The Apple Cider Vinegar Diet

The Apple Cider Vinegar diet had been around for years, however, recently it has re-gained some popularity.

What is it?

The “diet” simply consists of consuming 1-3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar prior to each meal.375x321_apple_cider_vinegar_ref_guide

 Why?

  • Acidity of vinegar + pectin of apples = weight loss
  • Pectin can lower cholesterol

Research

There was a Swedish study done about 5 years ago that tested the apple cider vinegar craze. The subjects ate a slice of white bread with 1-2 tbsp of the vinegar. The subjects stated that their food cravings were reduced for up to a few hours after consumption, while those who ate only white bread with not vinegar could not say the same.

HOLD ON!

While on the surface this study may seem to be in support of the fad at hand, one must ALWAYS critically evaluate ANY study that is ‘published’. Let’s take a look at this one, shall we? First off, the study was five years ago, which means it is a little dated. The study was pretty small- only 12 people. There was also no placebo group (this means that there was nothing that looked, smelled, and tasted like vinegar, but wasn’t. This would ensure that it is actually the contents of the vinegar that produced the results) So, who is to say it was the actual contents of the vinegar that suppressed appetite and not the horrid taste that would most likely turn away a desire to eat?

However, there was a more reliable study done this past year. This study contained a placebo drink that mimicked the vinegar in smell, looks, and taste. The participants consumed 2 tbps (the average of those who use the diet) with meals. There were no significant weight changes, but there was a reduced rise of blood sugar by 20%.

I also came across a review in “Medscape General Medicine” by Carol S. Johnston, Ph.D. where she states that it has not been proven to aid in weight loss, but it could reduce the appetite and increase satiety. She does however state that there is limited research of it reducing cholesterol and blood pressure.

Cons of Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Stomach and throat irritation
  • Long-term use can cause bone loss and a potassium deficiency
  • Interact poorly with medications

So… What CAN it do?

  • -Stops hiccups with its sour tasteimages (5)
  • -Stuffy nose & sinus drainage
  • -Gargle to help heal a sore throat
  • -Use it as a natural teeth whitener

All in all, it seems to be that this is just another fad diet. There is inconclusive research on the subject and of the research that has been done much of it has been flawed.

My advice? Until someone comes up with a reputable study on apple cider vinegar as a weight loss strategy- Don’t buy into it. I am guessing that if it does work for an individual that it could be attributed to the horrid not-so-pleasant taste, which might make you lose your appetite which will, in turn, lower your calorie intake leading to weight loss. If you are feeling sick and need to clear up those sinuses you could give it a try as a home remedy. Also, there has been more convincing research with cholesterol lowering. If that is your aim, it may be worth your while although it is not by any means the only way to do so.

Sources

http://www.livestrong.com/article/521533-the-apple-cider-vinegar-diet-how-it-affects-you/#ixzz2SumUwkk1

http://www.dietsinreview.com/diets/Apple_Cider_Vinegar_Diet/

http://www.discovergoodnutrition.com/2010/08/apple-cider-vinegar-the-diet-fa/

http://www.rd.com/slideshows/8-health-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar/#slideshow=slide9

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