Apple Cider Vinegar is among extensively studied beverage all over the world for its high nutritive value; cure for wide range of ailments and enormous utility.
From being mentioned in Folklores to work of eminent medical experts like D.C. Jarvis to modern time nutritionist; Apple Cider Vinegar always got recommended for its curing ability, regular health maintenance and fitness.
If we consider obesity and over-weight cases, which have actually doubled worldwide since 1980 ; can we keep aside the role of Apple Cider Vinegar for weight loss? The answer is simple, “NO”!
So let us see, what is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Initiating from the very start, Apple Cider Vinegar is simply an drink made from fermented apple juice .
The chief reason behind its tart flavour and pungent, biting odour is its main chemical component – acetic acid .
The process of production of this all-rounder drink involves natural decomposition of apples in water for a very long time to cider.
This cider is then turned into vinegar where acid bacteria turn alcoholic content of cider to acetic acid .
As enlisted by United States Department of Agriculture, It is composed of ~93% water, ~1.33% carbohydrates including cholesterol reducing pectin, and the perfect balance of 19 minerals including calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron .
Role of Apple Cider Vinegar in weight loss
Now, let us dig a bit more into the targets of this amazing natural medicinal beverage which acts in our body leading to weight reduction.
How the components of apple cider vinegar aids in decreasing obesity. And, how this drink enables body to regulate and attain fitness.
1. Body Fat Reduction
A research group from Japan demonstrated the reduction of body weight, BMI and body fat mass on consumption of Apple cider vinegar by the obese Japanese subjects.
Gradual reduction in waist circumference and waist to hip ratio was also observed and mentioned.
On consumption of gradual increased amount of Apple Cider Vinegar, three test groups were analyzed. People who drank vinegar were found to have comparatively lower BMI, waist circumference and visceral fat than in the control group.
It has also been analysed and researched over independently by Yashamita et al. and Fushimi et al. that the acetate present in apple cider vinegar possibly inhibits lipogenesis (that is, it stops conversion of simple sugars into storage fats)and stimulates fatty acid oxidation (that is, breaks already stored deposited body fat) .
2. Reduced Starch Digestion Rate
According to Dr. Carol Johnston, associate director of the school of nutrition and Health Promotion at Arizona State University; acetic acid, the chief chemical present in vinegar may interfere with body’s starch digestion ability.
And, it is this starch- blocking property that helps in shedding down the weight.
As, lowering of starch digestion implies lesser breaking down into calories in the bloodstream.
This may gradually lead to weight loss. Few other theories like consumption of vinegar before eating bagel and juice was found to decrease blood sugar and thus, the body weight; 2009 Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism study .
3. Increased Metabolism
As, the cider vinegar enters the mouth, it first leads to increase in saliva production.
Then, by act of the enzymes present in saliva breaks down vinegar to its component carbohydrates which enhances the digestive enzymes in the stomach leading to breaking down of food faster.
Apple cider vinegar stimulates digestion, so it reduces the amount of time the fats remain in digestive tract. As, it can be toxic to have food particles persist in the intestine for long.
More the amount of time for which fat stays during digestion, more it will be absorbed leading to weight gain .
4. Appetite Suppression
Pectin and acetic acid present in apple cider vinegar is believed to suppress the appetite and increase metabolism respectively.
Studies have shown that acetic acid aids in decreasing the accumulation of body fat and liver lipids.
Further, it reduces body’s water retention. While, improving digestion, it also reduces the hunger and makes one feel fuller for longer .
5. Oxidation of Stored Fats.
A research group published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2009 over the affect of acetic acid on fat accumulation in body and its mechanism.
The results of the study that acetic acid, present in the vinegar up-regulates, that is activates the expression of genes which functions in fatty acid oxidation and thereby dissolves the body fat and liver lipids.
Also, involvement of acetic acid in reducing energy intake has also been reported by Yamashita et al .
6. Enhances Satiety
A publication signifying the role of vinegar as a source of short fatty acid on appetite control and food intake showed that ingestion of vinegar leads to feeling of fullness of stomach.
