You may have a friend who insists on taking apple cider vinegar shots in the morning for fat burning. Or you may have seen apple cider vinegar drinks in the refrigerated section at the grocery store. With the exploding popularity of this seemingly basic pantry staple, you’re probably wondering what the buzz is all about.
What Is Apple Cider Vinegar Exactly?
What Are the Possible Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar?
ACV has garnered superfood status, and fans of the vinegar say that it can cure nearly everything that ails you — weight gain, digestive issues, skin woes, and so on. Meanwhile, some companies tout ACV pills as a powerful source of vitamins and minerals, or for weight loss or “cleansing” support.
ACV and Weight Loss
ACV contains very few calories, so it can fit into your diet if you’re trying to lose or maintain weight. But you may also have heard that some people take a shot or tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to stimulate fat burning. The fact of the matter is that taking ACV is unlikely to change your body composition or weight.
ACV and High Cholesterol
ACV may be beneficial for high cholesterol in some groups.
ACV and Type 2 Diabetes
Some research suggests that ACV may have benefits for people with type 2 diabetes, though there’s a lack of high-quality research on the topic.
ACV and Ulcerative Colitis
ACV and Inflammation
ACV and Skin Conditions
What Are the Side Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar?
- Tooth enamel erosion
- Esophageal burns
- Gastrointestinal distress and acid reflux
- Worsened chronic kidney disease
Always have a discussion with your doctor about anything you take, even if it seems as innocent or natural as vinegar.
ACV and Yeast Infections
Common Questions & Answers
When Using Apple Cider Vinegar for Disease Treatment Is Risky
ACV is not a cure-all, and there’s no research to back many of the claims made about its disease-fighting abilities.
How Much Do You Know About Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple Cider Vinegar Uses
Apple Cider Vinegar Dosage
Harvard Health Publishing points out that most recommendations for drinking diluted apple cider vinegar are 1 to 2 teaspoons prior to or during meals.
The University of Washington, on the other hand, recommends that if you’re taking apple cider vinegar as a supplement (by the spoonful, as a shot), you ought to stick to a limit of 1 to 2 tbsp at a time.
As noted, the ingredient is also used in topical creams and can come in tablet form; check packaging for dosage information.
Regardless of the delivery method or amount, there's no guarantee that apple cider vinegar will result in health or weight loss benefits. Simply put, more research is needed.
A Final Word About Using Apple Cider Vinegar
You can use apple cider vinegar on more than just salads. The ingredient may help you control your blood sugar and can be part of a healthy diet. It’s also extremely useful around the house for a variety of cleaning purposes.
But don’t rely on it as a magic weight loss cure or a treatment for chronic health conditions just yet.
Editorial Sources and Fact-Checking
- Exploring the Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar. Cleveland Clinic. April 30, 2021.
- Frequently Asked Questions. The Vinegar Institute.
- Recipes. The Vinegar Institute.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. U.S. Department of Agriculture. July 29, 2021.
- Best Apple Cider Vinegar? Quality of Bottled Apple Cider Vinegars and Supplements Varies, According to ConsumerLab. ConsumerLab.com. October 21, 2020.
- Zhang S, Hu C, Guo Y, et al. Polyphenols in Fermented Apple Juice: Beneficial Effects on Human Health. Journal of Functional Foods. January 2021.
- Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss Seems Far-Fetched. Does It Work? Mayo Clinic. April 29, 2022.
- Hadi A, Pourmasoumi M, Najafgholizadeh A, et al. The Effect of Apple Cider Vinegar on Lipid Profiles and Glycemic Parameters: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies. June 2021.
- Salbe AD, Johnston CS, Buyukbese MA, et al. Vinegar Lacks Antiglycemic Action on Enteral Carbohydrate Absorption in Human Subjects. Nutrition Research. December 2009.
- Debunking the Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar. University of Chicago Medical Center. August 23, 2018.
- Shen F, Feng J, Wang X, et al. Vinegar Treatment Prevents the Development of Murine Experimental Colitis via Inhibition of Inflammation and Apoptosis. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. January 2016.
- Feldstein S, Afshar M, Krakowski AC. Chemical Burn From Vinegar Following an Internet-Based Protocol for Self-Removal of Nevi. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. June 2015.
- Luu LA, Flowers RH, Kellams AL, et al. Apple Cider Vinegar Soaks [0.5%] as a Treatment for Atopic Dermatitis Do Not Improve Skin Barrier Integrity. Pediatric Dermatology. September/October 2019.
- Get the Facts: Apple Cider Vinegar. National Eczema Association. July 15, 2021.
- Integrative Approaches to Care. National Psoriasis Foundation.
- Beyond the Hype: Apple Cider Vinegar as an Alternative Therapy. University of Washington. July 7, 2015.
- FDA 101: Dietary Supplements. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. June 2, 2022.
- Do Home Remedies Actually Work for Yeast Infections? Cleveland Clinic. November 8, 2019.
- Hjorth P, Petersen SM, Launholt TL, Nielsen CT. Effect of Apple Vinegar Intake on Metabolic Parameters and Constipation in Patients With Schizophrenia Treated With Clozapine: A Pilot Study. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry. February 2021.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. Environmental Working Group.
- 37 Apple Cider Vinegar Hacks for a Clean, Chemical-Free Home. One Green Planet.
- Apple Cider Vinegar Diet: Does It Really Work? Harvard Health Publishing. October 29, 2020.