Apple Cider Vinegar vs Elderberry For Weight Loss

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Apple Cider Vinegar vs Elderberry For Weight Loss

Are you looking to shed a few extra pounds and exploring natural options to support your weight loss journey? Two popular contenders in the world of natural remedies are apple cider vinegar and elderberry. Both have gained attention for their potential benefits when it comes to weight loss.

In this article, we’ll dive into the world of apple cider vinegar vs elderberry for weight loss by examining their properties, highlighting potential mechanisms, and looking into the scientific evidence behind their effectiveness in supporting weight loss efforts. By the end of this article, you might just choose your next natural drink or maybe both may be valuable additions to your weight management routine.

Apple Cider Vinegar For Weight Loss

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been favored to be great for weight loss for many years. It is made by fermenting apple cider with bacteria and yeast, which turns the sugars in the cider into acetic acid. This acetic acid is believed to have many health benefits, including weight loss.

The acetic acid content has been shown to improve metabolism, leading to a higher calorie burn throughout the day1. ACV also contains enzymes that can help break down and digest fats, which may reduce the accumulation of fat in the body2,3.

Studies have also shown that ACV may help to lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity4,5. When blood sugar levels are stable, your body is better able to burn fat for energy, which can lead to weight loss.

Additionally, ACV may help to suppress appetite and reduce cravings6. This can lead to a reduction in calorie intake, which is essential for weight loss.

Health Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar offers a range of potential health benefits. These include:

Regulates Blood Sugar Levels

ACV has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes7.

Improves Digestion

The acetic acid in ACV can help increase the production of stomach acid, which aids in digestion and can help prevent indigestion8,9.

Reduces Inflammation

ACV may have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation throughout your body, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases10.

Aids Weight Loss

As explained earlier, ACV can aid in weight loss by reducing fat storage, increasing metabolism, and suppressing appetite.

Boosts Immunity

ACV contains beneficial acids and antioxidants that can help boost the immune system and protect the body from harmful pathogens3.

Lowers Cholesterol

ACV has been shown to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease11,12.

Promotes Heart Health

By improving blood sugar levels, reducing inflammation, and lowering cholesterol levels, ACV can promote overall heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease13,14.

Side Effects Of Apple Cider Vinegar

While apple cider vinegar has many potential health benefits, it can also cause some side effects, especially if taken in large amounts. Here are some potential side effects of ACV:

Dental Erosion

The acetic acid in ACV can erode tooth enamel, leading to dental problems like sensitivity and cavities15,16.

Digestive Issues

ACV can cause digestive issues like nausea, diarrhea, and indigestion, especially when consumed in large amounts16.

Interaction With Medications

ACV can interact with certain medications, including insulin, diuretics, and some heart medications, potentially causing adverse effects17.

Low Potassium Levels

Consuming large amounts of ACV may lead to low levels of potassium in the body, which can cause weakness, fatigue, and muscle cramps18.

Skin Irritation

Direct application of ACV to the skin can cause irritation and burns, especially for people with sensitive skin16.

Elderberry For Weight Loss

Elderberry has gained popularity as a potential aid for weight loss. This dark purple fruit, derived from the Sambucus tree, has long been recognized for its health benefits and is now being explored for its potential impact on shedding extra pounds.

Similar to apple cider vinegar, elderberry offers a range of beneficial properties that may contribute to weight management. Packed with antioxidants and essential nutrients, elderberry provides a holistic approach to overall well-being, indirectly supporting weight loss efforts.

The antioxidants found in elderberry combat oxidative stress, promoting a healthier body and enabling individuals to engage in physical activities that contribute to weight management19,20. Moreover, elderberry supports immune function, an essential aspect of maintaining consistent exercise and adhering to a healthy diet21.

While direct studies on elderberry’s impact on weight loss are limited, its anti-inflammatory properties may benefit individuals struggling with inflammation related to obesity and metabolic issues.

Furthermore, elderberry is a nutrient-rich source, offering an array of vitamins and minerals that can support the body during weight loss endeavors.

Health Benefits Of Elderberry

Research on elderberry has been restricted, but it holds promise for potential benefits. These may be:


Elderberry contains abundant antioxidants that help fight against oxidative stress, thereby promoting general well-being. This, in turn, encourages an active lifestyle, which plays a vital role in managing weight effectively22.

