Goli apple cider vinegar gummies: Legit benefits or expensive candy?

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Goli apple cider vinegar gummies are the hot new product on Amazon these days. Heck, they were even on the Ellen Degeneres show! They’ve become so popular that copycat products have even popped up. These products carry a big promise, claiming to deliver all the benefits of apple cider vinegar in a great-tasting gummy. But – do they have legit benefits? Does drinking vinegar even work in the first place? We all know what vinegar tastes and smells like, so how can a great-tasting gummy deliver the goods? Are we asking too many questions? Sorry, it’s a bad habit of ours.

We have critiqued gummies in the past, and they do tend to have lower amounts of active ingredients compared to tablets or softgels. On the other hand, the effects of vinegar have been well-documented in a number of clinical trials. Read on to learn more about whether vinegar really does work, and how these gummies stack up to liquid vinegar in terms of their active ingredients.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What is the active ingredient in Goli apple cider vinegar gummies?

Apple cider vinegar would, of course, be the active ingredient in the Goli gummies. This is made by the fermentation of apple cider by yeast. If the yeast is exposed to oxygen you actually get hard cider, with alcohol as the main byproduct of fermentation. However, when you restrict the oxygen, the yeast makes acetic acid instead. Apple cider vinegar, like most other kinds of vinegar, contains about 5% acetic acid. Acetic acid is the active ingredient in vinegar, and this is mainly what you smell when you open the bottle. Acetic acid evaporates fairly easily because it’s a small molecule, hence the pungent aroma. It’s a type of “short-chain fatty acid”. In fact, it’s the shortest of the short – it’s carbon chain is only 2 carbons long. So cute and little!

Chemical structure of acetic acid

It’s fair to say that acetic acid is the active ingredient that provides the health benefit when people consume apple cider vinegar. Sure, there are other things like polyphenols, sugars or other products of yeast fermentation, but only small amounts. Many studies have actually used white vinegar, which is more purified and doesn’t have all those additional ingredients.

What’s the deal with apple cider vinegar, does it really work?

There are a few potential benefits of apple cider vinegar that people talk about. It’s well known that vinegar can kill bacteria, although consuming it won’t necessarily have this effect in your body (don’t drink the Lysol!). Some claim it may have benefits for the skin, while others say it can have “detox” effects. However, when we look at the science on those topics we don’t see much to really confirm those benefits. If you want to rub vinegar on your skin though, we won’t stop you…

Drinking vinegar to promote weight loss or lower blood sugar also sounds like some kind of whacked home remedy, but this is the one that most people are searching for. Lots of crazy ideas go around on the internet, right? Well, as it turns out, there is actually quite solid scientific evidence to back up its benefits for blood sugar and weight management. There have been a number of clinical trials published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and there is even a recent meta-analysis on the topic – which is a statistical analysis that combines the results of a bunch of different studies. Let’s dig into those a bit, shall we?

Is Goli gummies legit? Let’s look at the science.

Probably the best scientific publication on apple cider vinegar is a meta-analysis published in 2017. This research group combined together the results of 11 randomized controlled trials looking at the effect of vinegar consumption on blood sugar response to various test meals like white bread, bagels and juice, etc. The studies were conducted in people with type 2 diabetes and also in healthy adults. The doses of vinegar ranged from 2 grams up to 50 grams, but most of the studies used 20 grams. Also, it’s important to note that in most studies the vinegar was consumed right along with, or just before, the test meal. They found a statistically significant lowering in blood sugar responses to the test meals across both healthy people and people with diabetes. So, generally speaking, it’s safe to conclude that vinegar really works, at least at the levels tested in those studies (typically 20 grams or more).

One of the studies that looked at lower doses was published in 2010. They found that a 10 gram dose of vinegar (containing 0.5 grams of acetic acid) resulted in a lower post-meal blood sugar level. The results were even more pronounced when this was consumed just before a meal. However, this is just one study. It’s important to keep in mind that most research has been conducted with 20 gram doses.

