Apple cider vinegar has been considerd beneficial when it comes to keeping your weight down. But is it true? "A lot of this is marketing", nutritionist Lisa Drayer said, and it's been around a long time. I remember, probabaly 15 years ago, covering the apple cider vinegar diet. When you looked closely, the diet paired apple cider vinegar pills with a low-calorie menu.
It's no wonder people lost weight. So I think there's been a lot of advertising about the benefits of apple cider for weight loss,"she added, "and consumers get those messages, and they think, 'Oh, this must be the next magic bullet.'
But they do suggest a weight loss from apple cider vinegar is plausible?, Drayer said."For example, some research suggests that it might promote satiety and make you consume fewer calories throughout the day."
A lot of the study has been done on vinegar's relationship with weight loss in animals, mainly in mice and rats. Studies show that acetic acid, the main component of apple cider vinegar, can suppress body fat accumulation and metabolic disorders in obese rats.
A 2005 study of 12 people found that to be true when vinegar was consumed with a bread meal. A 2013 study of 16 folks found the same, but only because the vinegar caused nausea when ingested. "On this basis, the promotion of vinegar as a natural appetite suppressant does not seem appropriate," study concludes.
The most citied study to prove a connection to weight loss was done in 2009 with 175 "obese" Japanese subjects ages 25 to 60, who were split into three groups. Considered “obese” by Japanese standards, each subject’s BMI was between 25 and 30; in the United States, people aren’t considered obese until their BMI exceeds 30. Anyone who had high cholesterol or diabetes or was using medications was excluded.
Anyone who had high cholesterol or diabetes or was using medications was excluded. Over a 12-week period, the groups consumed a beverage that contained either one tablespoon of vinegar, two tablespoons of vinegar or no vinegar at all.
At the end of the three months, those who consumed any amount of vinegar had a lower body weight, a smaller body mass index, less visceral fat, a smaller waist measurement and lower triglyceride levels than the placebo group that drank no vinegar. That sounds fantastic until you look closely at the amount of weight that was lost.
“Only 2 to 4 pounds in three months over a placebo,” Drayer explained. “That’s only a third of a pound a week. Most diets have a much bigger result. So you would you definitely have to do many other things to accomplish any significant weight loss.”
Dietitian Carol Johnston has been studying the effects of acetic acid on diabetic blood glucose levels since 2004. Over the years, she’s done a number of studies that show vinegar helps control blood sugar spikes for people with type 2 diabetes and those who are prediabetic, also known as insulin-resistant.
She’s even seen a slight benefit for healthy control subjects.“Vinegar had an impact in all groups, but the most significant impact was in the prediabetic group,” she said.
Though the research on acetic acid’s benefits looks promising, nothing’s definitive. It could be that other elements in apple cider and other vinegars also play a role. She added that it will take much larger randomized scientific trials to prove any cause and effect between vinegar and weight loss, and especially between vinegar and diabetes or cardiovascular risks.