Apple cider vinegar comes from apples that have been crushed, distilled, and then fermented. It can be consumed in small quantities or taken as a supplement. Its high levels of acetic acid, or perhaps other compounds, may be responsible for its supposed health benefits. Although recommendations for “dosing” vary, most are on the order of 1 to 2 teaspoons before or with meals.
What can the apple cider vinegar diet do for you?
For thousands of years, compounds containing vinegar have been used for their presumed healing properties. It was used to improve strength, for “detoxification,” as an antibiotic, and even as a treatment for scurvy. While no one is using apple cider vinegar as an antibiotic anymore (at least, no one should be), it has been touted more recently for weight loss. What’s the evidence?
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 2009 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. Another small study found that vinegar consumption promoted feeling fuller after eating, but that it did so by causing nausea. Neither of these studies (and none I could find in a medical literature search) specifically studied apple cider vinegar. A more recent study randomly assigned 39 study subjects to follow a restricted calorie diet with apple cider vinegar or a restricted calorie diet without apple cider vinegar for 12 weeks. While both groups lost weight, the apple cider vinegar group lost more. As with many prior studies, this one was quite small and short-term.
In all, the scientific evidence that vinegar consumption (whether of the apple cider variety or not) is a reliable, long-term means of losing excess weight is not compelling. (On the other hand, a number of studies suggest that vinegar might prevent spikes in blood sugar in people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by blocking starch absorption — perhaps that’s a topic for another day.) Even among proponents of apple cider vinegar for weight loss or other health benefits, it’s unclear when to drink apple cider vinegar (for example, apple cider vinegar for skin whether there is particular time of day that might be best?) or how much apple cider vinegar per day is ideal.
Is there a downside to the apple cider vinegar diet?
For many natural remedies, there seems to be little risk, so a common approach is “why not try it?” However, for diets with high vinegar content, for skin a few warnings are in order:
Vinegar should be diluted. Its high acidity can damage tooth enamel when sipped “straight” — consuming it as a component of vinaigrette salad dressing is a better way.
It has been reported to cause or worsen low potassium levels. That’s particularly important for people taking medications that can lower potassium (such as common diuretics taken to treat high blood pressure).
Vinegar can alter insulin levels. People with diabetes should be particularly cautious about a high vinegar diet.
If you are trying to lose weight, adding apple cider vinegar to your diet probably won’t do the trick. Of course, you’d never suspect that was the case by the way it’s been trending on Google health searches. But the popularity of diets frequently has little to do with actual evidence. If you read about a new diet apple cider vinegar for skin (or other remedy) that sounds too good to be true, a healthy dose of skepticism is usually in order.
Apple cider vinegar is fermented juice from crushed apples. Like apple juice, apple cider vinegar may contain various vitamins and minerals, as well as dietary fiber. Apple cider vinegar may also contain acetic acid and citric acid. But it can be hard to know exactly what’s in some apple cider vinegar products. In the U.S., there’s no real definition of what a product must contain to be called apple cider vinegar. For this reason, the amount of each component of apple cider vinegar may vary from product to product.
What to know before you try this Detox
Before you start guzzling lots of apple cider vinegar, make sure it’s diluted with water. Apple cider vinegar in its pure form is acidic. It may erode tooth enamel or even burn your mouth and throat.
If you do choose to do the Detox, be sure to rinse your mouth with water after drinking the vinegar. You may even want to drink it through a straw. Even just one glass a day may be enough to negatively affect your teeth.
Apple cider vinegar may also interact with different medications or supplements. In particular, it may contribute to low potassium levels if you take diuretics or insulin.
If you take diuretics or insulin, talk to your doctor before you start consuming apple cider vinegar regularly or try the Detox.
People who have tried an best apple cider vinegar Detox do share that you may have some nausea or stomach discomfort after drinking it. This discomfort is usually worse in the morning hours when your stomach is empty.
The Bottom line
While there isn’t a huge body of research to suggest apple cider vinegar is a miracle health cure, the testimonials and reviews you’ll find online can be compelling.
Trying an apple cider vinegar Detox is likely safe for most people.
In the end, the best way to “Detox” your body may be to stop taking in sugars and processed foods and eat a healthy diet rich in whole foods, best apple cider vinegar like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
If you’re still interested best apple cider vinegar, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor before adding this ingredient to your diet. This is especially so if you’re taking medications or supplements.