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What Happens to Your Body When You Drink Apple Cider Vinegar

From curbing your appetite to lowering cholesterol, find out why ACV is so popular.

Apple cider vinegar, or ACV for short, is a type of vinegar made from fermented apples. People use this adaptable elixir in numerous ways, from drinking it as a shot to washing veggies to using it as a natural household cleaning solution. ACV has risen in popularity most recently not because it makes your berries sparkle, but because of its notable health benefits. These big benefits are why ACV is used in various cures and remedies.

"There are several proposed benefits of apple cider vinegar, such as improving digestive issues, increasing healthy gut bacteria, promoting weight loss, and controlling blood sugar," registered dietitian Melissa Mitri, MS, RDN, Owner of Melissa Mitri Nutrition LLC tells us. While we'll review the evidence that supports these claims, Mitri urges you to take the benefits of ACV with a grain of salt: "So far the research done [on the health benefits of apple cider vinegar] is from small studies. More research is needed to prove these benefits are directly from the ACV itself or if there are other diet habits playing a role."

Read on to learn what happens to your body when you drink apple cider vinegar every day. And if the benefits intrigue you, Mitri has a recommendation:

"If you choose to try apple cider vinegar, it's recommended to do so in moderation. Drink up to 1-2 tablespoons of a high-quality, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, like Bragg, per day. Or, take your ACV in the form of a high-quality daily supplement such as Vitafusion's Apple Cider Vinegar Gummy Vitamins," Mitri says.

And when you're done here check out how to fight back against inflammation using the 30 Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods!


You may lose weight

Female leg stepping on floor scales

According to a study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, & Biochemistry, consuming apple cider vinegar each day can lead to weight loss, reduced belly fat, smaller waist circumference, and lower blood triglycerides. More specifically, the study found that those who consumed 1 tablespoon of ACV over a three month period lost 2.6 pounds, and those who consumed 2 tablespoons lost 3.7 pounds in the same time frame.

While the results were not partially dramatic (they only lost about a pound more than those who did not drink ACV), the participants were not given an exercise or diet regimen to follow, which would have helped them shed some additional weight. So if you combine ACV with a healthy diet and exercise? There's no stopping you.

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You'll feel less hungry

Fork knife empty plate

A 2016 French study using rats found that metabolic disorders caused by a high-fat diet are thwarted by taking apple cider vinegar, which proved to have a satiating effect. Researchers found that adding ACV to some rats' high-fat diets was able to significantly decrease the animals' food intake. In other words, it can't hurt to toss a tablespoon or two of this calorie, fat, and sugar-free stuff in your next salad dressing, sauce, or smoothie.


Your cholesterol numbers may lower

High cholesterol

Per a study published in the Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, non-diabetic rats fed a diet with apple cider vinegar experienced a significant reduction of LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol linked to heart disease) and an increase in HDL (the good kind). The same study also found that ACV reduced TG levels and increased HDL in diabetic rats. Though rats obviously differ from humans, the research suggests ACV may play a role in improving your cholesterol.

And since bad cholesterol can be improved by cutting back on sugar, it might not hurt to brush up on this list of 30 Easy Ways to Stop Eating So Much Sugar!


You'll experience less inflammation

Young upset stressed woman suffering from abdominal and stomach pain during menstruation, PMS in room at home. Inflammation and infection. Food poisoning

There's no shortage of environmental, dietary, and internal factors contributing to high levels of inflammation in your body. Inflammation is when your body's immune response kicks into overdrive, fending off against free radicals causing repeated, chronic oxidative stress in your body. The result of living with inflammation ranges from weight gain to mood issues. And what's worse—being overweight can also contribute to increased levels of oxidative stress.

Taking an apple cider vinegar supplement may help. A 2018 Journal of Medicinal Food animal study found that ACV can suppress obesity-induced oxidative stress. Researchers believe that ACV regulates the body's antioxidant defense system. Obese rats who were given a daily dose of ACV showed decreased cholesterol, triglycerides, and oxidative stress in as little as 6 weeks.


Your insulin response can be moderated

woman testing insulin levels

According to a study published in Diabetes Care—a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Diabetes Association—ACV significantly lowers blood glucose and insulin responses and improves insulin sensitivity by as much as 19-34 percent when consumed as part of a high-carb meal. Given that type 2 diabetics either suffer from insulin resistance or the inability to produce insulin, resulting in high blood sugar, ACV consumption may help thwart the onset of the disease. Since type 2 diabetes may be caused in part by obesity, make sure you are familiar with 42 Ways to Lose 5 Inches of Belly Fat!


Your fertility may improve if you have PCOS

healthy pregnant woman

A small 2013 study of 7 Japanese women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) who did not have a normal menstrual cycle showed that ingesting ACV could improve fertility. After consuming about one tablespoon of ACV daily for 90-110 days, 4 of the 7 women re-gained their menstrual cycle. Though researchers believe this is because of ACV's effect on normalizing insulin resistance commonly associated with PCOS, more data is necessary in order to establish a firm link between ACV consumption and improved fertility.