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Cinnamon, Lime Juice and Vinegar For Weight Loss

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Q. I would like to try the cinnamon, lime juice, vinegar combo mentioned in your column for weight loss. What is the recipe?

My husband is diabetic, so we just started using cinnamon extract made in the drip coffee maker. How much lime and vinegar do we need to add? How much should we drink? And is the (shudder) vinegar necessary?

A. Many readers want this recipe, and the person who came up with it agreed to share it in detail. Here is Lisa’s Weight Loss Elixir: Put 5 decaffeinated green tea bags in 5 cups of water and bring to a full boil. Let steep 5 minutes, remove and discard tea bags.

Add 2 level tablespoons baking soda and stir (tea will foam). Add 1/3 cup ground cinnamon and stir briefly. Cover and let steep.

Cool the tea and move it to the refrigerator. Allow it to settle for at least two days. Then pour off and save the liquid and discard the solids (unless you know a 10-year-old who needs a science fair project on slime with attitude).

Add 1 packet Certo liquid pectin, 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 1/2 cup lime or lemon juice, 5 cups unsweetened juice (any combination of pomegranate, black or sour cherry, sugar-free cranberry or grape) and 1/3 to 1/2 cup Splenda to taste. Stir. Keep refrigerated. Drink 1/3 cup before each meal or snack. Lisa avoids high glycemic foods (white stuff like sugar, bread, pasta, potatoes and rice).

She suspects that this works for her because she is insulin resistant and cautions that it might not work as well for others. Insulin resistance may contribute to excess weight.

There is research on cinnamon and vinegar independently reducing the rise in blood sugar and insulin after a meal. Caffeine boosts insulin levels, so using decaf green tea makes sense (Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental, Dec. 2007). Green tea may help reduce weight modestly (Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Aug. 2007).

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I'm in the process of making this, and it is really looking gross. I'm wondering what the baking soda and the certo gelatin are all about. Does anyone have any insights on this?

I made the "elixir" according to the directions. When I added the vinegar and lime juice it foamed out of the pitcher all over the counter. Is this normal? I am actually scared to drink it!! What is the "elixir" supposed to do exactly? Is it really safe to drink? It looks very strange.


I used cinnamon out of my kitchen spice rack. Did I use the wrong kind? Will it be harmful to me? I have already made the tea with it.

Certo and grape juice have been recommended for arthritis inflammation. I tried it but could notice no difference.

Mine foamed all over the counter also when I added the lemon juice and vinegar, not when the recipe said it would after the baking soda. I guess this is right since it happened to you also. I just tried it for the first time. Not too bad... let's see what happens.

I made this brew as soon as I read about it. I had been filtering cinnamon into tea and adding lime juice and apple cider vinegar to it, but this is much better. I poured the cinnamon muck through a strainer once it was brewed, then further filtered it through a paper filter. Besides that, I followed the directions exactly.

The baking soda helps to neutralize the acid from the cider, and the fizzing comes about from the reaction of the acid in the cider and the base of the baking soda. Nothing to worry about. You do the same when you take an Alka Selzer, only that's in your stomach.

I mixed it with unsweetened cranberry juice, added Splenda to taste, and it's fabulous. I could drink it all day every day, but I limit myself to 1/3 cup before meals. Haven't been doing it long enough to see any results. But I'll start my next batch when this one is half gone so there's plenty of time to get all the good out of the cinnamon. Thanks.

Caution!! I mixed this, and it foamed all over my counter, the floor, the sink. The baking soda/vinegar reaction causes this. I'm not sure how to mix this and avoid the foaming, and I hesitate to leave out an ingredient. Any ideas?

Is this recipe good for a person with acid reflux, high blood pressure & high cholesterol??


Have a good day!

