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Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good for Weight Loss?

First, let's start with how Apple Cider Vinegar is made?… It’s a pretty simple process actually… the process involves crushing up apples, squeezing out the liquid, adding yeast (this ferments the sugars to alcohol), and finally adding bacteria (ferments alcohol to acetic acid / vinegar). This process isn’t just for apples, it can also be done to almost any carb. But anyways!!….

I wanna talk about the "mother" first, because that's what most people will consider to be the healthiest part. “Make sure to buy the Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother in it”. I’ve heard that a lot. Anyways, the “mother” is said to contain enzymes for increased health benefits.. which it might, there are no known credible studies that show us either way, BUT from a physiological standpoint, if it does, your proteolytic enzymes in your stomach will digest any enzymes in the mother, rendering them inactive. So, even if it does, it’s pointless anyways…

One thing the “mother” does have going for it is that it is a prebiotic, which helps with digestion by promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. BUT even if there was a lot of prebiotics and “other stuff” in the mother causing health benefits, it should be in an apple in greater amounts to begin with, as well as other nutrients and fiber (all things that help with digestion and overall gut health).

Since most Apple Cider Vinegars don’t have mother in it, let’s look at just regular Apple Cider Vinegar, which is what all the fuss is really about! There is only one study in which they tested Apple Cider Vinegar for its’ effect on fat loss. This study was a 2009 study which took 175 subjects, gave them all a liquid and told them all to eat the same macros and calories. 1/3 of them received no ACV, 1/3 received 15mL, and the last 1/3 received 30mL. The group that took the most ACV had the lowest body weight and body fat despite following the same diet. Big win for Apple Cider Vinegar right? Ehhhh not so fast, the group only lost 4 pounds in 12 weeks (not substantial at all) and actually gained it all right back after the study was over. They also used personal diet diaries to track their food, which we all know can be easily faked. But 4 pounds is still 4 pounds. Was it because of ACV? Or because of a caloric deficit? Let’s keep digging into the research.

In 2013 there was a study published to see the effects of Apple Cider Vinegar and the claims that it was an appetite suppressant. All subjects received it for breakfast and all showed an increase in satiety, BUT it was only because those same subjects reported feeling nauseous (if you’ve ever drank it you know) and the author actually dismissed ACV as an appetite suppressant entirely! Anyways, back to fat loss…

Okay, I feel like I’ve been very negative so far, so let’s look at some positives… One of the claims that is most popular is that ACV is “proven” to lower blood sugar, which it has been shown multiple times to do so. The only drawback is that it only has been proven to do so in those that are already insulin resistant or those with diabetes. When it comes to insulin and blood sugar, ACV’s antiglycemic effect seems to be dependent on the type of carb you’re consuming. It is much more effective when taken with complex carbs, and doesn’t seem to work at all in response to simple sugar consumption. (If you’re eating a complex carb, your insulin response will be lower to that of a simple sugar anyways). ACV seems to be able to do this by inhibiting starch digestion, so it will be most effective when you’re eating starchy, complex carbs. Here’s the thing though…. All vinegar will work exactly the same when it comes to blood glucose and insulin control, ACV isn’t special.

Real quick let’s go ahead and dismiss the fact that ACV is good for your teeth (I’ve seen that a few times), when literally all studies on this show that the acid in vinegar erodes enamel…. So don’t believe that.

All in all, weight loss is ultimately determined by the amount of calories you’re eating vs the amount you are expending. You could feel more satiated and full after, but it will be because of the nauseous feeling it promotes. I would recommend eating more veggies, consuming actual fruit that contains fiber, and drinking plenty of water because that will be better for you overall. Apple Cider Vinegar isn’t a magic pill, it doesn’t melt fat directly, it doesn’t do most of the things it claims to do. Eating an actual apple is better for you….. eat that!

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