Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has become one of the latest panaceas for weight loss.  People usually place one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of water, and drink the mixture three times a day prior to meals.  Proponents of this method state that the acid in the vinegar helps break down proteins in your stomach thereby aiding in digestion.  In addition, the vinegar decreases the amount of time that fat remains in your digestive system.  These actions supposedly are part of the reason why people lose weight.  And not only is there overall weight loss, but there is specific weight loss of stomach and belly fat.

Other potential benefits of drinking the vinegar include increasing the body’s immunity, improving blood pressure and heart health, treating kidney stones, improving arthritis, fighting cancer, helping with allergies, and decreasing blood sugar levels (glucose) following a meal.  Of these benefits, decreased glucose is the only one that has been shown to actually occur in preliminary studies.  This could be potentially helpful in people with Type II diabetes mellitus.

If you take a look at the potential side effects, however, the apple cider vinegar actually delays stomach emptying (gastroparesis) leading to abdominal discomfort and bloating.  This goes against the claim that the vinegar actually helps digestion.  Erosion of teeth enamel is also a possible side effect since you are drinking acetic and citric acids.  For people with osteoporosis (thin bones), the vinegar may actually be harmful in that osteoporosis is worsened with this concoction.

Other side effects that can occur are sore throat and esophageal burns and low potassium.  The low potassium (hypokalemia) can cause muscle cramping, and people can even exhibit arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeat) with severe hypokalemia.  Acne and itchy skin (pruritis) can also be side effects of the apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar is also available in pill form.  It is not known by the advocates of using the apple cider vinegar, however, if the pill form actually helps people lose weight.

Further studies are needed before apple cider vinegar can actually be promoted as a weight loss regimen.  At the present time, the FDA does not approve apple cider vinegar for weight loss.  There is one study that was done in Japan in 2009 that evaluated the weight loss benefits of apple cider vinegar.  One group of patients drank water and the other group drank the vinegar for twelve weeks.  At the end of that time, the group that drank the vinegar lost one to two pounds more than the group which drank the water.  As I mentioned, further studies are needed to evaluate the weight loss claims.

I saw an advertisement recently that recommended combining apple cider vinegar and forskolin for weight loss.  Forskalin, however, has its share of potential side effects as elucidated on one of my posts on this site.  What will they think up next?

As I keep saying, lifestyle modification consisting of eating wisely and exercising is the key to weight loss and maintenance.

Wishing you success in your weight loss and maintenance regimen.  Pablo

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