Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight?

Apple cider vinegar has been used as a health tonic for thousands of years.Research shows it has many health benefits, such as lowering blood sugar levels.But can adding apple cider vinegar to your diet also help you lose weight?

This article explores the research behind apple cider vinegar and weight loss. It also provides tips on incorporating apple cider vinegar into your diet.

What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is made in a two-step fermentation process (1).

First, apples are cut or crushed and combined with yeast to convert their sugar into alcohol. Second, bacteria is added to ferment the alcohol into acetic acid.

Traditional apple cider vinegar production takes about one month, though some manufacturers dramatically accelerate the process so that it takes only a day.

Acetic acid is the main active component of apple cider vinegar.

Also known as ethanoic acid, it is an organic compound with a sour taste and strong odor. The term acetic comes from acetum, the Latin word for vinegar.

About 5–6% of apple cider vinegar consists of acetic acid. It also contains water and trace amounts of other acids, such as malic acid (2).

One tablespoon (15 ml) of apple cider vinegar contains about three calories and virtually no carbs.

SUMMARYApple cider vinegar is made in a two-step fermentation process. Acetic acid is the vinegar’s main active component.

 
Acetic Acid Has Various Benefits for Fat Loss

Acetic acid is a short-chain fatty acid that dissolves into acetate and hydrogen in your body.

Some animal studies suggest that the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar may promote weight loss in several ways:

  • Lowers blood sugar levels: In one rat study, acetic acid improved the ability of the liver and muscles to take up sugar from the blood (3).
  • Decreases insulin levels: In the same rat study, acetic acid also reduced the ratio of insulin to glucagon, which might favor fat burning (3).
  • Improves metabolism: Another study in rats exposed to acetic acid showed an increase in the enzyme AMPK, which boosts fat burning and decreases fat and sugar production in the liver (4).
  • Reduces fat storage: Treating obese, diabetic rats with acetic acid or acetate protected them from weight gain and increased the expression of genes that reduced belly fatstorage and liver fat (56).
  • Burns fat: A study in mice fed a high-fat diet supplemented with acetic acid found a significant increase in the genes responsible for fat burning, which led to less body fat buildup (7).
  • Suppresses appetite: Another study suggests acetate may suppress centers in your brain that control appetite, which can lead to reduced food intake (8).

Although the results of animal studies look promising, research is needed in humans to confirm these effects.

SUMMARYAnimal studies have found that acetic acid may promote fat loss in several ways. It can reduce fat storage, increase fat burning, reduce appetite and improve blood sugar and insulin response.

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