Just a caution to the person who used Splenda. I and several of my friends were experiencing excessive hot flashes of an unknown cause or origin. After careful comparisons of our experiences and diets, it turned out our problems for each and every one of us began with the use of Splenda. We stopped using it and the hot flashes and uncontrolled attacks of perspiration stopped. Take note and monitor your reactions to Splenda especially in this recipe.


I tried this, but I did not use the splenda. It is good without the sweetener.

I did have a reaction to the vinegar, which I have had previously. So I will try again, but in smaller amounts.

Glad someone liked this. After waiting two days for it to settle, with it foaming all over the counter and mixing the whole thing, I hated the taste! I tried it for a day but couldn't stomach anymore of it. It was thrown out the next day. Guess I will have to find another way to help with the weight loss.

The baking soda helps extract the good stuff from the cinnamon solids (C. Leigh Broadhurst, the author of Diabetes Prevention and Cure, said, "In the lab we did the best extractions with ammonia, which is unsuitable for the home chemist. Baking soda makes the solution a little basic and is safe for ingestion. However, hot water alone is just fine to do the extraction. One can also just eat cinnamon, but quite a bit of toxicity concerns are alleviated by not ingesting the full complement of the essential oils. It is a water soluble compound in cinnamon that is effective for lowering blood sugar—the fragrant oil is irrelevant to this issue.")

I've always put the baking soda into the hot tea (it foams), then poured it over the cinnamon. I let that sit for a few days to settle out, then pour off the liquid and assemble the rest of it--it does get a little foamy, but for me, nothing like others are reporting. That's really interesting--I wonder why? Try putting in the acid after the other juices and see if that helps.

You can extract without the baking soda, but you won't get as much liquid out of the cinnamon goop. Incidentally, I had tried a sieve and coffee filter as well. For me, the goop all came through the sieve in very slow motion, and nothing much came through the filter.

The back of my fridge gets too cold, so I accidentally froze the cinnamon a few times. When it thawed out, the liquid and the solids were much easier to separate. I don't know if my perceptions are accurate, but I felt like those batches were less effective, so I try not to do that any more.

It doesn't matter what brand of cinnamon. I get the cheapest stuff I can since I'm going through so much of it.

The thinking is that up to a half teaspoon of cinnamon a day is not harmful. Coincidentally, that was the optimal amount used in a study of cinnamon's effect on blood sugar ( In the same study, they were surprised to see that cholesterol and blood pressure also went down.

I don't know what effect the Elixer will have on acid reflux. Keep a log?

The Certo and dark juices are just me trying to shoe-horn in as much good stuff as I can. I think the only way I could do more would be if I drank it while slathering Vicks on my feet while lying in a bed that has a bar of soap under the sheets.

The cinnamon, acid and tea are the important parts for weight loss. I use green tea because it's supposed to be really good for what ails you. Go to and read all the links under "Food" if you want to understand why cinnamon, acid and tea might help weight loss.

You don't have to sweeten with Splenda. You could use another no calorie sweetener, or nothing at all, as one person suggested. I just wouldn't use sugar or honey--it would kind of defeat the purpose.

If you don't like the taste, fiddle with the mix. Any kind of vinegar except balsamic or rice vinegar will be effective at improving insulin response. But if you don't like the taste, use just lemon or lime juice. I use cider vinegar because it's reported to be good for joints, that's all. Do try to keep it tart, though.

I take a little bottle of Elixer with me everywhere--that way I can have some before I eat anything--even a snack. It works for me, but I have no idea if it will work for anyone else. So far, it's had a 100% success rate: One person used it. One person lost weight. Have any of you seen results yet? It will be slow, but that's a good thing. I'm really interested to see others' results.

I also wanted to say that you don't have to drink the elixer. You'd probably get similar results by eating a salad with vinaigrette before every meal and having a half teaspoon of cinnamon every day.

Someone asked about this--the commercially available cinnamon water extract is called Cinnulin PF. My pharmacy carries it, but it's really expensive.

I have problems getting the mixture to settle and don't get much liquid if any after two days. What am I doing wrong?? I have tried straining the mixture with no luck. Please help... Thank you.

