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Many people believe that apple cider vinegar is a health tonic that can prevent disease and help improve conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. This common condiment has become a popular health supplement and is often found along aisles of grocery stores. While some believe that these health claims are based on folk medicine, some small studies have suggested that apple cider vinegar helps you lose weight and may indeed have some health benefits.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss

Like other vinegars, apple cider vinegar contains the active ingredient, acetic acid, which comes from the fermentation of the fruit sugars. Aside from this, it also contains vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that come from the pulverized apples.

Apple cider vinegar has long been used as folk remedy, but in recent years it has gained some popularity as a dietary supplement which is believed to improve digestion, enhance detoxification and reverse aging. However, there is a lack of scientific evidence to back up these claims.

A few studies suggest that the active component, acetic acid, may help people lose weight because it may prolong the feeling of fullness or satiety after meals. One animal study shows that acetic acid may also reduce fat accumulation. Another study involving obese Japanese participants showed that after 12 weeks of dieting, exercising and taking the supplement, a modest amount of weight loss was observed compared to participants who did not take the supplement.

Other studies also suggest that apple cider vinegar may help lower blood sugar level in people who have type 2 diabetes. Animal studies have shown that regular intake of the vinegar may lower cholesterol levels and reduce high blood pressure. Observational studies involving people who take apple cider vinegar regularly also suggest that it may be a factor in heart health as well as cancer prevention.

Results of these studies are promising, but we must remember that these studies are mostly observational and preliminary.

This means that there is no solid proof that apple cider vinegar itself significantly reduces weight, blood sugar levels, cholesterol or high blood pressure.

However, one may experience these benefits when it is used with a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise.

How Should Apple Cider Vinegar Be Taken?

There are medical recommendations on how people can use apple cider vinegar. Some take two teaspoons of the vinegar daily or 285 mg in tablet form.

Medical experts warn, however, that taking apple cider vinegar regularly or in large amounts may have side effects. Acetic acid is highly acidic and it should be diluted in water or fruit juice before taking it. It can damage teeth and oral tissues, as well as the lining of the esophagus.

Chronic intake of apple cider vinegar can also reduce potassium levels and decrease one's bone density, resulting in osteoporosis. Drug interactions with laxatives, diuretics and medicines used for heart disease and diabetes may occur.

Consult your healthcare provider before using apple cider vinegar as a dietary supplement for weight loss.

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