Apple cider vinegar and weight loss – what the experts say
By Sandee LaMotte, CNN
6 minute read
5:57 AM EDT, Wed March 24, 2021
Some people praise the use of apple cider vinegar as a cure-all for a range of conditions, including diabetes, weight loss, sore throats, skin and hair problems and more. But what does the science say?
Can apple cider vinegar help you lose weight? Maybe, if you're happy losing a third of a pound a week. That's the maximum benefit found in one study of 175 overweight but otherwise healthy Japanese subjects.
Other studies suggest that it can help you feel full, but so does the glass of water you dilute it in.
Looking to control your high blood sugar? Try vinegar before a starchy meal. The acetic acid helps block the absorption of starch, easing that after-meal spike. Pre-diabetics get the most benefit, says registered dietitian Carol Johnston, who has studied vinegars for years.
This antiglycemic response can be induced by any sort of vinegar, not just apple cider vinegar, Johnston says, such as red and white wine vinegars, pomegranate vinegar or even white distilled vinegar.
The best way to consume apple cider vinegar is on your salad, experts say, as part of the dressing. Nutritionist Lisa Drayer suggests using balsamic vinegar in a 4:1 ratio with oil.
Some people suggest dabbing a bit of apple cider vinegar on acne or using it to fight skin aging.
"It will dry out a pimple, but it's not an anti-aging method," says dermatologist Dr. Marie Jhin, a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Dermatology. "It might fade dark spots, or maybe you could use it as a skin toner, if you dilute it a great deal. But I wouldn't recommend it. We have much more effective and safe methods today than this."
Apple cider vinegar might help with dandruff, says Jihn, because the acidity could increase the sloughing of the skin on the scalp, and it does have some antifungal properties.
Some people claim that apple cider vinegar can soothe a sore throat. Although there's no scientific evidence either way, American Academy of Pediatrics spokeswoman Dr. Jennifer Shu urges caution.
"I would just think that the vinegar would irritate the throat even more," says Shu, an Atlanta pediatrician. "But diluting it or mixing it with other ingredients such as salt or honey might decrease any pain that the vinegar might cause."