I've tried this for 3 weeks, and it seems to help control the blood sugar crash a few hours after eating.

Re: the foaming, I use a 3-quart pot for the second step, and scoop off the foam with a slotted spoon. Then I pour it into jars to refrigerate.

Getting enough liquid out of the cinnamon tea is always the biggest challenge for me, too. Two days is the least amount of time I leave it to settle. Usually, I make my next batch of cinnamon tea when I mix up a batch of juice--that way, I'm always ahead of it.

If, after you've poured off as much liquid as you can, you let the solids sit another day, you can often get quite a bit more.

And, as I said, I discovered that if I freeze and then thaw it, I'll get quite a bit more liquid. I just don't know if it's as potent that way. Probably is. I probably just had a more challenging week that time.

My daughter, in pre-pharm in college, tells me that I can use a Buchner Funnel (with 2 dots over the u) to extract all the liquid quickly. I looked on ebay--they're a little pricey. I may get one at some point.

I'm puzzled that anyone is having trouble with it foaming all over the counter. This last time I made the elixer, the vinegar was the first ingredient I added to the tea mixture, and nothing dramatic happened.

I'm wondering if you are putting in the baking soda at the proper time--Bring 5 cups of water and 5 green tea bags to a boil, let sit a minute, and then add a tablespoon of baking soda. It foams at that point, but not all over the counter (unless you use a container that's only just big enough to hold the tea--3" is plenty of margin for me).

Remove the tea bags and add the cinnamon. Stir just a bit, cover, then leave it to steep. When cool, put it in the fridge until you're ready to drain off the liquid and mix the cinnamon tea with the other ingredients.

The baking soda is supposed to help separate the liquids from the cinnamon solids. If you're waiting to add the baking soda until you mix the tea with the juices, vinegar, etc., that would account for the dramatic foaming, I'm thinking.

Just talked to my mom, who is also having trouble with foaming all over the counter. She hasn't been leveling the tablespoons of baking soda, but heaping as much as would fit in and on the spoon. In her case (maybe others'?), too much baking soda.

I had some foaming when adding the soda and cinnamon to the green tea. A lot of foaming occurred when I added the Certo. I switched to a gallon container and poured in the other ingredients slowly. The foam disappeared after the mixture sat for a while. I made it just as the article instructed, and it isn't bad.

I haven't noticed any weight loss. I didn't save the original letter from Lisa about it, but I think she said it was considerable and it caused a big drop in blood sugar. Can I find it online?

In your articles you recommend that cinnamon capsules be used rather than "spice rack" powder due to the water extract method.

I've called several distributors and none can ensure that their product is free from toxic levels of coumarin or that their product is "water-based extract".

Are you able to provide a trustworthy source for what may be considered a "safe" cinnamon capsule? In today's world market and the questionable safety and efficacy of products from certain Asian countries, it's very difficult to keep from poisoning oneself.

Most cinnamon capsules are just regular old powdered cinnamon and will contain the toxic solids. Water extract of cinnamon has had the toxic solids removed. Used to be, you could only get that in liquid form, but I've just done an online search for "Water Extract of Cinnamon" and find quite a few brands in capsule form.

In the study I read, about a half teaspoon per day of cinnamon was the most effective dose. People who took more than that did not lose more weight, nor lose it faster.

As long as you keep to less than a half teaspoon a day of regular cinnamon (in capsule form or sprinkled on food), you should be just fine.

Try out these ideas and also a banana diet found in First Magazine's Jan 26th issue.

Okay, good, but SPLENDA? Come on!

Refined sugar is bad, but the artificial sweeteners are worse. Some brown unrefined sugar may be okay, or some stevia, which is natural and it's lot loaded with calories like sugar. Other healthy option is xylitol.

Personally, I didn't buy and sugar for at least two years. I don't put any sugar or sweetener in anything. The only sugars I am eating are in fruits or in sweets I eat from time to time.

