Can You Lose Weight Taking Apple Cider Vinegar Pills?

Apple cider vinegar pills take the beneficial properties of liquid apple cider vinegar and put them in a more palatable form. However, there has been controversy surrounding the stated benefits and actual ingredients of pills. Not only are the benefits and contents in question, but the weight-loss efficacy is also being scrutinized. Use caution when selecting apple cider vinegar pills and consult your health-care professional prior to use.

Function

Those deterred by the prospect of drinking vinegar and water may have found a welcome solution to weight loss. The availability of apple cider vinegar products has increased in recent years. In particular, pills have been designed for those wanting a more convenient way to lose weight. Apple cider vinegar pills are for people that dislike the tart acidity of vinegar in liquid form, but want the beneficial properties of the home remedy.

Controversy

The lack of regulation and only periodic scientific testing of new products has caused controversy. Dr. Norman J. Temple, of the Centre for Science at Athabasca University in Alberta, Canada, calls for greater knowledge about these products and what they claim before they become available to the general public. In 2007, the FDA recalled the apple cider vinegar capsule MetaboSlim, manufactured by Confidence Inc., because it contained sibutramine, an appetite suppressant linked to high blood pressure and potential risk to patients with a history of heart disease or stroke.

Mechanism

Pills or tablets reportedly contain a highly concentrated amount of acetic acid, the main ingredient of vinegar responsible for weight loss. It remains unclear, however, how the tested benefits of liquid acetic acid compare to those in capsule form. They are often supplemented with calcium and other minerals, but may also contain cellulose, stearic acid and silica. There remains a difference between pills that contain only apple cider vinegar powder and those that contain additional supplements.

Dosage

One prominent manufacturer of apple cider vinegar pills, American Health U.S., recommends two pills, one to three times daily. However, there is great variability amongst manufacturers with concern to dosage. Comparison of product data by registered dietitian Laura L. Hill, of the University of Arkansas, shows how dosage can range from one 300 mg capsule daily to three 500 mg pills daily. This reflects its relatively undecided status as a supplement.


Warning

Although apple cider vinegar remedies have been used for years, even tried and true methods are often hazardous. In one scientific study published by the "Journal of the American Dietetic Association" in 2005, Hill reports that product labels frequently provided erroneous information. Prompted by a 48-year-old woman’s serious esophageal injury upon ingesting a capsule, researchers found that advertised amounts of acetic acid were much lower when tested, and were confused with other acid types such as malic and citric acid. Additionally, researchers wondered whether the pills contained any apple cider vinegar at all.