Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Management: Unraveling the Facts

Written by Brilliant Staff

Fact Checked by: Jessica Guht, M.Eng. Biomedical Engineering

Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Management: Unraveling the Facts

Anyone who has dipped a toe into the vast pool of weight management solutions has likely encountered one so-called health tonic — apple cider vinegar (ACV). In recent years, ACV has become a popular dietary staple in weight wellness circles, with proponents attributing optimal weight management effects to this simple kitchen ingredient. But what does science say about apple cider vinegar and weight? Find out what leading experts have to say about the popular home remedy, plus, some practical insights that you can incorporate ACV into your health and wellness journey.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is created through a two-step process. First, yeast is added to apple juice to convert sugar into alcohol. Next, a bacteria culture called “the mother” is added, which converts the alcohol into acetic acid. 

Acetic acid helps destroy certain strains of bad bacteria. In fact, in antiquity it was used to disinfect wounds and even clean surfaces! When consumed, it is believed to have properties that help maintain a balanced gut environment by influencing the gut microbiota. Proponents of ACV claim acetic acid may play a role in supporting blood sugar levels, insulin sensitivity, and weight management. 

While acetic acid “cleans” the gut, “the mother” helps feed it, providing beneficial probiotics that help nurture the gut microbiome. “The mother” also provides enzymes that help break down food, supporting healthy digestion and metabolism.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Weight Management: What Does Science Say?

The Benefits

According to a study in 2009 by the Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry journal, daily intake of vinegar, such as ACV, might be useful in attaining a healthier weight. The study involved 155 Japanese adults who observed a significant decline in weight, waist circumference, and visceral fat after daily intake of apple cider vinegar for 12 weeks.

Another study found that 11 participants who consumed vinegar at bedtime had a positive impact on waking glucose concentrations. 

The Cautions

However, not all research paints a rosy picture. While ACV can help with weight concerns, the effects are modest and the underlying mechanisms are not yet fully understood. Moreover, excessive intake may lead to adverse side effects, including delayed stomach emptying, digestive discomfort, and enamel erosion.

Practical Takeaways

Navigating the topic of apple cider vinegar for weight management can be confusing, especially when trying to make sense of conflicting — and often nuanced — information. Here are some key takeaways to consider when incorporating ACV into your routine:

  1. Moderation is Key: The benefits of apple cider vinegar are most likely to be seen in conjunction with a balanced diet and an overall healthy lifestyle. It is not a cure-all for weight loss, and like most things, should not be used in excess given the potential risk of side effects.
  2. Consult a Professional: Before integrating ACV into your diet, especially for weight management, consult a healthcare professional or a certified dietitian who can provide personalized advice.
  3. Beware of Other Health Claims: While there is strong anecdotal evidence to suggest that ACV can aid in weight management, the scientific research is still in its infancy, and it's important to note that ACV is not a one-size-fits-all solution for all health conditions. We strongly encourage you to conduct your own research, review information from multiple sources, and whenever possible, seek out professional advice.

In the pursuit of wellness and weight loss, remember: there are no shortcuts. Strategies that promote a balanced, customized diet combined with regular physical activity remain the gold standard. Our pillar page on the health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar explores this topic in depth, offering a wider range of insights about ACV and its role in a balanced, wellness-oriented lifestyle.


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  2. White, A. M., and C. S. Johnston. Diabetes Care, vol. 30, no. 11, 21 Aug. 2007, pp. 2814–2815,
  3. Östman, E, et al. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 59, no. 9, 29 June 2005, pp. 983–988,
  4. McDonald, Edwin., 23 Aug. 2018,