What Does Apple Cider Vinegar Do to Belly Fat?

A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar daily can help you achieve a smaller waistline. The belly is a particularly hazardous -- yet common -- area to accumulate fat because it increases the risk of heart disease. Some clinical research suggests that apple cider vinegar can help you burn fat, while other studies indicate that it can help suppress appetite. Either way, apple cider vinegar shows potential as a weight-loss aid, which can help you reduce your overall body fat.

Burning Belly Fat

Apple cider vinegar -- and most other forms of vinegar -- contains a compound called acetic acid. One study shows that the acetic acid compound in apple cider vinegar may help reduce belly fat. A study published in a 2009 issue of "Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry" examined the effect of vinegar on obese Japanese participants. During the three-month study, all the participants drank a 17-ounce beverage daily that contained either 1/2 or 1 ounce of vinegar or no vinegar. The results showed that those who consumed vinegar had a significantly lower waist circumference, visceral fat, body weight and blood-fat levels.

Appetite Suppression

One way to reduce body fat and belly fat is eating fewer calories daily. Apple cider vinegar may help reduce the glycemic index of carbs such as bread, which may increase your feeling of fullness after a meal. In 2005, the "European Journal of Clinical Nutrition" published a vinegar study involving 12 participants. It found that a wheat bread-based meal with vinegar increased fullness more than the meal without vinegar. The appetite-suppressing effect is the result of lower blood glucose and insulin levels when a meal is consumed with vinegar. Another study estimated that vinegar with a high-carb meal could help you eat approximately 200 to 275 fewer calories daily. This can result in significant weight loss over time -- an effect that will help reduce belly fat.

Using Apple Cider Vinegar

For significant belly fat reduction, you'll need to exercise and eat a low-caloric diet along with the vinegar. Add a tablespoon of organic vinegar to a beverage and drink it before a meal to help you eat less during the meal. You can also add vinegar to salads and green smoothies. Apple cider vinegar alone should not be considered an effective weight-loss aid, as the evidence on its effectiveness is based on small and short-term studies.

Taking Precautions

Apple cider vinegar is likely safe when taken with food or diluted in water, and serious adverse effects are rare. There is an isolated case in which a woman suffered an esophageal injury when attempting to dislodge a piece of crab shell from her throat by taking a tablespoon of vinegar, according to "Medscape General Medicine." The journal also notes that an esophageal injury due to vinegar intake is extremely rare. Vinegar is highly acidic and can erode tooth enamel. Diluting vinegar in water may help, but consult a dentist before consuming apple cider vinegar or any other form of vinegar regularly.