Weight loss is a common goal for many individuals, and there is a constant search for natural remedies and dietary supplements that can aid in achieving this goal. Two popular options that have gained attention for their potential weight loss benefits are apple cider vinegar and pomegranate. Apple cider vinegar, made from fermented apples, and pomegranate, a nutrient-rich fruit, are believed to offer various health benefits, including weight management.
This article will compare the efficacy of apple cider vinegar vs pomegranate for weight loss. It will explore their respective properties, mechanisms of action, and scientific evidence supporting their impact on weight management. Additionally, potential side effects and considerations for use will be discussed to provide a comprehensive overview of these two natural remedies.
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.
The acetic acid in ACV can help increase the production of stomach acid, which aids in digestion and can help prevent indigestion8,9.
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.
ACV contains beneficial acids and antioxidants that can help boost the immune system and protect the body from harmful pathogens3.
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:
The acetic acid in ACV can erode tooth enamel, leading to dental problems like sensitivity and cavities15,16.
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.
Direct application of ACV to the skin can cause irritation and burns, especially for people with sensitive skin16.
Pomegranate For Weight Loss
Pomegranate is known for its high antioxidant content and potential health benefits. It is believed that certain compounds in pomegranate, such as polyphenols and flavonoids, may have properties that could support weight loss efforts19.
Pomegranate is often praised for its ability to boost metabolism and aid in fat burning. Some studies suggest that pomegranate extract may help reduce body weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference20. It is thought to achieve this by increasing fat metabolism, reducing appetite, and improving insulin sensitivity.
Furthermore, pomegranate is low in calories and rich in fiber, which can contribute to a feeling of fullness and aid in weight management21. The high water content of pomegranate also adds to its potential as a weight-loss-friendly fruit.
Pomegranate juice, extracts, and supplements are available in the market, often marketed for their potential health-promoting properties. Unlike apple cider vinegar, the health benefits of pomegranate vinegar are not as widely known or familiar to many people22.
Health Benefits Of Pomegranate
The consumption of pomegranate has been associated with several potential health benefits that could support weight loss efforts. These include:
Low In Calories
Pomegranate is relatively low in calories, making it a suitable addition to a calorie-controlled diet for weight management23. Per 100g of pomegranate seeds contains approximately 83 calories, making it a guilt-free choice for those looking to manage their calorie intake.
High In Fiber
Pomegranate contains essential nutrients and is rich in dietary fiber, which can promote feelings of fullness and reduce overeating. This can help in managing portion sizes and controlling calorie intake24.
Rich In Antioxidants
Pomegranate contains powerful antioxidant properties, such as polyphenols, that help combat oxidative stress and inflammation. This may indirectly support weight loss by promoting overall health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases25.
Potential Appetite Suppression
Some studies suggest that pomegranate extract may help suppress appetite and reduce cravings, which can be beneficial for weight management26.
Blood Sugar Regulation
Pomegranate can reduce blood-sugar spikes and has shown the potential in improving insulin sensitivity and regulating blood sugar levels27. Stabilizing blood sugar can contribute to better energy balance and potentially aid in weight management.
Side Effects Of Pomegranate
Pomegranate is generally safe for most people when consumed in moderate amounts. However, some individuals may experience certain side effects. Here are some potential side effects of pomegranate:
In rare cases, some individuals may be allergic to pomegranate. Allergic reactions can manifest as itching, rash, swelling, or difficulty breathing28. If you experience any of these symptoms after consuming pomegranate, seek medical attention immediately.
Pomegranate juice or seeds may cause digestive problems in some people. These can include diarrhea, stomach cramps, or bloating29. It’s recommended to consume pomegranate in moderation and observe how your body reacts to it.
Pomegranate juice may interact with certain blood pressure medications, such as ACE inhibitors. It can potentially lower blood pressure, so individuals taking such medications should consult their healthcare provider before consuming pomegranate products30,31.
Pomegranate juice may interact with certain medications, including statins, blood thinners, and some antidepressants31. It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are taking any medications to check for potential interactions.
Apple Cider Vinegar vs Pomegranate For Weight Loss
Apple cider vinegar and pomegranate are both popular ingredients that have been associated with potential weight loss benefits.
In a highly referenced study32 on apple cider vinegar, participants were divided into three groups and consumed a daily beverage containing either one tablespoon of vinegar, two tablespoons of vinegar, or no vinegar (placebo) over a period of 12 weeks. At the end of the study, it was observed that individuals who consumed any amount of vinegar had a decrease in body weight, a lower body mass index, reduced visceral fat, a smaller waist measurement, and lower levels of triglycerides.
Pomegranate-vinegar stimulates the activation of an enzyme known as AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase), which plays a role in toning abdominal fat. Activating AMPK can be likened to triggering a mechanism that initiates the utilization of stored fat as an energy source within individual cells to lose weight33.
In conclusion, both vinegar drinks have been associated with potential benefits for weight loss. Apple cider vinegar has been popularized for its potential to aid in appetite control, blood sugar regulation, and metabolism. On the other hand, pomegranate offers its own advantages, such as being low in calories, high in fiber, rich in antioxidants, and potentially aiding in appetite suppression and blood sugar regulation.
While both options have their merits, it’s important to remember that no single food or ingredient can guarantee weight loss on its own. A holistic approach to weight management, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, portion control, and overall healthy lifestyle habits, is key. Incorporating apple cider vinegar or pomegranate into a well-rounded weight loss plan may offer additional support.
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.
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
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.
24 WebMD Editorial Contributors. (2020, September 23). Health Benefits of Pomegranates. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-pomegranates#:~:text=Fresh%20pomegranate%20is%20also%20a,lower% 20cholesterol%2C%20and%20ease%20constipation.
25 Kandylis, P., & Kokkinomagoulos, E. (2020). Food Applications and Potential Health Benefits of Pomegranate and its Derivatives. Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 9(2), 122. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9020122
26 CNS MEDIA. (2022, September 22). Pomegranate extract may help regulate appetite and curb food intake, research uncovers. .nutritioninsight.com/. https://www.nutritioninsight.com/news/pomegranate-extract-may-help-regulate-appetite-and-curb-food-intake-research-uncovers.html
28 Petersen, A., Kleinheinz, A., & Jappe, U. (2011). Anaphylactic reactions to pomegranate: identification and characterization of eliciting IgE-reactive components. Clinical and Translational Allergy, 1(Suppl 1), P88. https://doi.org/10.1186/2045-7022-1-S1-P88
30 Stowe C. B. (2011). The effects of pomegranate juice consumption on blood pressure and cardiovascular health. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 17(2), 113–115. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.09.004
32 Kondo, T., Kishi, M., Fushimi, T., Ugajin, S., & Kaga, T. (2009). Vinegar Intake Reduces Body Weight, Body Fat Mass, and Serum Triglyceride Levels in Obese Japanese Subjects. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, 73(8), 1837–1843. https://doi.org/10.1271/bbb.90231