I remember when I was a kid growing up back in the 1950s, my mother used to swear by a book that was written by a country doctor who lived in Vermont. His name was Doctor Jarvis and his book was a huge best seller called “Folk Medicine.” I couldn’t tell you a lot about the book back then because I was just a kid, but I do remember he emphasized daily doses of honey and apple cider vinegar! In fact apple cider vinegar was cited as something that would even help a person lose weight.

Not long ago I found a copy of “Folk Medicine” and read it. Doctor Jarvis felt that if you regularly drank small amounts of apple cider vinegar it would cause your body to burn fat instead of store it.

It seems Doctor Jarvis struck a nerve with the American people that is still resonating in the 21st century. There have been many additional books and articles written over the years that claim the pectin found in apple cider vinegar somehow binds cholesterol and removes it from the body. In fact, there are many websites today that tout something called “the apple cider vinegar weight loss diet.” Most state that the ACV diet requires you to drink small amounts of apple cider vinegar before each meal.

Apple Cider Vinegar, by the way, is made by squeezing out the juice of an apple and fermenting it. First you crush the apple and collect the juice. The fermentation begins when sugar and yeast are added. There is then a second process which adds specific bacteria which converts the alcohol into acetic acid.

At this point most major apple cider vinegar brands are filtered and pasteurized. According to Doctor Jarvis, however, these pasteurized brands don’t work as well.

Does the Apple Cider Vinegar weight loss diet work? Not according to the information I found on the Mayo Clinic’s website. They feel that drinking apple cider vinegar for weight loss is not effective and that the claims by ACV devotees about drinking a small amount of apple cider vinegar before each meal to reduce the appetite and burn fat have no scientific evidence.

The site goes on to say that while occasional use of apple cider vinegar is probably safe for most healthy people, it won’t help them lose weight. And for some folks ACV may even pose unique health problems. For instance, because it is so acidic, it may irritate the throat — especially in individuals that drink it frequently or in large quantities. It is possible, too, that ACV may interact with certain medications — especially insulin and diuretics. The fear here is that it has the potential of lowering potassium levels in the body.

The bottom line is there’s no magic formula to lose weight other than burning more calories than you take in. The best weight loss formula is regular exercise and healthy food choices — including fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean protein.