Apple cider vinegar for weight loss: How does apple cider vinegar burn fat?
Apple cider vinegar: Expert shares recipe for weight loss drink
Apple cider vinegar is made by mixing crushed apples with yeast and sugar and fermenting them to make alcohol. Specific bacteria known as acetobacter are added to produce acetic acid. Although apple cider vinegar has the lowest acetic acid content of any type of vinegar, this acid is believed to play a role in weight loss. Express.co.uk chatted to Dr Deborah Lee from Dr Fox Online Pharmacy to find out whether apple cider vinegar actually helps you lose weight or not. How does apple cider vinegar reportedly burn fat?
Does apple cider vinegar help you lose weight?
Although most studies on apple cider vinegar have been done on animals, several studies have shown that apple cider vinegar may aid weight loss in humans.
For example, one 2018 study randomly assigned 39 obese individuals to either a control group or a group that drank 30ml of apple cider vinegar per day for 12 weeks.
Both groups followed a calorie-restricted diet to ensure that the difference was purely the apple cider vinegar.
The group who drank 30ml of apple cider vinegar daily had a greater loss of body weight – the average weight loss was 4 kg for the ACV group, compared to 2.3kg for the control group.
The apple cider vinegar group managed to drop their BMI by 1.5 units on average compared to 0.89 for the control group.
There was a greater reduction in waist circumference for the ACV group, who managed to reduce their waists by 5.9cm compared to the control group’s 3.37cm loss.
Other positive changes included a lowered visceral adiposity index, reduced appetite, lowered total cholesterol and lowered triglycerides.
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A less recent randomised controlled trial found similar results.
The 2009 study took place over a 12-week period and 155 obese participants (BMI 25-30) were divided into three groups.
One group had 15ml of ACV per day, another had 30ml per day, and the last group had no vinegar.
They took the doses twice a day- once before breakfast and again before dinner – while sticking to a calorie-controlled diet and kept a food diary.
The amount of exercise was recorded using a pedometer – every group did the same exercise and ate the same amount of calories.
By week four, the vinegar groups saw reductions in their BMI and Body Fat Ratio.
By week eight, they saw their waist circumference, waist-hip ratio, and blood levels of triglycerides start to decrease.
Over the study period, those drinking daily vinegar lost between 1-2 kg in body weight.
Both ACV groups lost similar amounts of visceral and subcutaneous fat.
How does apple cider vinegar burn fat?
Dr Lee explained the several specific effects of apple cider vinegar that are thought to result in weight loss.
She said: “Several research studies in humans have shown ACV reduces appetite, improves satiety, helps regulate blood glucose levels, and impairs fat deposition and storage.”
Dr Lee listed five physiological changes that result from drinking apple cider vinegar daily and are favourable for weight loss.
Firstly, ACV delays gastric emptying – which can help you to lose weight by making you feel fuller for longer and less likely to crave sweet foods.
She said: “Every day, after eating a meal, the body is presented with a large glucose load, and there is a small, natural spike in blood glucose levels. However, with healthy insulin response, this peak glucose level is kept to a minimum.
“ACV causes the stomach to empty more slowly. This means glucose levels rise more slowly, there is a small reduction in the peak blood glucose level, and also a small reduction in insulin production.”
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Dr Lee also noted that apple cider vinegar increases the uptake of glucose into muscle cells, which is handy for type 2 diabetes and weight loss.
She said: “In type-2 diabetes, ACV has been shown to stimulate increased glucose uptake by muscle cells and hence reduces plasma glucose.”
It also reduces plasma in the triglyceride levels, which would support weight loss.
Dr Lee said apple cider vinegar even prevents the accumulation of fat cells in the liver and muscle cells, which is healthy for the functioning of your body and makes you appear a little slimmer.
She added: “Studies have shown that apple cider vinegar increases the oxidation of fat cells.
“When acetic acid is metabolised in the liver, this results in the production of AMP-kinase, an enzyme which inhibits fatty acid synthesis and stimulates fatty acid oxidation (breakdown).”
Does the taste play a role in weight loss?
Some experts have claimed that the unpleasant taste or smell of apple cider vinegar can cause a reduction in appetite, but Dr Lee says this isn’t the case.
She concluded: “Although ACV has a distinctive taste and is unpalatable in large amounts, this is not thought to be the reason ACV encourages weight loss.
“As mentioned, ACV has specific properties which aid digestion and metabolism, favouring weight loss and not weight gain.
“Acetic acid slows the rate of gastric emptying after food, resulting in a slightly lowered blood glucose levels, and a slightly lowered insulin response.
“High blood glucose levels and high insulin levels are associated with obesity
“Also, because the stomach is emptying more slowly, you feel fuller for longer, and this helps reduce food cravings. It also lowers your appetite.
“ACV also directly inhibits the production and deposition of fat cells and stimulates fat breakdown.”
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