Drinking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before consuming food helped overweight people shed up to 18 pounds in just three months, a new study out of Lebanon has found.

“Apple cider vinegar could be a promising antiobesity supplement that does not produce any side effects,” study author Dr. Rony Abou-Khalil, of Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, declared in a statement to SWNS.

Apple cider vinegar, the fermented juice from crushed apples, has been shown in research to lower blood glucose levels after meals and reduce appetite. Now, the Lebanon study published in the journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, finds that the popular salad dressing ingredient also reduces the body mass index (BMI), triglycerides (a type of fat in blood), and cholesterol of overweight people.

The study included 46 males and 74 females — at an average age of 17 — who were overweight or obese, with a BMI between 27 and 34.

The 120 young participants were divided into four groups.

The first three groups drank 5, 10, or 15 milliliters of apple cider vinegar every morning before breakfast, for 12 weeks.

The fourth group was given a dummy placebo liquid.

The participants recorded their eating habits in a diet diary and provided information on their physical activity.

The researchers found that each of the three quantities of apple cider vinegar made a difference in waist and hip measurements and body fat ratio.

Those drinking the highest dose of 15 milliliters, about a tablespoon, experienced the largest decrease in weight loss and BMI after 12 weeks, dropping from an average of 170 pounds to around 155 pounds.

At 10 milliliters, about 2 teaspoons, the participants’ average weight went from 174 pounds to 159 pounds, and at 5 milliliters, about 1 teaspoon, they dropped from 174 pounds to 163 pounds.

Their BMIs fell from 31 to nearly 27 depending on their dosage.

“The study sample was small, so potentially limiting the generalizability of the findings, and a period of 12 weeks isn’t long enough to gauge the possible long-term side effects of apple cider vinegar,” Abou-Khalil acknowledged about the findings.

But Abou-Khalil hopes that the results of the study “might contribute to evidence-based recommendations for the use of apple cider vinegar as a dietary intervention in the management of obesity.”

Shane McAuliffe — the senior visiting academic associate for NNEdPro Global Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health, which co-owns BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health — said future apple cider vinegar studies “would need to include detailed reporting of dietary recall or nutritional intake” and further explore the “impact on biochemical markers (lipids and blood glucose) in addition to weight loss.”

While the results are promising, experts have advised against calling apple cider vinegar a cure-all, warning that over-indulgence can erode tooth enamel and exacerbate acid reflux.

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