Apple cider vinegar is an old-time miracle diet product (its been around since the 70′s) that has resurfaced with claims of the impossible… fast and easy weight loss, fat burning, etc, etc. And although apple cider vinegar has never been documented to do anything but add a nice tart flavor to salad dressings, it has suddenly become a weight loss cure-all.
Although there’s no evidence apple cider vinegar does anything for weight loss, I did find a couple of positive studies that show that vinegar may prove beneficial, regardless…
For instance, one study (see BMC Gastroenterol. 2007 Dec 20;7:46) that showed that apple cider vinegar has the ability to delay gastric emptying — which turned out to be a disadvantage for the group of diabetics it was tested on, since they already had slow gastric emptying (due to “diabetic gastroparesis”). The researchers felt this could place them at risk for hypoglycemic events.
For normal individuals, however, delayed gastric emptying is a good thing, since increases feels of satiety, meaning you stay fuller, longer.
This may prevent you from eating more, which — theoretically anyway — could help you lose weight.
Another study (see Diabetes Care 27:281-282, 2004) showed that vinegar improves insulin sensitivity in subjects with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes, when given immediately before a high-carbohydrate meal.
Of course, apple cider vinegar’s action of delayed gastric emptying and improved insulin sensitivity has not been linked to weight loss in any clinical studies.
This, unfortunately, hasn’t prevented every supplement company under the sun from scrambling to get their version of the apple cider vinegar weight loss miracle onto the market. So much for integrity. Let’s all jump on the “cheat-the-customer” bandwagon.
And, since apple cider vinegar has exploded in popularity once again, the Federal Trade Commission has been busy taking action against the manufacturers of many such products.
What makes this scam even worse is the fact that you can buy a gallon of apple cider vinegar at the grocery store for nearly nothing. Add a teaspoon of it and a teaspoon of olive oil to your salads, and you’ve got a tangy and refreshing salad dressing.
Will it help you lose weight?
Well, you may obtain the benefits I outlined above, plus…
Apple cider vinegar and olive oil, when used to replace your typical high-fat, high calorie salad dressings, will reduce caloric intake, as well as adding the fat burning effects of the monounsaturated olive oil.
An of course, it’s not totally without nutritional value. It contains small amounts of potassium (5 mg per serving), for one thing. And it’s great to cook with.
But a weight loss miracle? Hardly.