Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits for Weight Loss and More

Jug of rich apple cider vinegar propped against a natural landscape on a wooden bench by fresh whole organic apples.
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If you’re a newbie to the benefits of apple cider vinegar, well let me fill you in. It’s a heart-healthy, gut-healthy, brain-healthy powerhouse.

I first discovered the benefits of apple cider vinegar decades ago when my theatrical agent suggested it for beauty and weight loss. She loved to advise her stable of clients on all things diet, as it was key, at least from her perspective, that we looked our best. Because if we made money, she made money, and so it went.  

Prior to that I’d never heard of vinegar used for that purpose — slimming down and ramping up — because like most folks I typically used it for salads, dressings, and occasionally dips

So I picked some up at the health food store and started dosing ACV daily to the tune of about a quarter cup, which is what she suggested, and I usually diluted it in water and paced it out.

And admittedly it worked. In fact due to the health benefits of apple cider vinegar that I knew nothing about, I got an uptick in energy, a glow to my skin, and though I was already slender, I lost weight.

Well long story short, I’ve been drinking it since. Organic, unfiltered, and with ‘the mother’— an aqueous solution of microbes and nutrients that settle at the bottom of the jar.

Which is why you want to shake it up. The particles in ACV trickle down.

And by the way, whenever I’ve stopped drinking apple cider vinegar, I noticed a difference and went back. So yes, I’m a fan. The benefits are immense.

And they go way beyond just losing weight.  

Clickable image of Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the 'Mother' on Amazon.

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits

Glistening jug of rich apple cider vinegar on a planked wooden table by a basket of Red Delicious apples and assorted crisps.
Apple cider vinegar is a powerhouse.

One of the main reasons why apple cider vinegar is so healthy is because it’s bioactive. It rocks an immense array of biologically active compounds including flavonoids, polyphenols, and organic acids.

It’s also a key activator of AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase), the “guardian of metabolism and mitochondrial homeostasis,” says Nature.

Which is pretty important in light of the fact that AMPK regulates autophagy, mitophagy, and key biologic processes such as glucose uptake, cholesterol, lipids, and oxidation.

It’s also one of the key reasons why apple cider vinegar can help you lose weight.

But in case you’re wondering . . .

What Exactly Is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Clickable image of Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother' on Amazon.

Apple cider vinegar is produced when apples are crushed and combined with yeast and bacteria, which develops constituents such as enzymes, proteins, and acetic acid, the latter of which activates AMPK.

It’s also worth noting that not all ACV brands are created equal. The healthiest retain ‘the mother’ — a substance you can see floating at the bottom of the jar — which is the essence of friendly bacteria for your gut.

In a nutshell ACV has been shown to . . .  

  • Boost metabolism.   
  • Improve cholesterol.
  • Support weight loss.
  • Reduce hypertension.
  • Boost immunity.
  • Nourish the biome.
  • Curb harmful bacteria.
  • Increase insulin sensitivity.
  • Support heart-health.
  • Boost kidney-health.
  • Improve skin-health.
  • Aid digestion.
  • Flush toxins.
  • Enhance cellular function.
  • Improve arterial function.
  • Boost mood.
  • Help polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
  • Regulate autophagy/mitophagy.

Apple Cider Vinegar For Weight Loss

Close-up of a girl's midriff as she  measures her waistline.
Apple cider vinegar helps crush belly fat.

So do the health benefits of apple cider vinegar really help you lose weight, or is that just anecdote? I mean I noted earlier that it helped me lose weight when I wasn’t even trying.

Well studies have clearly shown that one of the key benefits of apple cider vinegar is that it’s a fat-burning food. The acetic acid activates AMPK, and AMPK burns fat.  

According to Dr. Carol Johnson, an Associate Director of Nutrition, “When you consume small amounts of acetic acid through apple cider vinegar, the compound may activate your metabolism to help your body use fat as a form of energy rather than storing it.”

Dr. Michael Greger notes that “Vinegar has evidently been used as a weight-loss aid for nearly 200 years.” He explains that the enzyme AMPK activated by acetic acid “tells the body to stop storing fat and start burning fat.”

In addition, a Japanese report claimed to be the “first to demonstrate that vinegar reduces body weight, BMI, and body fat mass in obese Japanese subjects,” which, according to Dr. Greger, is no fluke. Literally thousands of studies found similar results.

And why is that important?

Because ACV is one of the easiest, healthiest, and least expensive weight loss aids ever, and that’s not all.

Apple Cider Vinegar Improves Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure, Detox, & More

Jug of bright apple cider vinegar on a wooden table by whole Red Delicious apples.
Apple cider vinegar is cleansing.

Studies show that apple cider vinegar (ACV) improves cholesterol, aids detox, reduces high blood pressure, and can even help arthritis pain.

It’s particularly cleansing due to constituents such as pectin, acetic acid, and malic acid, which flush toxins.