This report lead to promotion of vinegar as a natural appetite suppressant .
7. pH balance
Human body pH which is slightly alkaline of around ~7.2 serves as a factor for perfect metabolism and homeostasis.
The metabolic reactions produce acid products which are buffered or counter-acted upon by this slightly alkaline pH of the body intra-cellular fluids which thus, suppresses any elevation in pH. Misbalanced pH can lead to accumulation of body fat.
Consumption of highly acidic diet leads to generation of toxins and storage of fat by the body to protect the vital organs from the toxins .
Thus, slight alkalinity of the blood aids in removal of these acids as acids and alkaline reacts to form a neutral compound.
Although, apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, highly acid (pH ~3) but it has alkalizing property due to presence of Calcium (pH – 12), Potassium (pH – 14) .
It means, although the pH of the food is acidic but the end products after the body digestion and assimilation is very alkaline. Hence, apple cider vinegar is alkaline forming in the body.
8. Role of Potassium
Potassium, a key mineral element present in Apple Cider Vinegar helps in converting food into energy and assist in building muscles. More the muscles stronger, more the calories get burnt.
On a sufficient intake of this mineral, muscle get enhanced and thereby, burn more calories. Further, potassium also helps in balancing the sodium ions present in cells, which helps in weight loss.
9. Good Source of Water
Action of water in weight management has always played a vital role.
Data from a short-term experiments suggested that drinking water may promote weight loss by lowering total energy intake alter metabolism.
Apple Cider Vinegar, being 93% composed of water works as an efficient and good water source .
10. Role of Calcium in Weight Loss
There is present a good evidence that diets with high calcium content are associated with reduced rates of obesity and over- weight conditions. Dr. Michael Zemel, Director of The Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennesse, Knoxville conducted a research over the same.
Calcium stored in adipose cells or fat cells play a significant role in regulation of fat metabolism and storage in the body. This study was first published by Dr. Zemel.
The more calcium present in fat cells, more the cells will burn and greater the weight loss. In the mice study group, the mice were specially bred to be obese for 6 weeks.
This led to 27% increase in mice fat content. The mice were then put on restricted calorie diet and calcium was given at enhanced amount to two test mice groups out of three.
The result showed, mice that got healthy supplement of calcium had 42% decrease in body fat and the test mice group which didn’t get any calcium had an 8% loss of body fat.
Thus, it was concluded that calcium played a major role to make this difference .
How to use Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic so it’s best to take one to two tablespoons a day mixed in juice or water. This way one won’t risk damaging your tooth enamel or throat and mouthburnt like conditions with regular use.
One can also consume a teaspoon mixed with honey to add on the taste as well as to boost metabolism.
Ways of consuming Apple Cider Vinegar to enhance weight reduction. These are based upon the works of Dr. Jarvis and others. :
- One or two tablespoon apple cider vinegar diluted in like warm water
- Regular intake of up to three times before meals a day.
- As ‘Honegar’, an equal parts mixture of honey and apple cider vinegar.
Further, it can be used in diluted combination with cinnamon powder or maple syrup or green tea.
It can also be added as a sweetener instead of caramel, mayonnaise and also in salad dressing.
People consuming apple cider vinegar should always keep in mind to heavily dilute.
It has been said to dilute in 10 parts water for one part apple cider vinegar.
Being an acid, uptake of concentrated doses can lead to tooth enamel erosion, mouth or throat burn, stomach upset, headache and these side effects have even been reported .
One should also keep in mind, that it isn’t a magic bullet for weight loss but isn’t harmful. So, one can always put it in the list of essential weight loss food items and consume accordingly.
An easy to avail natural way to increase body metabolism resulting in the weight loss with influence over other positive health effects like maintains of blood sugar and cholesterol is always a recommended and a good choice for attaining fitness.
With the enlisted and other many studies done taking apple cider vinegar provides it with a full proof support to be included as an essentiality in diet for suppressing obesity maintaining weight.