Immune System Support

Elderberry strengthens the immune system, supporting overall well-being and enabling consistent exercise and a healthy diet21.

Gut Health Promotion

Elderberry contains fiber, supporting a healthy digestive system23. An optimally functioning gut indirectly assists in weight management by aiding nutrient absorption24.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Elderberry has demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties, which may benefit individuals with obesity-related inflammation and metabolic issues25.

Vitamin and Mineral Content

Elderberry is a natural source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and potassium, which support overall health and vitality during weight loss efforts26.

Side Effects Of Elderberry

Elderberry can have certain effects on the body that may not be suitable for everyone. These side effects include:

Allergic Reactions

Although uncommon, some individuals may have allergic reactions to elderberries27, leading to symptoms like rash, itching, or difficulty breathing. If you have known allergies, consult a healthcare professional before incorporating elderberry into your routine.

Gastrointestinal Disturbances

Excessive consumption of elderberry products may cause gastrointestinal issues such as stomach upset, diarrhea, or nausea28. Follow recommended dosage guidelines to avoid such side effects.

Blood Pressure Regulation

Elderberry may lower blood pressure in some individuals29. If you have low blood pressure or are taking medications for hypertension, consult a healthcare professional before using elderberry supplements.

Blood Sugar Levels

Elderberry may lower blood sugar levels, which could be a concern for individuals with diabetes or those taking medications that affect blood sugar30. Monitoring blood glucose levels and consulting a healthcare professional is recommended.

Cyanide Content in Raw Seed

Raw elderberry seeds contain small amounts of cyanide, which can be toxic if consumed in large quantities31. It is important to ensure proper processing and avoid consuming raw seeds.

Types Of Apple Cider Vinegar And Elderberry

Apple Cider Vinegar

  1. Raw, Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar – this type of apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apple cider that retains its natural enzymes, beneficial bacteria, and cloudy appearance. It is often considered the most nutritious option and may contain the “mother” culture, a mix of beneficial bacteria, proteins, and enzymes.
  2. Filtered Apple Cider Vinegar – filtered apple cider vinegar undergoes a filtration process that removes the “mother” culture and any sediment. It is clear and has a lighter appearance compared to raw, unfiltered varieties.
  3. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar – organic apple cider vinegar is made from organically grown apples, free from synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Choosing organic options ensures a higher quality product and reduces potential exposure to harmful chemicals.
  4. Flavored Apple Cider Vinegar – some manufacturers offer flavored varieties of apple cider vinegar, which may include added herbs, spices, or fruits. These flavored options can provide a more palatable taste for those who find the original taste of apple cider vinegar too strong.


  1. European Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) – this is the most common species of elderberry used for culinary and medicinal purposes. It is native to Europe and produces clusters of small, dark purple berries.
  2. American Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) – native to North America, the American elderberry is another widely recognized species. It produces similar dark purple berries and is often used in the same ways as European elderberry.
  3. Black Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) – black elderberry is a specific variety within the European elderberry species. It is known for its deep, rich flavor and is commonly used in the production of elderberry products such as syrups, extracts, and supplements.
  4. Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa) – unlike the dark purple berries of other elderberry species, the red elderberry produces bright red berries. It is primarily found in North America and has historical uses among indigenous cultures.

Effectiveness For Weight Loss

Apple Cider Vinegar Consumption

While apple cider vinegar shows promise in promoting weight loss, it is important to note that the evidence is limited and further research is needed to establish its effectiveness.

  • A study found that consuming apple cider vinegar with a high-carbohydrate meal led to increased feelings of fullness and reduced calorie intake throughout the day32. However, the effect on weight loss itself was not directly measured.
  • Another study reported that participants who consumed apple cider vinegar experienced a small decrease in body weight and body fat over a 12-week period compared to those who did not consume it33. However, the difference was minimal and may not be solely attributed to apple cider vinegar.

Drinking Elderberry

While elderberry is recognized for its health benefits, there is limited scientific evidence directly linking it to weight loss.