In fact the malic acid in ACV is a metal chelator, another perk, and when it comes to improving cholesterol, ACV rocks. One report notes that “continuous vinegar intake was found to lower serum TG levels,” while also helping people lose weight.

And in case you’re wondering what serum TGs are, they’re triglycerides, lipids stored in fat. When they’re elevated, it’s not good.

Back after I’d started my vegan diet plan and was also using ACV, my serum TGs went literally off the charts. Meaning, I had such low levels of lipids circulating in my blood they fell well below the chart’s bottom number.

Undoubtedly there were other factors that contributed, but I’m sure the ACV I sipped helped.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Blood Pressure

Apple cider vinegar has been shown to reduce high blood pressure, as this study confirms:

To clarify the possibility of a preventive effect of dietary vinegar on blood pressure, long-term administration of vinegar or the acetic acid to SHR was examined. As a result, it was observed that acetic acid itself, the main component of vinegar, significantly reduced both blood pressure (p<0.05) and renin activity (p<0.01) compared to controls given no acetic acid or vinegar.

It also curbs inflammation, oxidative stress, and disease risk.   

Apple Cider Vinegar Boosts Systemic Health

Gorgeous fresh whole apples off the tree behind a jug of rich apple cider vinegar on a cutting block.
ACV helps mitigate disease.

Apple cider vinegar has been shown to help mitigate disease on multiple levels. It boosts heart-health, gut-health, brain-health, and more.

Dr. Michael Greger reported positive effects on blood sugar for Type 2 diabetics who consumed two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed.   

He also reported that apple cider vinegar can help with “polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), improve arterial function, and help reduce body fat.”

A daily tablespoon of apple cider vinegar restored ovarian function within a few months in four out of seven women with PCOS.

It also helps curb the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular disease.  

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits

  • Antioxidants.
  • Polyphenols.
  • Flavonoids.
  • Phytochemicals.
  • Pectin.
  • Acetic & malic acid.
  • Beta carotene.
  • Vitamins B1, B2, and B6.
  • Folic acid & biotin.
  • Pantothenic acid.
  • Niacin.
  • Vitamin C.
  • Phosphorous.
  • Calcium & magnesium.
  • Potassium.
  • Chlorine & fluorine.
  • Sulphur & iron.
  • Sodium.
  • Alpha-linolenic acid.

In addition there are a number of medical organizations that tout the benefits of apple cider vinegar, including the Stanford Chiropractic Center:

  • Mineral deficiencies in the body can make joint pain worse. Because Apple Cider Vinegar contains the calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus your body needs, it helps as a supplement and therefore reduces pain.
  • The magnesium in apple cider vinegar helps bones absorb calcium, which is essential to bone strength.
  • Apple cider vinegar also contains antioxidants, beta-carotene, and acetic acid. Antioxidants block the damaging effects of free radicals, preventing the cell and tissue damage commonly found with degenerative conditions like arthritis.
  • It is rich in enzymes and acids that promote proper digestion and the absorption of the nutrients essential to healthy joints.
  • Arthritis pain is partially caused by metabolic waste that is stored in connective tissues. The pectin, acetic acid, and malic acid in apple cider vinegar help absorb toxins and flush them out of the body.
  • When consumed, apple cider vinegar reduces the pain and stiffness of arthritis by dissolving the acid crystals that build up in the joints. Once it is processed, apple cider vinegar leaves behind an alkaline residue that helps balance the body’s pH.

Apple Cider Vinegar Health Benefits  

Glistening jug of golden apple cider vinegar on a rustic table by whole fresh  apples in shadowy sunlight.
Apple cider vinegar is a go-to for health.

Another clear win for apple cider vinegar is it’s good for acne. It’s antimicrobial and reduces bacterial growth on skin. It’s also astringent and can help prevent clogged pores and excess oil.

On top of that, it’s a mindset pump. A recent study showed that drinking two tablespoons of ACV a day can boost mood and mental health:

“Researchers noted a 20 to 34% reduction in poor mood in the group that consumed a daily dose of apple cider vinegar, compared to the group without. Therefore, drinking a daily dose of apple cider vinegar could be good for mood and brain health.”   

So even though there are still people that claim there’s little evidence that apple cider vinegar benefits are real, the research says otherwise. It’ll definitely remain in my kitchen for years to come.

Apple Cider Vinegar Uses/Side Effects

Like all protocols for people with medical conditions and/or taking prescription drugs, it’s important to consult your physician about dietary changes.

It’s also worth noting that ACV should be diluted and taken in small amounts. It should never be dosed in large quantities for an extended period of time. A couple of tablespoons with a meal is good, or similar moderation.

I also read that apple cider vinegar pills can be toxic, according to a study and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. I personally use Bragg organic ACV and have for decades.

You can get it on Amazon here or here.

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The medical and health topics covered on the Plate of Grass website and blog have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to prevent or cure any disease. This article and its content is presented ‘as is’ for informational purposes only.

PlateofGrass is supported by our readers. We may receive compensation if you purchase a product through a link on our site.

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