A Dietitian Weighs In: Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies Review
Apple cider vinegar has been trendy as a “detox” drink for weight loss and bloat. The latest and greatest way to take apple cider vinegar? Enter: apple cider vinegar gummies. Who doesn’t love a gummy?
With so many wild claims by influencers on Instagram and reviews on apple cider vinegar gummy supplement company websites, let’s take a look at the real-live evidence. Keep reading for this dietitian’s apple cider vinegar gummies review!
What is apple cider vinegar, exactly?
Apple cider vinegar is made from crushing fresh apples to release the juice which is then mixed with bacteria and yeast – similar to making beer or wine – and allowed to ferment. The sugars are first converted into ethanol and then converted to acetic acid.
(This may have also happened in your kitchen, accidentally, if you left a bottle of wine for longer than you realized. If it has started to smell or taste acidic, you’ve made vinegar!)
This acetic acid is what gives apple cider vinegar its pungent and unpleasant taste and smell. Most of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar are attributed to the acetic acid.
What are apple cider vinegar gummies?
Have you ever tried drinking apple cider vinegar on its own? Yeah, it’s not pleasant! So, to help people obtain the supposed benefits of apple cider vinegar in a more palatable way, the supplement manufacturer Goli came up with the genius idea of packaging the vinegar into a tasty little gummy.
The Goli apple cider vinegar gummies contain concentrated apple cider vinegar plus several extra ingredients, like cane sugar and tapioca syrup (for sweetening), “superfoods” (like beetroot and pomegranate), pectin (used as the gelling agent), and added B vitamins.
According to the Goli website, two apple cider vinegar gummies provides about one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar benefits
The Goli apple cider vinegar gummies are made of real apple cider vinegar. Since there isn’t any research on apple cider vinegar gummies (yet), let’s discuss the supposed benefits of apple cider vinegar.
Does apple cider vinegar detox your body?
I’ll cut to the chase here: no. Lucky for us, we have a built-in detoxification system: our liver and kidneys!
No food or supplement will “detox” you; however, there are things you can do to help support your built-in detoxification system. Eating a balanced, produce-rich diet, engaging in regular exercise, staying hydrated, and getting adequate sleep, to name a few.
Does apple cider vinegar help with bloating or digestion?
The evidence is not strong for this claim. While it would be really nice to have a simple solution to that uncomfortable tightness in your belly or constipation, apple cider vinegar gummies may not be the magic solution.
Raw apple cider vinegar contains the “mother” – that cloudy, stringy mass you’ll see hanging out at the bottom of the bottle that’s formed during fermentation.
Although little research exists on the “mother”, it’s thought to have many health benefits due to the presence of beneficial bacteria (primarily Acetobacter). P.S. the Goli apple cider vinegar gummies contain the mother, too. Well, at least it says so on the bottle.
Just because apple cider vinegar contains bacteria doesn’t mean it provides probiotic benefit. For it to earn the coveted title of probiotic, the bacteria must be proven to provide a health benefit. Unfortunately for apple cider vinegar, that hasn’t happened, yet.
Another reason apple cider vinegar is thought to ease bloat and support digestion is because apples contain the prebiotic fiber pectin. Prebiotics feed our good gut bacteria so that they can survive and thrive. Although apple cider vinegar does retain some of the pectin from the apples it’s made from, you’ll get much more pectin from eating an apple than a shot or a gummy of apple cider vinegar. Plus, apples are full of other good-for-you nutrients, like quercetin and vitamin C.
Bottom line: If you’re looking to get probiotics into your day, you’re better off eating fermented foods, like kimchi and yogurt, or taking a probiotic supplement than relying on apple cider vinegar or apple cider vinegar gummies. As for how to get more pectin into your day, just eat an apple!
Does apple cider vinegar help with blood sugar?
Well, we may have a winner here. The most promising benefit of apple cider vinegar is its effect on blood sugar levels.
