I’d like to know if using Apple Cider Vinegar an hour before eating does indeed burn stored body fat. And also, does the body acclimate to this after a period of time, so would NOT taking it for a week or so make it effective again?

– Michelle


The answer is that perhaps apple cider vinegar (ACV) may help in human weight loss, but it is not proven as effective. Several small studies (mostly on animals) point to some success but they don’t make a body of evidence to say that weight loss from taking ACV is research-backed. The specific timing you mentioned is supported for insulin sensitivity, not weight loss.

Please read our previous article on ACV here: Apple Cider Vinegar – Hype or Helpful?

Almost ALL reports of apple cider vinegar and weight loss are anecdotal and inflated. Of note, one Japanese study of 155 obese individuals taking a tablespoon or ½ ounce ACV (diluted) twice a day resulted in a modest 4-pound average loss over 3 months. *  It may be the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar that boosts fat metabolism in addition to suppressing appetite. All vinegars contain acetic acid and would have similar effects. Look at healthy Mediterranean-style food patterns with their higher intakes of balsamic and red wine vinegars.

As to the concept of acclimating to daily ingestion of ACV, I could not find anything in the scientific literature that indicates such specifically. Although it’s said one can refrain from caffeine for a month to reduce tolerance, I’m not sure the same would apply to vinegar.

* Vinegar Intake Reduces Body Weight, Body Fat Mass, and Serum Triglyceride Levels in Obese Japanese Subjects. Kondo T, Kishi M, Fushimi T, Ugajin S, Kaga T. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry 2009 (73) 8; 1837-1843

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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