Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight?

Apple cider vinegar has become popular in the health and nutrition world over the past several years. 

Apple cider vinegar diets, gummies, and capsules might claim to help you lose weight, but do they live up to the hype?

Let’s look at what the science says and break down the potential benefits and risks of taking apple cider vinegar.

What is apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is fermented apple juice. Fermentation occurs when yeast ferments the juice, which then produces alcohol. Bacteria turn the alcohol into acetic acid, which gives vinegar its strong and unique taste.

You can make apple cider vinegar at home by covering sliced apples, water, and sugar in a tightly covered jar for several weeks. After a couple of weeks, remove the solid parts of the apples and cover the jar again for a few weeks. The process takes a total of around six weeks.

Apple cider vinegar is sold both plain and with the “mother,” a combination of yeast and bacteria that form during fermentation of the sugars in the apples. The “mother” usually appears in white strands and people can use it to make future batches of vinegar. 

Apple cider vinegar with the mother typically isn’t pasteurized since that would kill the bacteria and yeast, but those without the mother can be pasteurized.

You can take apple cider vinegar orally, or use it in recipes and for other purposes like natural cleaning. You can also find apple cider vinegar in supplements such as apple cider vinegar gummies and capsules.

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Can apple cider vinegar help you lose weight? 

Many of the studies on apple cider vinegar for weight loss have been done on animals. Some studies on apple cider vinegar for weight loss are in humans, but the study sizes are small and weren’t conducted over a long period.

A review of 25 studies on apple cider vinegar (some on animals and some on humans) concluded that there aren’t enough high-quality studies to make a definitive conclusion as to whether or not apple cider vinegar can be helpful for weight loss.

Prevent accumulation of body fat

According to a study on diabetic mice, acetic acid (the main component in apple cider vinegar) reduced lipogenesis, the process of making fat.

Another study found that acetic acid prevented the accumulation of body fat in mice fed a high-fat diet. Acetic acid increases the metabolism of fatty acids, which means that vinegar like apple cider vinegar might help you burn more fat instead of storing it as body fat.

Reducee insulin levels

Another review of studies concluded that vinegar (not specifically apple cider vinegar) could help reduce insulin levels. Reducing insulin levels can help promote weight loss since insulin promotes fat storage. 

Reduce bodyweight 

A study on 175 overweight Japanese test subjects found that vinegar reduced body weight, visceral fat (fat around the abdomen), waist circumference, and triglyceride levels (fat in the blood).

Suppress appetite 

According to a study on 39 overweight and obese people, apple cider vinegar resulted in more weight loss (paired with a reduced-calorie diet). 

Apple cider vinegar also significantly reduced appetite, body mass index (BMI), hip circumference, total cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

Slow gastric emptying

The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar may slow gastric emptying. A small study on ten healthy men and women concluded that administering vinegar with meals slowed gastric emptying and, as a result, reduced blood sugar and insulin levels. When gastric emptying is slowed down, it can boost satiety and support weight loss.

It’s important to note that taking apple cider vinegar might worsen gastroparesis, a health condition where stomach emptying is delayed, causing unpleasant symptoms. 

If you have gastroparesis, you should consult your healthcare provider for medical advice before taking apple cider vinegar.

How do you use apple cider vinegar for weight loss?

If you choose to use apple cider vinegar to try to lose weight, there are several ways you can incorporate it into your diet.

Some people choose to take apple cider vinegar “shots.” You can take apple cider vinegar this way, but there are some safety concerns you should be aware of.

First, make sure to use diluted apple cider vinegar instead of straight apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic, which can damage your tooth enamel. Undiluted apple cider vinegar might also worsen health issues like heartburn since it’s so acidic.

According to scientific studies, taking anywhere from one teaspoon to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily seems to be a reasonable amount. Taking large amounts of apple cider vinegar might lead to low blood potassium levels or dental problems. 

You can use apple cider vinegar as a salad dressing for spinach salads, sauerkraut salad (for even more acetic acid), or marinades for meat. Marinades help tenderize the meat and give it more flavor before cooking with it. You can also make apple cider vinegar tea by adding ACV to hot water.

How much weight will I lose with apple cider vinegar?

The largest and most frequently quoted study on vinegar for weight loss in humans was on 145 participants over 12 weeks. The groups that consumed vinegar experienced modest weight loss of 2-4 pounds. 

Weight loss of 2-4 pounds isn’t significant for most people. That means that you shouldn’t expect drastic weight loss from taking apple cider vinegar alone.

If you make other lifestyle changes while taking apple cider vinegar, such as cutting back on your sugar intake or exercising more, you’re more likely to experience more significant weight loss.

The bottom line is that everyone is different, so there is no way to estimate how much weight you might lose due to taking apple cider vinegar. This is especially true since weight loss doesn’t appear to be significant, according to scientific studies.

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Other possible health benefits of apple cider vinegar

Many of the other possible health benefits of consuming apple cider vinegar have to do with improving blood sugar levels and blood lipid (cholesterol and fat) levels.

Reduced fasting blood sugar levels

A randomized control study on 70 participants with type 2 diabetes and hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol levels and/or high blood fat) found that apple cider vinegar significantly reduced fasting blood sugar levels and also reduced markers of oxidative stress. The study didn’t seem to have an impact on blood pressure levels.

Improved insulin sensitivity

According to a small study in Diabetes Care, apple cider vinegar was administered (compared with a placebo drink) before participants ate a high-carbohydrate meal consisting of a white bagel and orange juice. 

Participants with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes consuming apple cider vinegar had significant improvements in insulin sensitivity and lowered post-meal blood sugar levels.

Slightly reduced A1c

A review of studies on vinegar for diabetes found that vinegar (not specifically apple cider vinegar) promoted a small but significant reduction in hemoglobin A1c over 8-12 weeks. (A1c measures average blood sugar levels over a 60-90 day period.) 

The study authors noted that “long-term outcomes favored vinegar but were not significant”. Therefore, we need more long-term studies in order to see if vinegar can produce consistent improvement in blood sugar control.

Lowered blood sugar and cholesterol levels

An animal study on rats fed a high-sugar and high-calorie diet concluded that apple cider vinegar helps lower blood sugar levels as well as cholesterol levels. Levels of HDL cholesterol, also known as “good cholesterol,” increased with vinegar administration. 

Improved fasting blood sugar levels

A review of 16 studies on the impact of acetic acid (the active compound in all types of vinegar) on health found it to be a safe and effective way to improve fasting blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. 

However, acetic acid consumption didn’t significantly change hemoglobin A1c levels. Hemoglobin A1c is a better indicator of long-term blood sugar control than fasting blood sugar.

A review of studies on apple cider vinegar for diabetes noted that most studies have been on small sample sizes. We need larger groups of test subjects before we can conclude that apple cider vinegar could be beneficial for a larger population of people with diabetes.


There aren’t many high-quality studies on apple cider vinegar for weight loss. Some studies suggest that apple cider vinegar may help promote weight loss by increasing fat metabolism, slowing gastric emptying, and reducing insulin levels. Many of the studies are on acetic acid, the active compound in vinegar like apple cider vinegar.

Weight loss from taking vinegar such as apple cider vinegar doesn’t appear to be significant, according to the studies so far. You shouldn’t expect drastic weight loss from taking apple cider vinegar. 

However, taking apple cider vinegar as suggested in this article isn’t likely to be harmful. You can try taking apple cider vinegar in addition to healthy lifestyle habits and assess its potential impact on your weight management goals.

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