Apple cider vinegar and thermogenic supplements are effective for rapid weight loss
VERDICT more about the rating framework
Inadequate support: Research about the effect of apple cider vinegar on weight loss is limited to a few studies in animals and small trials in humans. The modest effects observed after consuming apple cider vinegar and thermogenic supplements are unlikely to cause very large weight loss.
KEY TAKE AWAY
There are few studies examining the effect of apple vinegar consumption on weight control and these tend to be small and focused only on very specific situations or segments of the population, such as diabetic patients. As such, the results aren’t generalizable to everybody. Studies on the effect of thermogenic supplements, which are products that supposedly increase the body’s metabolism, are also scarce and don’t show that these products lead to a large and rapid weight loss. People who lose weight gradually and steadily through a healthy diet and regular physical activity are more successful at keeping weight off in the long term.
FULL CLAIM: Apple cider vinegar and thermogenic supplements are effective for rapid weight loss
Posts promoting a weight loss beverage went viral on Facebook in May 2022. Multiple Facebook pages shared similar video clips of a cup containing a dark tea in which someone poured a spoon of apple cider vinegar and a spoon of an unidentified white powder. All the videos showed exactly the same glass and dosing spoons and seemed recorded at the same location. Many also contained the same text claiming to have lost 45 kilograms without diet and exercise after a simple “10 second liquid hack”.
The pages that published the clip appeared related to a variety of topics, including wellness, sports, vehicles, and pets. Clicking on the “Learn More” button on these pages led to several different websites registered to Japanese and Vietnamese internet service providers. All the domains were registered in May 2022, and their only content was a testimonial from a woman claiming to have lost an incredible amount of weight.
The websites ran an Amazon ad for a dietary supplement containing caffeine, green tea, and the amino acid derivative L-carnitine. These ingredients are claimed to have a thermogenic effect, that is, to increase the amount of calories that the body burns in metabolic processes. Most of these ingredients are supposed to increase the release or reduce the breakdown of adrenaline, a hormone involved in the use and distribution of stored fat. The hypothesis is that these supplements lead to weight loss by boosting metabolism, reducing appetite, and/or reducing the amount of fat that the body stores.
But as we explain below, the claims that thermogenic supplements and apple cider vinegar are effective strategies for quickly losing large amounts of weight are widespread but unsubstantiated by scientific evidence. The use of scientifically unsubstantiated claims and the lack of transparency on the part of those posting these ads are signs of dishonest marketing tactics and suggest that these posts might be part of a viral scam.
Vinegar is a sour condiment that results from a two-step fermentation process. First, yeast converts the natural sugar present in some foods, like rice or fruits, into alcohol. A bacterium, generally from the genus Acetobacter, is then used to convert this alcohol into acetic acid.
Vinegar has been historically used to flavor foods, as a preservative, and as a home remedy. In recent years, apple cider vinegar has been widely promoted as a “detox” ingredient and a health booster, either on its own or combined with other ingredients such as baking soda and L-carnitine. Claims about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar go from making you lose weight to treating diabetes and even curing cancer.
However, there is little scientific support for most of these claims. There is no research on the effect of apple cider vinegar mixed with supplements or baking soda on weight loss. A few small studies have evaluated the effect of apple cider vinegar on weight loss, but evidence supporting a benefit is weak.
Not all research designs provide the same quality of evidence. Large-scale, double-blind, randomized controlled trials are considered the gold standard for evaluating the efficacy of a treatment. Such design allows researchers to reduce biases and control for confounding factors, such as differences in demographics or physical activity, which could otherwise be wrongly associated with the treatment. However, many of the studies on apple cider vinegar lack blinding, don’t include an adequate control group, or are limited to specific groups of people. In addition, the small number of participants involved in these studies is unlikely to produce conclusive results.
In 2009, researchers in Japan administered none, one, or two daily tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the regular diet of 155 obese adults. After three months, the researchers observed that the groups consuming vinegar had lost one to two kilograms and had a slightly lower blood triglyceride level and fat mass. These results suggest that, at most, apple cider vinegar might have a modest effect on weight loss. But the study is still too small to be conclusive. It is also unclear whether these results would apply to other populations with diets that are very different from that in Japan, both in terms of calorie intake and type of foods.
In 2018, another small trial studied the effect of apple cider vinegar combined with a low-calorie diet on body weight and blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels in 39 obese volunteers. After three months, all the participants lost weight, but the group consuming apple cider vinegar lost about one kilogram more compared to those who didn’t. However, the design of the study and the small number of participants make these results inconclusive.
