Does Apple cider vinegar help you to lose weight ?

Apple Cider Vinegar makes you feel satisfied sooner helping you to eat less and lose weight

In the health shops I visited I was frequently seeing Apple Cider Vinegar being sold as a weight-loss aid and I am a cynic so I decided to do a little research on it. Here is what I discovered –

  • A study asked subjects to rate their feelings of hunger/satiety on a scale ranging from extreme hunger (−10) to extreme satiety (+10) before meal consumption and at 15-minute intervals after the meal. The subjects who drank vinegar with their meals were more satisfied. 5 
  • In a separate trial, healthy adult women consumed fewer total calories on days that vinegar was taken at the morning meal.6   
  • A 12-week Japanese study on obese subjects found that taking vinegar with meals significantly reduced weight, visceral fat and serum triglycerides.7     
  • It might help reduce blood sugar levels in some pre-diabetic and type 2 diabetic clients and many people carrying excess weight have these conditions, some not knowing they have it.
  • Taking vinegar at bedtime may reduce the next-morning fasting glucose levels in type 2 diabetics and may improve their HbA1c test results. 1 2 3 4 

How Apple Cider Vinegar helps Weight-Loss

Acetic acid in vinegar suppresses the production of enzymes that are needed to digest carbohydrate foods (sucrase, lastase, maltase in the small intestine, xylulose-5-phosphate in liver, phosphofructokinase-1 in muscles). This results in sugars entering our blood stream at a slower pace and the signal to the brain from the gut is that we have enough food. One study found that adding vinegar or pickled foods to rice (eg, sushi) decreased the Glycaemic Index (GI) of rice by 20% to 35%.

 A word of caution  

However vinegar contains acids and acids can burn so it is important to dilute vinegar (2 tablespoons) in a large glass (pint) of water to protect your throat tissue and teeth enamel. Wash your teeth after your meals when using vinegar.

Also as an acid it can increase the acidity of our internal fluids so consume alkalizing foods rich in  Sodium, Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium, mainly vegetables, especially green vegetables

 Vinegar & Digestion  

Apple Cider Vinegar helps you to digest food completely which maximizes the extraction of vitamins and minerals from the food. Therefore it is no surprise that a study reported a reduction in blood pressure after taking vinegar with meals as vinegar increases the absorption of calcium from food in the gut and calcium helps to regulate blood pressure.

 How to include vinegar in your diet  

I use vinegar in stir-fries, salad and legume dressings  and marinades for meats, fish and poultry. I add a little to my vegetable soups for a kick.  As a marinade, the acid begins to break down the proteins in the meat, fish and poultry shortening your cooking time. 

As a tonic, mix 2 tablespoons vinegar with a pint of water and drink before a main meal (unless you are already using vinegar in the meal) and 1 tablespoon with water prior to a snack.

At the time I was researching this , a leading Australian University, Monash, was doing exciting research on the positive affects of vinegar on asthma. Matt Cooper, the scientists being interviewed takes vinegar liberally throughout the day. A more potent drug version was undergoing trials.

 Note: Kurosu vinegar (Japanese Black Rice Vinegar) is reported as being particularly rich in health-promoting phenolic compounds and is worth investigating.


1. Ebihara K, Nakajima A: Effect of acetic acid and vinegar on blood glucose and insulin responses to orally administered sucrose and starch. Agric Biol Chem (1988)52: 1311–1312

2. Brighenti F. Castellani G. Benini L. et al. Effect of neutralized and native vinegar on blood glucose and acetate responses to a mixed meal in healthy subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr (1995) 49: 242–247.

 3. Johnson C. White A. Kent S. Preliminary evidence that regular vinegar ingestion favourably influences hemoglobin A1c values in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice(2009): 84( 2) ;15-17.

4. JohnstonC. et al.  Examination of the Antiglycemic Properties of Vinegar in Healthy Adults. Ann Nutr Metab (2010):56;74-79

5. Ostman E et al. Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses and increases satiety after a bread meal in healthy subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr. (2005): 59(9);983-8.

6.JohnstonC.  Buller A.  Vinegar and peanut products as complementary foods to reduce postprandial glycemia. J Am Diet Assoc. (2005):105(12);1939-42.

7. Tomoo K et al. Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass and serum Triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry. (2009):73(8);1837-1843

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