Apple cider vinegar has been touted to be a cure-all for a variety of ailments: acne, aging, eczema, cognitive function, diabetes, and especially weight loss. But is there any merit to these claims? Read on to find out!

Apple cider vinegar is made from crushed apples that is fermented into vinegar. It contains some B vitamins, vitamin C, and potassium, among other micronutrients.

Does it work?

The short answer is “no” or “we don’t know”. It is thought to slow down the movement of food out of the stomach, reducing the risk for a spike in blood sugar. There is some evidence that apple cider vinegar is associated with decreased insulin fluctuations after eating, decreasing risk for kidney stones, and increasing HDL levels (“good” cholesterol). Despite these findings, there is not enough evidence to say that apple cider vinegar caused these changes.

There is insufficient evidence that apple cider vinegar can help with weight loss.

What do I have to lose?

Apple cider vinegar tablets are not well regulated. This means that the concentration of apple cider vinegar within each tablet may be different than the amount claimed on the outside package. The purity is also not well regulated. (This is true of all supplements, which is why it is important to look for supplements that are third-party tested. Ask your dietitian or health educator about creating a Full Scripts profile for you to find trusted brands at discounted prices.)

Additionally, apple cider vinegar tablets may interfere with antidiabetic drugs, digoxin, diuretics, and insulin. It can also interact with other supplements, like licorice.

Some people put apple cider vinegar on their skin. Note that apple cider vinegar could potentially cause skin irritation.

Should I take Apple Cider Vinegar?

Ultimately, this is a personal decision. Weigh the risks and benefits with a trusted medical provider. If you are taking apple cider vinegar as a supplement, be sure to inform your doctor, dietitian or health educator, and any other provider on your healthcare team.

Is Apple Cider Vinegar safe to use in food?

No worries because apple cider vinegar is ok to use in the amounts that you normally consume it in food. When a supplement is created for medicinal purposes, concentrations are usually much higher than you would consume in the form of food.  Enjoy apple cider vinegar in a salad dressing, stir-fry, coleslaw, or pickled vegetables. You can find recipes containing apple cider vinegar on the TNT Healthy Recipes page.

Research shows that the most effective way to lose weight is to adjust both diet and lifestyle. Identify ways to sustain long-term healthy habits by scheduling your complimentary health assessment.