Apple cider vinegar has long been promoted as an aid to weight loss or prevention of weight gain. The ancient Egyptians have been credited with some of the earliest uses of apple cider vinegar for weight loss. Traditional concoctions have combined an ounce of vinegar with a teaspoon of honey in water before meals.
Given the widespread interest in weight loss and the many mis-marketed products in the weight loss category, I read the recent findings on ordinary vinegar as a natural fat fighter, published in the June 2009 issue of Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, with great interest.
A study I missed in 2005 reported that vinegar is an appetite suppressant that helps dieters reduce food cravings. For reference, the amount of vinegar used in the 2005 Lund University study was 2-3 tablespoons mixed with water as a before-meal drink.
The 2009 findings from Japan take research on vinegar and weight management a step further, identifying vinegar's impact at the genetic level. Vinegar's acetic acid suppressed body fat accumulation by about 10% in rats by genetically "increasing fatty oxidation and thermogenesis in the liver." Interestingly, high doses (a 1.5% solution) and low doses (a .3% solution) of vinegar created the same fat-busting results.
I used to think the vinegar for weight loss story was nothing more than an old wives tale, which handily promoted the infamous placebo response. Not that the placebo response is bad and especially when the agent of action comes without dreadful side effects or great cost.
Now it looks like there's a lot more to the vinegar-for-weight-loss story. Drink up. It costs next to nothing and the only side effect to worry about is balancing the acid with enough alkalizing elements (think: greens and minerals) in your diet!