How many gummies do you need to eat to get the Goli benefits?

As we discussed above, the dose is the main thing to look at to understand whether a supplement can deliver it’s promised effect. From the studies above, most used about 20 g of vinegar, which works out to about 20 ml or 4 US teaspoons. An average shot glass is about 30 ml, so that works out to about 2/3 of a shot. We would say that knocking back vinegar in 2/3 of a shot glass would probably be much easier than taking 4 teaspoons, although our drinking habits are none of your business!

Now, let’s do some math. The label on the back of the Goli bottle says that each gummy contains 500 mg of apple cider vinegar:

Goli gummies supplement facts panel

Now assuming that the facts panel is accurate (and we have not seen any 3rd party testing on Labdoor or ConsumerLab thus far), 500 mg is just half a gram. So, in order to get 20 grams of apple cider vinegar, we would need to consume 40 gummies. In one dose! Hey, that’s most of the bottle (60 gummies)! Before we go any further, we definitely don’t recommend you do that. The upper limit for folic acid is 1000 mcg, and you would hit that after only 8 gummies. Also, 40 gummies is going to nail you with 140 grams of carbs and 2400 calories, which is about what most men need in a day. Holy smokes! Not to mention that if you are looking to use this product to help manage your blood sugar, probably eating a whole bunch of sugar-laden gummies is not the best approach.

Can we believe the Goli gummy reviews?

We see a lot of blog posts on Goli gummies, many with very positive reviews on how they taste and their potential benefits. With the tiny amount of apple cider vinegar contained in these gummies, it’s no surprise that they would taste great. However, while taste is important, it’s not our major concern here. If the product is being marketed to provide a benefit, our view is that the amount of ingredient in the product should be enough to deliver it. With Goli gummies (and other knockoff brands as well), that certainly doesn’t appear to be the case. Many of those blogs are getting paid if you click the link to buy, so maybe best not to trust all the Goli reviews that you see.

The best way to get the benefits of apple cider vinegar? Drinking it.

If you are tracking with us so far, it should have become obvious that the minuscule amount of apple cider vinegar claimed to be inside these gummies is probably not going to do much of anything for you. In fact, the bacteria in your large intestine already make some amount of acetic acid. But that doesn’t change the fact that high quality science shows that about 4 tsp (2/3 of a shot) of vinegar acid can positively affect your blood sugar metabolism, improve satiety, and may even help you lose some weight.

Jarrow Formulas, a reputable supplement company based out of LA makes a nice apple cider vinegar. It’s unfiltered and contains the “yeast mother.” This can be helpful as yeast contains some additional nutrients like B vitamins and amino acids:

Jarrow Apple Cider Vinegar
Click image for details

The price is also right, as for about $5 you get a 16 fl oz bottle. This would give you about 20 servings if you consume the recommended 20 ml.

Another similar option is this product from Dynamic Health Laboratories:

Dynamic Health Apple Cider Vinegar
Click image for details

Again, it’s straight-up apple cider vinegar, unfiltered with the yeast.

Of course, for even more convenience, you can also head over to your grocery store and buy some off-the-shelf vinegar. As the active ingredient really seems to be the acetic acid, just about any vinegar will do. No need to get too fancy here!

Summing up

The bottom line here is that apple cider vinegar does indeed carry some legit, clinically validated health benefits. However, you need about 20 grams, or about 2/3 of a shot glass full of vinegar to get the lower blood sugar levels. As much as we would like to promise you that these gummies would get the job done, there really isn’t a shortcut. In fact our view is that products like these really create a lot of confusion. They are essentially marketing gummy candy to people looking to manage their weight and/or blood sugar.

The best approach of you are looking for the benefits of vinegar is to actually… just take the vinegar. It’s definitely something you can get used to – an invigorating tart shot before you tuck into your meal. In addition, it’s good not to think of things like vinegar or other supplements as a magic bullet for weight loss. They can definitely help you down the path. However, a firm commitment and a good structured eating plan can go a long way toward creating healthier habits for long-term weight management and health.