The health benefits of apples have been immortalized with the adage, 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away.' We all know that apples are highly nutritious. Apple cider vinegar, which is produced through fermentation of whole apples, has long been used as a health supplement. During the 1950s', an American physician called Dr. J. C. Darvis wrote a book on folk medicine, in which he had claimed that apple cider vinegar is a cure for a host of medical conditions. The book was a huge hit and the popularity of apple cider vinegar too skyrocketed. People started using it as a dietary supplement. Now it is very popular as a weight loss aid.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Cause Weight Loss?
As mentioned above, apple cider vinegar is claimed to have numerous health benefits, including weight loss. You might have heard about the different diet plans involving this vinegar. Apple cider vinegar lecithin kelp diet is a weight loss diet plan that was introduced in the 1960s'. As the name rightly suggests, a combination of this vinegar, kelp, lecithin and vitamin B6, was used for losing weight. The proponents of this plan claimed that it can promote metabolism and burn body fat, in a faster rate. But nowadays, apple cider vinegar in itself is said to be sufficient for weight loss.
There is no proven theory to establish the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar for weight loss. It is believed that the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids and other components in this vinegar jointly act to increase the rate of metabolism, reduce water retention and suppress appetite. If consumed before meals, it may cause a sensation of fullness for a longer time, thereby reducing food cravings. It is also recommended that for adopting such a diet, you have to use a product, which is made through double fermentation of whole organic apples. It should not be distilled, filtered or pasteurized, as these processes can spoil the beneficial components. Some people use apple cider vinegar tablets for this purpose. However, tablets are not preferred, as there are no strict standards regarding their production and sale. Even the bottled vinegar should be of a very good quality, if you intend to use it for medicinal purposes.
Recommended Dosage and Use
It is suggested that in order to achieve weight loss, you have to start with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (mixed in a glass of water) before every meal. You may gradually increase the quantity to two teaspoons. In case of tablets, usually, a single tablet of 285 milligrams is used daily. In fact, there is no standardized dosage of apple cider vinegar. Though there is no scientific evidence for this claim, there are people who vouch for the effectiveness of this vinegar in achieving weight loss. However, it is very much important to adopt this diet plan, as per the instructions of a qualified herbal practitioner. You must also seek the opinion of your doctor, before starting the diet.
Is There Any Scientific Backing?
Even though apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular natural remedies and is widely used for weight loss and other health benefits, the truth is that there is no solid scientific backing for these claims. Owing to the popularity of this vinegar, the claims regarding its health benefits should have been studied and proved by now. But the reality is that very few studies have been conducted till date and the results are still inconclusive. According to a research conducted in 2009, ingestion of apple cider vinegar caused a drop in the rate of body fat accumulation, in mice. The conclusion of a Japanese study was that intake of apple cider vinegar may cause a nominal weight loss in humans. This study is also inconclusive, as there was no proof to show that the weight loss happened was only due to consumption of apple cider vinegar, as the subjects were on a low-calorie diet too. Though there are numerous claims about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, still they are not proved scientifically.
Is It Safe to Consume Apple Cider Vinegar?
In small amounts, apple cider vinegar may not cause any side effects. However, long-term use of this product, that too in large amounts may result in certain health problems. The possible side effects of apple cider vinegar in high doses are hypokalemia (low potassium level) and osteoporosis. It may also interact with certain prescription drugs and supplements. It is advisable to avoid intake of this vinegar, if you are using diuretics, laxatives or medication for heart disease and diabetes. Some people are reported to have developed esophageal burns, after using apple cider vinegar. Consumption of this vinegar in undiluted form may cause loss of tooth enamel.
Apple cider vinegar is rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, potash, alcoholic acids, propionic acid and pectin. Hence it is considered the best diet supplement. It is also claimed that this vinegar can lower blood cholesterol, help digestion, lower blood pressure, strengthen the heart, normalize blood sugar and prevent cancer. Apple cider vinegar is also said to be good for preventing leg cramps and arthritis. Some people use diluted form of this vinegar as a hair wash, as it is said to fight dandruff. This product is also claimed to flush out harmful toxins from the body. It is also popular as a weight loss aid. However, it is very important to use this vinegar in recommended doses, as high dosage can be harmful to the body. So it is always better to seek the opinion of your doctor before adopting an apple cider vinegar weight loss diet.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.