Proponents of apple cider vinegar claim that vinegar makes you lose weight by reducing appetite and insulin levels. The authors of the 2018 trial did observe that the group consuming vinegar showed less appetite compared to those who didn’t consume vinegar. A 2013 randomized controlled trial in the U.K. testing palatable and unpalatable vinegar found that the effect of vinegar on appetite control was related to the feelings of nausea caused by drinking vinegar. However, it is unclear whether the slightly sweet apple cider vinegar produces the same effect.
There is some evidence suggesting that apple cider vinegar might lower after-meal blood sugar levels in healthy people and in type 2 diabetic patients[6,7]. However, these are small studies that only showed temporary, modest effects on blood sugar level. And in general, these studies detected effects from vinegar only after consumption of high-glycemic level meals, that is, meals that tend to raise your blood sugar to a high level quickly. This effect didn’t occur in the case of low-glycemic index meals.
Overall, these results suggest that while there might be some benefits to consuming apple cider vinegar, these are modest and unlikely to produce the miraculous levels of rapid weight loss that these Facebook posts claimed apple cider vinegar can produce. The benefit observed in these studies was also limited to certain situations, such as in diabetic patients, and therefore not generalizable to everybody. Furthermore, the quality of evidence is low, and drawing a definite conclusion requires larger and well-controlled clinical studies. A systematic review published in the European Journal of Nutrition in 2020 analyzed the effect of apple cider vinegar on body weight and metabolism from 12 previous studies in animals and 13 in humans. The study concluded:
“Due to inadequate research of high quality, the evidence for the health effects of AV is insufficient. Therefore, more large-scale, long-term clinical studies with a low risk of bias are needed before definitive conclusions can be made.”
Consuming large amounts of apple cider vinegar can also have side effects and contraindications due to its high acidity. For example, vinegar can erode the tooth enamel, irritate the throat, and interact with certain medications, including diuretics and insulin.
Some studies do show that ingredients like caffeine, L-carnitine, and green tea might increase metabolism[9-11]. But whether this effect makes a meaningful difference in weight loss remains unclear as studies have produced mixed results[12-15]. A 2012 Cochrane systematic review of randomized controlled clinical trials concluded that the effect of green tea in overweight and obese adults induced “a small, statistically non-significant weight loss” that is “not likely to be clinically important”.
Another review published in 2020 analyzed published literature about commonly-marketed supplements for weight loss from 2006 to 2016. The authors concluded that these supplements were “unlikely to contribute to meaningful weight loss” and in some cases may cause “extreme side-effects such as liver and kidney failure”.
Overall, the results from these studies don’t suggest that thermogenic supplements cause large weight loss. Furthermore, supplements aren’t subject to the same strict regulations for safety and efficacy as medicines. Some might contain questionable ingredients, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found many of them to be downright dangerous due to the presence of hidden active ingredients.
In short, apple cider vinegar may be a healthy addition to the diet. While more research is needed to better assess the effect of apple cider vinegar on weight loss, consuming vinegar alone is unlikely to have a significant impact on weight. There is also no compelling scientific evidence suggesting that thermogenic ingredients are highly effective for weight loss, contrary to claims on social media. In addition, some commercially available supplements have been found to cause dangerous side effects.
To date, there is no known weight control method that produces significant weight loss within a short time without requiring a person to reduce their caloric intake or increase their physical activity. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reminds us that lifestyle changes, including a balanced diet and regular physical activity, are more effective at keeping weight off in the long term.
UPDATE (26 May 2022):
This review was updated to add further context regarding thermogenic supplements, including seven scientific references (1 and 11 to 16 ).
- 1 – Battram et al. (2005) The effect of caffeine on glucose kinetics in humans – influence of adrenaline. The Journal of Physiology.
- 2 – Yamada and Yukphan (2008) Genera and species in acetic acid bacteria. International Journal of Food Microbiology.
- 3 – Khezri et al. (2018) Beneficial effects of Apple Cider Vinegar on weight management, Visceral Adiposity Index and lipid profile in overweight or obese subjects receiving restricted calorie diet: A randomized clinical trial. Journal of Functional Foods.
- 4 – Darzi et al. (2014) Influence of the tolerability of vinegar as an oral source of short-chain fatty acids on appetite control and food intake. International Journal of Obesity.
- 5 – Östman et al. (2005) Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses and increases satiety after a bread meal in healthy subjects. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
- 6 – Johnston et al. (2004) Vinegar Improves Insulin Sensitivity to a High-Carbohydrate Meal in Subjects With Insulin Resistance or Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care.
