Apple cider vinegar and weight loss.

Vinegar has been around for thousands of years. It’s mostly water and 5–20% is acetic acid produced by acetic acid bacteria through fermentation. There are many types, but one that has received a lot of attention over the past few years has been the apple cider vinegar, inspiring the apple cider vinegar diet; but does the science back it up?

Studies in obese rats and mice suggest that acetic acid can prevent fat deposition and improve their metabolism. The most widely quoted study of humans is a Japanese trial of 175 people who consumed a drink containing 0, 1, or 2 tablespoons of vinegar each day. After three months, those who consumed vinegar had modest weight loss (2 to 4 pounds) and lower triglyceride levels than those who drank no vinegar. Their conclusion: daily intake of vinegar might be useful in the prevention of metabolic syndrome by reducing obesity.

However, there is little direct research on apple cider vinegar – and nothing to suggest that any type of vinegar diet might be a magical weight loss ‘silver bullet’.

Are there any risks?

Vinegar should be diluted as its acidity can damage teeth if sipped “straight”. In any case it’s a lot more palatable as a component of a vinaigrette salad dressing.

It has been reported to cause or worsen low potassium levels – a serious concern for anyone on medications that can lower potassium, such as diuretics taken to treat high blood pressure.

Vinegar can alter insulin levels, so people with diabetes should be cautious about a high vinegar diet.

If you are struggling with managing your weight, just adding apple cider vinegar to your diet probably won’t deliver the results you might hope for. However, incorporating vinegar into your diet through a delicious vinaigrette dressing, especially if this replaces shop bought mayonnaise or other such bottled salad dressings, could well help deliver results.

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