  • Elderberry’s antioxidant properties may support overall health and well-being, indirectly contributing to maintaining a healthy weight. However, no specific studies have investigated its direct impact on weight loss.
  • It’s worth noting that elderberry supplements or products often contain additional ingredients, such as sugar or sweeteners, which can potentially hinder weight loss efforts. Therefore, it is important to choose products carefully and be mindful of their overall composition.

Apple Cider Vinegar vs Elderberry For Weight Loss

When it comes to weight loss, both apple cider vinegar and elderberry may offer some potential benefits, but it’s crucial to approach them with realistic expectations. Apple cider vinegar shows promise in promoting satiety, stabilizing blood sugar levels, and boosting metabolism. On the other hand, elderberry supports overall health, immune function, and gut health, which indirectly contribute to weight management.

However, it is important to remember that weight loss is a multifaceted process that requires a comprehensive approach, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and a healthy lifestyle. While these natural remedies may complement your weight loss efforts, they should not be relied upon as standalone solutions.

As always, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian before making any significant changes to your diet or incorporating new supplements into your routine. They can provide personalized guidance based on your individual health needs and help you make informed decisions.

Remember, sustainable weight loss is a journey that requires patience, consistency, and a holistic approach to overall well-being.


1 Shishehbor F, Mansoori A, Sarkaki AR, Jalali MT, Latifi SM. Apple cider vinegar attenuates lipid profile in normal and diabetic rats. Pak J Biol Sci. 2008 Dec 1;11(23):2634-8. doi: 10.3923/pjbs.2008.2634.2638. PMID: 19630216.

2 Johnston CS, Kim CM, Buller AJ. Vinegar improves insulin sensitivity to a high-carbohydrate meal in subjects with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2004 Jan;27(1):281-2. doi: 10.2337/diacare.27.1.281. PMID: 14694010.

3 Budak NH, Aykin E, Seydim AC, Greene AK, Guzel-Seydim ZB. Functional properties of vinegar. J Food Sci. 2014 May;79(5):R757-64. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.12434. PMID: 24811350.

4 Shmerling, R. H., MD. (2020, October 29). Apple cider vinegar diet: Does it really work? Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/apple-cider-vinegar-diet-does-it-really-work-2018042513703

5 Cobb KM, Chavez DA, Kenyon JD, Hutelin Z, Webster MJ. Acetic Acid Supplementation: Effect on Resting and Exercise Energy Expenditure and Substrate Utilization. Int J Exerc Sci. 2021 Apr 1;14(2):222-229. PMID: 34055150; PMCID: PMC8136602.

6 Kondo, T., Kishi, M., Fushimi, T., & Kaga, T. (2009, May 26). Acetic Acid Upregulates the Expression of Genes for Fatty Acid Oxidation Enzymes in Liver To Suppress Body Fat Accumulation. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry; American Chemical Society. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf900470c

7 Felman, A. (2019b, March 25). Does apple cider vinegar help people with diabetes? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317218#_noHeaderPrefixedContent

8 Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits, Best Types and How to Use – Dr. Axe. (2022, December 2). Dr. Axe. https://draxe.com/nutrition/apple-cider-vinegar-benefits/

9 McDermott, A. (2019b, March 8). Can You Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Treat Acid Reflux? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/digestive-health/apple-cider-vinegar-for-acid-reflux

10 Ostman E, Granfeldt Y, Persson L, Björck I. Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses and increases satiety after a bread meal in healthy subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Sep;59(9):983-8. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602197. PMID: 16015276.

11 LDL and HDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides | cdc.gov. (2022, October 24). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/ldl_hdl.htm#:~:text=LDL%20(low%2Ddensity%20 lipoprotein),for%20heart%20disease%20and%20stroke.

12 Kondo T, Kishi M, Fushimi T, Ugajin S, Kaga T. Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2009 Aug;73(8):1837-43. doi: 10.1271/bbb.90231. Epub 2009 Aug 7. PMID: 19661687.

13 Diabetes, Heart Disease, & Stroke. (2023, February 28). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-problems/heart-disease-stroke

14 Fight Inflammation to Help Prevent Heart Disease. (2022, November 1). Johns Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/fight-inflammation-to-help-prevent-heart-disease

15 Willershausen I, Weyer V, Schulte D, Lampe F, Buhre S, Willershausen B. In vitro study on dental erosion caused by different vinegar varieties using an electron microprobe. Clin Lab. 2014;60(5):783-90. doi: 10.7754/clin.lab.2013.130528. PMID: 24839821.