- 7 – Liatis et al. (2010) Vinegar reduces postprandial hyperglycaemia in patients with type II diabetes when added to a high, but not to a low, glycaemic index meal. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
- 8 – Launholt et al. (2020) Safety and side effects of apple vinegar intake and its effect on metabolic parameters and body weight: a systematic review. European Journal of Nutrition.
- 9 – Hursel et al. (2011) The effects of catechin rich teas and caffeine on energy expenditure and fat oxidation: a meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews.
- 10 – Belza et al. (2006) Body fat loss achieved by stimulation of thermogenesis by a combination of bioactive food ingredients: a placebo-controlled, double-blind 8-week intervention in obese subjects. International Journal of Obesity.
- 11 – Serban et al. (2016) Impact of L-carnitine on plasma lipoprotein(a) concentrations: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Scientific Reports.
- 12 – Pooyandjoo et al. (2016) The effect of (L-)carnitine on weight loss in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Obesity Reviews.
- 13 – Hursel et al. (2009) The effects of green tea on weight loss and weight maintenance: a meta-analysis. International Journal of Obesity.
- 14 – Jurgens et al. (2012) Green tea for weight loss and weight maintenance in overweight or obese adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
- 15 – Tabrizi et al. (2018) The effects of caffeine intake on weight loss: a systematic review and dos-response meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.
- 16 – Wharton et al. (2020) The safety and effectiveness of commonly-marketed natural supplements for weight loss in populations with obesity: A critical review of the literature from 2006 to 2016. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.
Apple cider vinegar is possibly safe when used as a medicine, short-term. But it is possibly unsafe when used in large amounts, long-term. Consuming large amounts of apple cider vinegar long-term might lead to problems such as low levels of potassium.Are there any scientific benefits to apple cider vinegar? ›
Several studies in animals and humans have found that acetic acid and apple cider vinegar may promote fat burning and weight loss, decrease blood sugar levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and improve cholesterol levels ( 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 ).What happens if you drink apple cider vinegar everyday? ›
While drinking apple cider vinegar is associated with health benefits, consuming large amounts (8 ounces or 237 ml) every day for many years can be dangerous and has been linked to low blood potassium levels and osteoporosis ( 20 ).Why you should not take apple cider vinegar? ›
Apple cider vinegar can cause side effects. For example, applying undiluted vinegar to the skin for long periods can lead to burns and irritation. Regularly consuming large quantities of the vinegar, especially in an undiluted form, may cause digestive issues, damage the teeth, and affect potassium levels.Is apple cider vinegar good for arthritis? ›
Some people believe that apple cider vinegar contains anti-inflammatory properties that would aid in the symptoms of arthritis, however, this has not been proven in humans. There is not enough evidence to show that apple cider vinegar is an effective treatment for any symptoms relating to arthritis.Is it better to drink apple cider vinegar in the morning or at night? ›
The fermented juice may slow down the emptying of your stomach and prevent spikes in the blood sugar level. ACV consumption has also been proven beneficial in increasing insulin sensitivity. Drinking that concoction particularly at night can be more beneficial than having it any other time of the day.Is apple cider vinegar good for your liver? ›
“By promoting blood flow and filtration, and boosting energy within the liver, apple cider vinegar can aid in the removal of harmful toxins that tend to build up in an overwhelmed or unhealthy liver,” she continues.Is apple cider vinegar good for kidneys and liver? ›
ACV may even help reduce pain and inflammation from kidney stones. It helps rid the body of toxins and excess minerals that can lead to kidney stones. According to some, ACV has a cleansing effect on the kidney and liver.How does apple cider vinegar help with belly fat? ›
About 100 grams of apple cider vinegar has about 22 calories, which means it makes for a low-calorie drink that can help boost weight loss. Adding a tablespoon of ACV into a glassful of water and drinking first thing in the morning may help burn belly fat.Who should not drink apple cider vinegar? ›
02/7When on diabetes drugs and Insulin
Indeed, apple cider vinegar is known to prevent diabetes, but when you are already on diabetes drugs or on insulin, avoid having apple cider vinegar. These medications decrease your blood sugar level and when combined with ACV, your blood sugar might get too low.
