A new wellness craze has landed on TikTok, claiming to be the magic trick to help with weight loss and bloating. Apple cider vinegar gummies are the latest health trend to have gone viral on the platform, promising users great results in a short span of time.
Influencers across the platform swear by this product, declaring that taking just two gummies per day for a couple of weeks, has helped them get a flat belly even after having a full three-course meal and one too many margaritas for dinner.
But what do we actually know about this supplement? Does it really work? Does it have any side effects? Is it safe for consumption? Newsweek spoke to multiple doctors to discuss the efficacy of this product as well as its safety, and this is their conclusion.
While it’s highly praised by wellness influencers on social media, this product has created lots of controversy among doctors, who believe that despite the miraculous claims, there’s actually no medical evidence to be able to say that it works and is safe.
Dr. Andrew Boxer of Gastroenterology Associates of New Jersey told Newsweek that while some patients have reported certain benefits, he has seen no actual scientific evidence himself.
He said: “It may frustrate patients to say this but while my stance is that it’s probably not harmful, the products are not FDA regulated. So in summary: it might help, probably doesn’t hurt, but ultimately we don’t understand enough about it to know for sure.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, apple cider vinegar isn’t likely to be effective for weight loss—there is very little scientific support for claims that it has any health benefits at all, and drinking a small amount or taking a supplement before meals helps curb appetite and burn fat.
A similar opinion is that of Dr. Nikhilesh Sekhar of the New York Bariatric Group, a board-certified surgeon who specializes in bariatric surgery. He told Newsweek that some “very small studies” have suggested that apple cider vinegar may have a “modest effect” on weight loss, and in reducing abdominal bloating, although the evidence is “limited and inconsistent.” He said the best way to manage weight and digestive issues is by making healthy lifestyle choices, including a balanced diet and regular physical activity.
‘The Safety And Quality Control Of Products Sold on TikTok Can Be Questionable’
Generally, the safety, efficacy, and quality control of products sold on Tik Tok can be “questionable,” according to Dr. Sekhar. Instead of purchasing supplements via these types of apps, you should opt for well-established retailers, pharmacies, or trusted manufacturers.
Moreover, he believes that before adding any supplements or integrators to your diet, you should consult with your physician or registered dietitian because only these healthcare professionals can evaluate your specific health needs to decide if a supplement is right for you and your underlying medical conditions.
Most importantly, if you’re under any treatment or medication, healthcare professionals can also identify any potential interactions with your current medications and supplements.
He said: “It is important to take a balanced and evidence-based approach to health and wellness. Apple cider vinegar may offer some potential benefits, but it is not a magic solution for weight loss or bloating. [You should] always consult a healthcare professional for personalized guidance.”
‘The Acidic Nature Of Apple Cider Vinegar May Irritate The Throat And Damage Tooth Enamel’
While some doctors believe that apple cider vinegar and related products can show modest benefits when it comes to weight loss and bloating, others believe it may actually be detrimental to your health.
Dr. Joe Alton, the author of The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Help is NOT on the Way, told Newsweek that there’s little scientific evidence that apple cider vinegar is effective as a strategy for “any serious weight loss,” and that it may not be healthy after all.
He said: “Although occasional use is safe for most people, there are some risks: for example, the acidic nature of apple cider vinegar may irritate the throat and damage tooth enamel if used in large quantities. It may also interact with certain drugs such as diuretics, leading to low potassium levels. Diabetics may experience altered quantities of insulin in the body, making dosing problematic.”
“You’re better off including apple cider vinegar as a component of your salad dressing than taking a large dose as a daily supplement.”
Dr. Sekhar cautioned that while apple cider vinegar gummies are generally harmless, the high acidity of vinegar may irritate the throat, esophagus, and stomach lining, leading to discomfort, heartburn, and digestive issues.
He warned: “Consuming excessive amounts of apple cider vinegar can also damage tooth enamel and interact with certain medications. Additionally, gummy supplements may contain sugar and sugar-free supplements often contain sugar alcohols such as xylitol or erythritol which can cause stomach upset.”
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