16 Huzar, T. (2019, January 15). Side effects of apple cider vinegar. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324184#low-potassium

17 Apple Cider Vinegar: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews. (n.d.). https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-816/apple-cider-vinegar

18 Lawler, M. (2022, September 5). 7 Potential Side Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar. EverydayHealth.com. https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/potential-side-effects-apple-cider-vinegar/

19 Sidor, A., & Gramza-Michałowska, A. (2015). Advanced research on the antioxidant and health benefit of elderberry (Sambucus nigra) in food – a review. Journal of Functional Foods, 18, 941–958. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jff.2014.07.012

20 Taherkhani, S., Valaei, K., Arazi, H., & Suzuki, K. (2021). An Overview of Physical Exercise and Antioxidant Supplementation Influences on Skeletal Muscle Oxidative Stress. Antioxidants, 10(10), 1528. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10101528

21 Hammond, A., Cassetty, S., Hammond, A., & Cassetty, S. (2022). Elderberry may be one of the best immune-boosting fruits — here’s how it can benefit your health. Insider. https://www.insider.com/guides/health/diet-nutrition/elderberry-benefits

22 Sidor, A., & Gramza-Michałowska, A. (2015). Advanced research on the antioxidant and health benefit of elderberry (Sambucus nigra) in food – a review. Journal of Functional Foods, 18, 941–958. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jff.2014.07.012

23 Purdie, J. (2021). Elderberry Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits. Verywell Fit. https://www.verywellfit.com/elderberry-nutrition-facts-4685533

24 Qi X, Yun C, Pang Y, Qiao J. The impact of the gut microbiota on the reproductive and metabolic endocrine system. Gut Microbes. 2021 Jan-Dec;13(1):1-21. doi: 10.1080/19490976.2021.1894070. PMID: 33722164; PMCID: PMC7971312.

25 Zielińska-Wasielica J, Olejnik A, Kowalska K, Olkowicz M, Dembczyński R. Elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) Fruit Extract Alleviates Oxidative Stress, Insulin Resistance, and Inflammation in Hypertrophied 3T3-L1 Adipocytes and Activated RAW 264.7 Macrophages. Foods. 2019 Aug 8;8(8):326. doi: 10.3390/foods8080326. PMID: 31398785; PMCID: PMC6724042.

26 Barrell, A. (2018, October 10). Health benefits of elderberry. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323288

27 Förster-Waldl E, Marchetti M, Schöll I, Focke M, Radauer C, Kinaciyan T, Nentwich I, Jäger S, Schmid ER, Boltz-Nitulescu G, Scheiner O, Jensen-Jarolim E. Type I allergy to elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is elicited by a 33.2 kDa allergen with significant homology to ribosomal inactivating proteins. Clin Exp Allergy. 2003 Dec;33(12):1703-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2003.01811.x. PMID: 14656358.

28 Elderberry (Sambucol) – Side Effects, Interactions, Uses, Dosage, Warnings. (2020). EverydayHealth.com. https://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/elderberry

29 Ciocoiu M, Badescu M, Badulescu O, Badescu L. The beneficial effects on blood pressure, dyslipidemia and oxidative stress of Sambucus nigra extract associated with renin inhibitors. Pharm Biol. 2016 Dec;54(12):3063-3067. doi: 10.1080/13880209.2016.1207088. Epub 2016 Jul 14. PMID: 27417664.

30 Office of Dietary Supplements – Dietary Supplements in the Time of COVID-19. (n.d.). https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/DietarySupplementsInTheTimeOfCOVID19-Consumer/

31 Migala, J. (2022, February 15). What Is Elderberry? Health Benefits, Dosing, Risks. EverydayHealth.com. https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/diet/elderberry-health-benefits-dosing-risks/#side-effects

32 Östman, E., Granfeldt, Y., Persson, L., & Björck, I. (2005). Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses and increases satiety after a bread meal in healthy subjects. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 59(9), 983–988. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602197

33 Kondo T, Kishi M, Fushimi T, Ugajin S, Kaga T. Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2009 Aug;73(8):1837-43. doi: 10.1271/bbb.90231. Epub 2009 Aug 7. PMID: 19661687.


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