Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight?

The thought of sipping apple cider vinegar may cause you to pucker up your lips, but plenty of people do it daily in order to speed up weight loss. Does it really have an affect on caloric burn, or is it just another diet trend worth skipping?

Apple cider vinegar is simply apple juice that's had yeast added so that it has fermented — meaning the bacteria in the yeast have eaten the sugar in the juice. The result is that the apple-based alcohol (made from the fermentation process) then is turned into acetic acid by the added bacteria (via Healthline).

There isn't much research to back up weight-loss claims, despite the fact that apple cider vinegar has been touted as a great "detox." Most of the oft-cited evidence comes from studies done on rats and mice using acetic acid, the primary compound in apple cider vinegar (via Harvard Health Publishing). Harvard-based Robert H. Shmerling, MD, explains that the two studies that investigated its weight-loss potential reported minimal pounds dropped, and were done on small groups of people.

Are there any benefits?

Apple cider vinegar may not help you drop weight, but it could have other health benefits. In particular, research has been more positive in the arena of type 2 diabetes management and apple cider vinegar. One study found that taking it regularly led to better management of blood sugar and insulin. Type 1 diabetics, on the other hand, should avoid taking apple cider vinegar regularly (via WebMD).

You can also use it topically: Anecdotally, some people have found success with diluted apple cider vinegar as an acne fighter (perhaps thanks to its antibacterial qualities). Others use it as a hair rinse for shiny tresses with no buildup. Others even use it as a house cleaner, in place of white vinegar. If you do decide to try drinking apple cider vinegar daily, it's safe — as long as you dilute it with water. Otherwise, you risk damaging the enamel on your teeth and burning your esophagus (via Healthline).