Common dosages range from 1–2 teaspoons (5–10 mL) to 1–2 tablespoon (15–30 mL) per day mixed in a large glass of water. It's best to start with small doses and avoid taking large amounts. Too much vinegar can cause harmful side effects, including tooth enamel erosion and potential drug interactions.Does drinking apple cider vinegar make your skin glow? ›
Drinking apple cider vinegar for skin can work towards detoxifying your body and getting that much coveted glow. Step 1: In a glass of warm water, add two tablespoons of Apple cider Vinegar. Step 2: To make the sour drink palatable, add a drop of honey and stir it well.Does apple cider vinegar damage teeth? ›
Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic, much like soft drinks and fruit juices, meaning it can directly cause erosion to tooth enamel. Erosion in tooth enamel is the breakdown of your teeth's protective layer. Without this protective layer, your teeth are more susceptible to wear and tear, decay and staining.Is apple cider vinegar good for teeth and gums? ›
Apple Cider Vinegar Fights Tooth Decay and Infections
Apple cider vinegar's acidity kills the bacteria that cause tooth decay and many gum infections. According to Dr. Oz, you can also use apple cider vinegar to remove stubborn tooth stains.
The dose most often linked to health benefits is 15 to 30 mL per day, mixed in water or other beverages. There's no scientific evidence to suggest there's an ideal daily dose of ACV to consume when treating RA or managing its symptoms. Also, vinegar is highly acidic.Does apple cider vinegar help sciatic nerve pain? ›
Currently, there's no evidence suggesting that you'll get any benefit if you use apple cider for nerve pain. So, while it shouldn't cause you any lasting health concerns, taking an ACV shot probably won't give you the relief you're seeking.Does apple cider vinegar help with muscle pain? ›
Apple cider vinegar is also recommended for sore muscles. You can either mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in water and consume it or can apply it directly to the affected area. Due to its anti-inflammatory and alkalising properties, apple cider vinegar helps to reduce muscle pain and inflammation.Is apple cider vinegar good for lower back pain? ›
Apple cider vinegar is an excellent natural remedy to fight inflammation and reduce back pain.How long should I wait to eat after drinking apple cider vinegar? ›
Can You Drink Apple Cider Vinegar on an Empty Stomach? Yes, you can drink diluted apple cider vinegar on an empty stomach. In fact, it's the recommended way to take ACV. Just wait about 20 minutes or so after drinking apple cider vinegar to eat.Can I drink coffee with apple cider vinegar? ›
Can You Add Apple Cider Vinegar To Coffee? The simple answer to this question is no. You can technically add apple cider vinegar to coffee, but the resulting drink would be very acidic, and drinking it would surely cause health issues like bloating, acid reflux, nausea, and heartburn.
According to the experts drinking apple cider vinegar first thing in the morning with some lukewarm water can promote faster weight loss and accelerate fat burning.Is apple cider vinegar good for high blood pressure? ›
No. Apple cider vinegar is not proven to lower blood pressure at all. Rather, it may work in a roundabout way by potentially promoting weight loss, supporting lower cholesterol levels, and improving blood sugar control.Is coffee good for your liver? ›
And studies show coffee may protect against liver disease. Most of the benefits are thanks to antioxidants. A large 2021 study found that drinking coffee was associated with a lower risk of liver disease. Effects were similar for both regular and decaf coffee.Can you lose weight with apple cider vinegar? ›
Apple cider vinegar isn't likely to be effective for weight loss. Proponents of apple cider vinegar claim that it has numerous health benefits and that drinking a small amount or taking a supplement before meals helps curb appetite and burn fat. However, there's little scientific support for these claims.Can apple cider vinegar lower blood sugar immediately? ›
HbA1c levels reflect a person's blood glucose levels over many weeks or months. On a short-term basis, groups taking apple cider vinegar saw significant improvement in blood glucose levels 30 minutes after consuming the vinegar.How much apple cider vinegar should I drink a day for kidney stones? ›
The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar helps kidney stones dissolve. Add 2 tablespoons to 6-8 ounces of water and drink it throughout the day to reap the benefits. You can also use it as a salad dressing if you'd rather taste it on food.How long does apple cider vinegar take to reduce belly fat? ›
How Fast Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight? According to a study published in the Journal of Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, Apple Cider Vinegar can result in effective weight loss after three months (or 12 weeks).What drink burns belly fat overnight? ›
- Greek yogurt protein shake. As noted above, having protein before bed—especially if you've worked out beforehand—helps stimulate the repair and rebuilding of muscle (muscle protein synthesis) while you sleep. ...
- Chamomile tea. ...
- Red wine. ...
- Kefir. ...
- Soy-based protein shake. ...
Common dosage per day is 15-30 ml. Basically, 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar – mixed with water or made into a tonic or added to a salad dressing. My advice is to start with a tablespoon and then increase to 2 tablespoons if you don't notice any side effects.Is it OK to take 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar a day? ›
Apple cider vinegar is safe for the body in small doses (up to 2 tablespoons per day for adults), but taking large amounts is not recommended.
