- Yes, apple cider may help with weight loss, but only alongside a healthy diet and workout routine.
- Apple cider vinegar erodes enamel and irritates the throat, so dilute with water before drinking.
- For weight loss, consume apple cider vinegar before meals and stick to two tablespoons daily.
- Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.
The wellness trend of drinking apple cider vinegar — or fermented apple juice — has recently gained popularity due to claims it aids in
, among many other benefits. While some small studies indicate apple cider vinegar may help with weight loss, more research is needed to determine its long-term effects and overall health benefits.
Here’s what the research says about apple cider vinegar and weight loss, and what you need to know before trying it.
Does apple cider vinegar help with weight loss?
Yes, apple cider vinegar may help with weight loss according to some small studies, but it most likely will not help you shed substantial pounds, says Daniela Novotny, RD, a senior instructor of biomedical sciences at Missouri State University.
Studies on the effects of apple cider vinegar so far are small and more research is needed to draw definitive conclusions about its effects, says Melissa Mitri, a registered dietitian with her own private practice. Here is what the research says:
- A 2018 review found apple cider vinegar may prevent blood sugar spikes. This might help limit weight gain, but more research is needed.
- In a small 2009 study, obese adults who took one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar a day lost more weight over 12 weeks than participants who took a placebo.
- In a 2018 study, participants who were on a reduced-calorie diet and who drank two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with lunch and dinner lost an average of 8.8 pounds in 12 weeks. The participants who did not take apple cider vinegar lost only five pounds during the same period of time on the lower-calorie diet.
Other studies have shown that vinegar may also increase satiety, resulting in fewer calories consumed and, therefore, aid weight loss.
Therefore, apple cider vinegar may have a modest effect on weight loss, but studies so far on the topic are limited, and more substantial research is needed, Mitri says.
Apple cider vinegar side effects
For the most part, apple cider vinegar is safe to consume, Novotny says. But, due to its high acidity, there are some potential side effects, like:
- Eroding tooth enamel
- Irritating your throat and esophagus
- Exacerbating acid reflux
- Amplifying the blood-sugar-lowering effects of diabetes medication. If you take diabetes medication, talk to your doctor before trying apple cider vinegar for weight loss or any other reason.
How to use apple cider vinegar for weight loss
When consumed in moderation, apple cider vinegar doesn’t appear to pose any significant health risks, Novotny says. If you do decide to try apple cider vinegar for weight loss, here are some safe ways to consume it:
- Dilute one tablespoon of vinegar in one cup of water. You could also add apple cider vinegar to a cup of warm tea with honey and lemon to improve taste.
- Make a homemade salad dressing with apple cider vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, honey, and garlic.
- Try apple cider vinegar pills, tablets, or gummies. You can find these over-the-counter in the vitamin section of most drug stores.
- Limit consumption to one to two tablespoons a day to reduce potential side effects.
Since the research hasn’t definitively proven apple cider vinegar helps with weight loss for all, there isn’t good data to suggest how long you may need to take it to see results. The limited human studies suggest apple cider vinegar may help promote weight loss in obese people over a three-month period, but larger studies are needed in order to make recommendations, Mitri says.
Some small studies have indicated apple cider vinegar may help with weight loss, but more research is needed. Even so, it most likely will not help you shed substantial pounds, and it’s best to create a comprehensive weight loss plan with a doctor or registered dietitian.
If you decide to try apple cider vinegar, dilute it in water or use it to make your own salad dressing. If you decide to consume apple cider vinegar stick to about one to two tablespoons a day.