Taking apple cider vinegar and garcinia cambogia, the extract of a tropical fruit, is claimed to aid weight loss.
Some believe that garcinia cambogia can suppress appetite and block fat production in the body.
It has also been speculated that apple cider vinegar may promote weight loss by improving feelings of fullness and increasing metabolism.
Still, you may wonder whether research exists to support these claims and whether it’s beneficial to take these two supplements together.
This article reviews the evidence behind taking garcinia cambogia and apple cider vinegar for weight loss, as well as the possible risks.
Garcinia cambogia is a popular weight loss supplement extracted from the rind of the tropical fruit Garcinia gummi-gutta (1).
The fruit resembles a small pumpkin, has a sour taste and is native to Southeast Asia and India. It’s often used to flavor fish curries and as a remedy for digestive issues and parasites (1).
Garcinia contains high levels of hydroxycitric acid (HCA) which scientists believe may stop fat production in the body and decrease appetite. Specifically, HCA may work by blocking an enzyme involved in the creation of fat and cholesterol (1, 2, 3, ).
Summary Garcinia cambogia is a supplement extracted from a tropical fruit high in hydroxycitric acid (HCA), while apple cider vinegar is made with bacteria and yeast. Both contain compounds that may aid weight loss.
Numerous anecdotal accounts and supplement websites claim that garcinia cambogia and apple cider vinegar boost each other’s activity and that taking both leads to fast, lasting weight loss.
Since garcinia cambogia and apple cider vinegar may promote weight loss in different ways, they theoretically could work better together than if taken alone.
However, there are no studies on the effect of taking them together.
Any claims about the combined effects of garcinia cambogia and apple cider vinegar on weight loss are based on research on the supplement or vinegar alone.
Research on garcinia cambogia supplements suggests that they may lead to modest weight loss due to the high levels of HCA — but the evidence is mixed ().
A two-month study in 50 obese women on a calorie-restricted diet found that while all participants lost weight, those who took garcinia cambogia lost 3 pounds (1.4 kg) more than the women who did not take the supplement (11).
For example, a 12-week study in 135 overweight people reported that those who took garcinia cambogia did not lose significantly more weight than individuals in the placebo group (15).
Apple Cider Vinegar
Research on the effects of apple cider vinegar on weight loss is also limited but offers promising results.
One 12-week study in 144 obese adults found that those who took 1–2 tablespoons (15–30 ml) of vinegar in a diluted drink every day dropped an average 2.64–3.74 pounds (1.2–1.7 kg), while the placebo group gained weight (16).
A smaller study in 11 healthy adults showed that those who had vinegar with a high-carb meal had a lower blood sugar response to the food and ate 200–275 fewer calories per day than people in the control group (17).
If consuming diluted vinegar can help decrease overall calorie intake, it may lead to weight loss over time.
While these studies are promising, more research on the weight loss effects of vinegar and particularly apple cider vinegar is needed.
Summary Many people claim that garcinia cambogia and apple cider vinegar boost each other’s weight loss benefits, but there is no research on taking them together. Studies on the effect of garcinia or vinegar alone offer mixed results.
Both apple cider vinegar and garcinia cambogia may cause side effects on their own, and research on the safety of taking them together is unavailable.
On the other hand, garcinia cambogia may lead to more serious issues.
One case report showed that a 35-year-old man who took 160 mg of garcinia cambogia three times a day for five months experienced liver failure ().
Additional research in animals showed that garcinia cambogia may increase liver inflammation and decrease sperm production (, 24).
Finally, another case study reported that a woman developed serotonin toxicity when taking garcinia cambogia with her antidepressant medication (25).
Keep in mind that most of the research on the safety of garcinia cambogia has been done on animals or reported in single case studies. It’s still important to exercise caution when taking this supplement.
If you are concerned about the effects of garcinia cambogia and apple cider vinegar or their possible interactions with your medications, check with your doctor.
Summary Apple cider vinegar may cause indigestion, throat irritation and tooth erosion in large doses, but appears safe in smaller amounts. Garcinia cambogia has been linked to stomach issues and headaches, as well as one case of liver failure.
Theoretically, it would be safe to take the maximum doses of apple cider vinegar and garcinia cambogia together, but there is no research on their combined safety or possible interactions.
Keep in mind that the FDA doesn't regulate supplements as tightly as medications. Therefore, the amount of garcinia cambogia listed on a label may not match the actual amount in the pills.
Summary While there is no specific recommended dosage for either product, it appears to be safe to take up to two tablespoons (30 ml) of diluted apple cider vinegar and 2,800 mg of garcinia cambogia per day.
Limited research suggests that garcinia cambogia and apple cider vinegar may promote modest weight loss.
Though some say that taking both together enhances their weight loss effects, studies to support these claims are unavailable. What’s more, both supplements may cause side effects in high doses.
If you are interested in trying garcinia cambogia and apple cider vinegar, look for reputable brands and don’t exceed the recommended dosages.