The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar is thought to block enzymes that digest starch, a type of carb, leading to a lower rise in blood sugar and insulin levels after eating. Plus, the acidity of vinegar has been shown to delay stomach emptying. Meaning a slower release of glucose from a carb-containing food into the bloodstream.
The current evidence, although not overwhelmingly convincing, does seem to support this. One small study compared the blood sugar and insulin changes after individuals with diabetes consumed a bagel and OJ with or without apple cider vinegar. The group that had apple cider vinegar had significantly lower blood sugar and insulin responses.
Although adding apple cider vinegar to a carb-rich meal could be helpful for those struggling with high blood sugar levels, it is not a suitable replacement for blood sugar medication. If you are currently taking any, be sure to speak with your doctor before adding apple cider vinegar regularly to your diet.
If you do choose to add apple cider vinegar to your diet for blood sugar management, it’s probably best to avoid apple cider vinegar gummies because they contain added sugar, which could then negate much of the blood sugar benefit of the vinegar.
Does apple cider vinegar help with weight loss?
Perhaps a tiny bit, but it’s unlikely that regular consumption of apple cider vinegar will have a significant effect on weight. A small, twelve-week study in Japan found that daily consumption of two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (diluted in water) while following a reduced-calorie diet amplified the weight loss effects of the diet.
How might apple cider vinegar affect weight? Remember, apple cider vinegar may support blood sugar control, which means it could potentially help manage cravings. It’s also thought that apple cider vinegar could help suppress appetite. However, it’s unclear if the appetite-suppressing effects are due to any compounds in the vinegar or its unpleasant taste. One study found that vinegar ingestion decreased appetite because it invoked feelings of nausea. If this holds true, it’s unlikely that the delicious tasting Goli apple cider vinegar gummies would have the same effect.
A dietitian’s thought? The weight loss effects are more psychological and indirect. If incorporating apple cider vinegar into your day makes you feel like you’re doing something healthy, then it could put you in the mindset of wanting to make other healthy choices throughout the day, which are what really lead to weight loss.
Bottom line: It’s very unlikely that apple cider vinegar alone, no matter the form, will help you lose weight. After all, no one food or ingredient alone is responsible for weight loss – it’s about the whole of your diet and lifestyle. Washing down Chick-Fil-A with apple cider vinegar every day won’t cancel out the Chick-Fil-A.
Apple cider vinegar gummies side effects – is there anything to worry about?
Goli apple cider vinegar gummies contain added sugar. Although they only contain one gram of added sugar per gummy, Goli recommends consuming up to six gummies per day. As mentioned previously, this could potentially negate much of the blood sugar benefit of apple cider vinegar (which is it’s most promising health benefit).
Plus, supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA for quality, safety or efficacy before entering the market and making health claims. There have been studies that have shown that certain apple cider vinegar supplements do not contain what the label says; some are way above and some are far below the listed levels of acetic acid.
Bottom line: apple cider vinegar gummies review
Is it worth taking apple cider vinegar gummies? Short answer: no.
As far as apple cider vinegar is concerned, it’s no magic bullet but it’s not necessarily snake oil, either. Its most promising health benefit is that it could potentially help with blood sugar control. However, it definitely won’t “detox” you and it’s highly unlikely that apple cider vinegar alone will rid you of bloat or help you lose weight. Could it enhance your other weight loss efforts? Maybe, but we just don’t know for sure.
I’m not against adding apple cider vinegar to your diet because there seems to be very little risk in doing so, but do yourself a favor and skip the gummies. They have added sugar (which could negate much of the blood sugar benefit) and aren’t regulated by the FDA.
Instead, stick with good ol’ apple cider vinegar in its original form original (it’s much cheaper, too). Up to one to two tablespoons per day seems to be well tolerated and falls in line with the amounts most studies have used. I recommend incorporating it into meals by making a marinade or an apple cider vinaigrette dressing.
If you do choose to take apple cider vinegar on its own, please be sure to dilute it to minimize risk to your teeth and throat as it is very acidic.