ALWAYS drink it through a straw. This greatly minimizes how much of the acid fluid actually touches your teeth. DO NOT brush your teeth afterwards. Ideally you should leave four hours between drinking it and brushing your teeth so you'll have to work your oral hygiene routine and meal times around that.Does apple cider vinegar give you more energy? ›
Apple cider vinegar contains potassium and enzymes, and act as a natural electrolyte solution. It also contains amino acids that can thwart lactic acid build-up in the body and help relieve fatigue. So next time you need a jolt of energy, add a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and drink it.How long does it take for apple cider vinegar to lighten dark spots? ›
Take one part of apple cider vinegar and one part of onion juice and mix them. Dab a cotton pad into the solution and apply it directly onto the age spots. Leave this on the skin for a minimum of 30 minutes. Repeat this once a day for approximately six weeks, and you should begin to notice a gradual improvement.How long does apple cider vinegar take to lighten skin? ›
If skin whitening is only done on your face, it is insufficient. You can add some apple cider vinegar to a bathtub full of warm water and soak for around 30 minutes to brighten your skin all over. White, soft, smooth, and luminous skin would be the outcome.How does apple cider vinegar get rid of dark neck? ›
- In a bowl, add 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar and 4 tablespoons of Water and stir well.
- Dip a cotton ball in the paste and apply a layer of this paste on your neck.
- After 20 minutes, rinse off with lukewarm water.
Since it's high in acid, apple cider vinegar could irritate your esophagus (the tube that connects your throat and stomach) if you drink it straight or drink too much of it. Undiluted ACV can also break down tooth enamel.How much apple cider vinegar should you drink a day? ›
Most research recommends a daily dosage of approximately 1–2 tablespoons of ACV, mixed in water. However, exact dosages vary according to the condition. Modest doses are generally safe to consume, though they may increase the risk of tooth enamel erosion.How much apple cider vinegar is too much? ›
Apple cider vinegar is safe for the body in small doses (up to 2 tablespoons per day for adults), but taking large amounts is not recommended.What medications should not be taken with apple cider vinegar? ›
Since apple cider vinegar in large doses is connected to a reduction of potassium in the body, care must be taken with other medications that lower potassium. These include insulin, diuretics like furosemide (Lasix) or chlorothiazide (Diuril), some blood pressure medications like digoxin (Lanoxin), and even laxatives.What does drinking apple cider vinegar do for weight? ›
Apple cider vinegar isn't likely to be effective for weight loss. Proponents of apple cider vinegar claim that it has numerous health benefits and that drinking a small amount or taking a supplement before meals helps curb appetite and burn fat. However, there's little scientific support for these claims.
The dose most often linked to health benefits is 15 to 30 mL per day, mixed in water or other beverages. There's no scientific evidence to suggest there's an ideal daily dose of ACV to consume when treating RA or managing its symptoms. Also, vinegar is highly acidic.How much apple cider vinegar should I drink to lower cholesterol? ›
Common dosage per day is 15-30 ml. Basically, 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar – mixed with water or made into a tonic or added to a salad dressing. My advice is to start with a tablespoon and then increase to 2 tablespoons if you don't notice any side effects.Can apple cider vinegar lower blood sugar immediately? ›
HbA1c levels reflect a person's blood glucose levels over many weeks or months. On a short-term basis, groups taking apple cider vinegar saw significant improvement in blood glucose levels 30 minutes after consuming the vinegar.Does apple cider vinegar help your stomach? ›
ACV is naturally acidic, and so for people with low stomach acidity, using ACV may help raise stomach acid levels to aid digestion. In theory, this could prevent gas and bloating, which a slow digestion can cause. ACV is also an antimicrobial substance , meaning it may help kill bacteria in the stomach or intestines.How long should I take apple cider vinegar for weight loss? ›
According to a study published in the Journal of Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, Apple Cider Vinegar can result in effective weight loss after three months (or 12 weeks). People in this study dropped an average of 4 pounds by consuming 1 to 2 tablespoons of diluted apple cider vinegar every day.Can you drink apple cider vinegar while fasting? ›
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Break a Fast? No, drinking apple cider vinegar will not break a fast. As long as your body sustains a low carb intake, it remains in a state of ketosis. Thereby, it consumes the stored body fat as a direct source of fuel for the body instead of carbs.Is eating vinegar good for you? ›
Vinegar contains polyphenols, plant chemicals that have an antioxidant effect that may protect cells from oxidative stress, a possible stimulator of tumor growth. Cell and mouse studies suggest that vinegar may prevent the growth of cancer cells or cause tumor cells to die.