Anne-Marie Davee, M.S., RDN, LD, assistant clinical professor in the Department of Nutrition within the University of New England’s Westbrook College of Health Professions, has been featured in the Bangor Daily News (BDN) discussing the purported weight-loss benefits of apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar is made from apples that have been crushed, distilled, and fermented, and it is often promoted as a health-enhancer for its antimicrobial effects.
But in recent years, the liquid frequently used for salad dressings has been touted as a weight-loss miracle – either by consuming it directly or mixed into a glass of water – with scientific studies reporting its possible benefits with varying results.
“It’s a natural substance, it’s on the grocery store shelves, it’s inexpensive, and you don’t need a prescription,” Davee told BDN reporter Sam Schipani. “It’s a known agent, so I think that helps with the growing popularity.”
Davee said that the pectin and soluble fiber contained in apples, as well as the vinegar, delays the emptying of the stomach and release of food into the bloodstream, which promotes satiety, the feeling of fullness.
However, she cautioned that the science is still not in as to whether or not apple cider vinegar will definitively help anyone lose weight.
“There is not a significant body of evidence to say that it is going to help you with weight loss,” Davee said.
There are also possible risks to drinking the stuff.
Because apple cider vinegar is highly acidic – it is vinegar, after all – undiluted consumption can lead to indigestion, erosion of tooth enamel, and even esophageal burns, Davee cautioned. Apple cider vinegar can also cause drug interactions for individuals taking diuretics or medications to reduce potassium or for people with kidney disorders.
Davee ultimately warned about quick fixes for systemic health problems like obesity, but said it is possible to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet as long as it is done cautiously and in moderation since the scientific evidence is limited.
“I would recommend trying this in moderation in small amounts. If you’re seeking one of these health benefits and decide what your personal tolerance is for this, my first advice would be to use it in salad dressing and see how that goes,” she said.