body. This is particularly important for people who are already taking potassium-lowering medicines (such as diuretics meant to treat high blood pressure).
  • Vinegar can mess with your insulin levels. People with diabetes should, therefore, be cautious while consuming the apple cider vinegar diet.

So What?

If you are struggling to lose weight, adding apple cider vinegar to your diet might not do the trick. There is, however, a small chance that it would support your efforts for weight loss. Of course, you would never suspect that was the case by the way this diet has been trending on various search engines. But the popularity of such diets frequently has little to do with the real evidence. [5] If you read about a new health diet or any other remedy which sounds too good to be true, a moderate dose of skepticism has to be in order.