You may have also heard talk of some research that suggests apple cider vinegar is helpful at reversing the effects of weight gain and obesity, but there are some major caveats. Most of the research (like this analysis from Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice) don’t look at weight at all—they look at other factors that can be related to being overweight or obese, like your body’s insulin response. Some of this research (like this study from the Journal of Medicinal Food) was done on animals—so the results won’t necessarily translate to humans. While these preliminary studies suggest there may be a link between apple cider vinegar consumption and things like insulin resistance and obesity-related diseases, the keyword there is may—we don’t have conclusive proof. And even if these findings do turn out to be true, they don’t mean you would necessarily lose weight from upping your apple cider vinegar intake. In other words, the claim that apple cider vinegar may help you drop a few pounds is still pretty far-fetched at this point.
That said, if apple cider vinegar will motivate you to eat more salads (like celebrities such as Miranda Kerr have said), then go for it. “I’m all about anything that will encourage people to eat more veggies and fruits, and apple cider vinegar does make a nice salad dressing,” says London. On top of that, it’ll add a sweet and tangy flavor for zero calories, which certainly can’t hurt your waistline.
Another potential benefit of the liquid is its antioxidant power. After apples are fermented into vinegar, nutrients like beta-carotene, calcium, and potassium still remain. “The antioxidant, antimicrobial effect of the apple cider vinegar may help the skin, as some of the stars are claiming,” says London. “We know diets high in antioxidants protect cells and provide a whole range of health benefits.” When it comes to the skin, antioxidants have protective benefits, like helping protect against harmful UV rays and encouraging cell regrowth, which may be why celebs are crediting it for their youthful glows.
So, bottom line? Apple cider vinegar isn’t bad for you, so if you’re into the flavor then definitely feel free to add more of it to your meals—but don’t expect it to make weight magically fall off, either.