I'm a 4th year medical student and am just wondering how is insulin resistance related to weight gain. as you mentioned:
"she suspects that this works for her because she is insulin resistant and cautions that it might not work as well for others. Insulin resistance may contribute to excess weight."

As far as I know insulin is a anabolic hormone, that's why insulin spikes should be avoided so you won't gain much weight, also that weight loss actually is a sign of uncontrolled hyperglycemia due to insulin resistance. I'm just really curious.

What kind of results are we talking about and how slow is slow? Weeks, months?

I make my own fat burner...... Consists of:

1 TBS of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
2 whole Organic lemons, squeeze all juice out
1 TBS of Organic Honey or Royal Jelly
1 tsp of Organic Ground Saigon Cinnamon

MIX all ingredients, add half a cup of water to dilute. Add crushed Ice as well if you like your drink cold. Use a straw if your teeth are sensitive.

I drink this 3 times a day, 15-20 minutes before meals.

Since I started this, my energy levels have gone up, digestion has improved, skin is clearing up, and overall feel better.

Lisa, I made the elixir, minus the Splenda, and had very little foaming with no problem there. I just wondered if I can expect it to influence my weight loss or just help with the blood sugar spikes to which I am prone? I will be very patient if it actually helps the weight loss. I gained the extra 20 pounds slowly and can give time to lose it, IF this program is a good aid. How soon may I expect some weight loss come?


The foaming is the reaction between baking soda and vinegar, which basically destroys the vinegar. It results in water, carbon dioxide, and sodium acetate. So, it's good you didn't have too much foaming.

It is well known since old times about the good benefits of the raw apple cider vinegar. If you want to put a little bit of a honey, or sugar or whatever you like for taste purposes, fine. But the basic idea is to dilute one table spoon of vinegar in some water and drink it in the morning. How much water? Is there a difference between half a glass or a glass? It goes to the same place and it just has a stronger or weaker taste. It's just a matter of taste.

You just don't want to load it with sugars. if you google apple cider vinegar you'll see it is not a big deal to make that at home. That home made raw apple cider vinegar is the stuff that really works.

Hi everybody. When mixing acid (vinegar, lemon, lime, etc.) with an alkaline (baking soda) it will foam every time, it's just science. They still use the experiment in schools. :D

Also guys and gals, powdered cinnamon needs to be strained (coffee filter) or buy the ceylon cinnamon. And the vinegar needs to be (2) tablespoons in 16 oz of water or the wieghtloss is unlikely to occur. Best thing to do is google google google and drink lots of purified water and exercise.

To the medical student -
A lot of doctors do not know a lot about insulin resistance. I have found this quite true over the last 20+ years. I am a 37 year old woman with text book PCOS and major insulin resistance. - Endocrinologists and fertility specialists are the Drs. who I have encountered who do know quite a bit about it.

Common side effects of insulin resistance are:
1. Fatigue.
2. Brain fogginess and inability to focus.
3. High blood sugar.
4. Intestinal bloating – most intestinal gas is produced from carbohydrates in the diet, mostly those that humans cannot digest and absorb.
5. Sleepiness, especially after meals.
6. Weight gain, fat storage, difficulty losing weight – for most people, excess weight is from high fat storage; the fat in IR is generally stored in and around abdominal organs in both males and females. It is currently suspected that hormone production in that fat are a precipitating cause of insulin resistance.
7. Increased blood triglyceride levels.
8. Increased blood pressure. Many people with hypertension are either diabetic or pre-diabetic and have elevated insulin levels due to insulin resistance. One of insulin's effects is to control arterial wall tension throughout the body.
9. Depression. Due to the deranged metabolism resulting from insulin resistance, psychological effects, including depression, are not uncommon.
10. Acanthosis nigricans.
11. Increased hunger.

If you do searches online there is a plethora of information.

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