Apple Cider Vinegar & Diabetes

Submitted by Thiruvelan on Tue, 10/01/2013
Apple Cider Vinegar & Diabetes

Apple cider vinegar can lower fasting, postprandial glucose, and A1C. It can lower blood pressure & cholesterol levels and improves nutrient absorption.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Yeast ferment sugar in the fruit juices into alcohol. Acetic acid bacteria ferment it further into vinegar. Vinegar is a French word, means "sour wine." Vinegar means sour wine. It has been in use for over 10,000 years as a condiment, preservative, flavoring, deodorant, tonic, and as a healing agent.

There are different varieties of vinegar based on the source they made from:

  1. Apples - Apple cider vinegar,
  2. Grapes - Wine vinegar & balsamic vinegar,
  3. Cereals such as barley - Malt vinegar.
  4. Diluted distilled alcohol - Distilled vinegar or white vinegar.

The major component of apple cider vinegar is acetic acid. Raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is rich in enzymes & potassium.

“Hippocrates” the father of medicine endorsed apple cider vinegar as a healing elixir and cleansing agent. Hippocrates used apple cider vinegar both as an antibiotic and as antiseptic to treat his patients.

Warriors used apple cider vinegar for their strength and power. During the war, they used vinegar to disinfect and heal wounds. 

Recently, Apple cider vinegar has found to improve insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetics. Vinegar has found effective in controlling postprandial and fasting blood glucose. 

Apple cider vinegar for diabetes treatment

Apple cider vinegar lowers fasting sugar level, post-meal glucose spikes, and A1C. Vinegar helps earlier post-meal satiety (feeling fullness) and improved insulin sensitivity.

In type 2 diabetes vinegar reduces postprandial hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and hypertriglyceridemia without affecting lipolysis. Ref: Vinegar Consumption Increases Insulin-Stimulated Glucose Uptake by the Forearm Muscle in Humans with T2D. Journal of Diabetes Research 2015; 2015:175204.

Apple cider vinegar detoxifies your body, drop fat storage, promote digestion. Thus your insulin resistance vanishes or insulin sensitivity improves.

Vinegar can improve postprandial insulin sensitivity. Acetic acid was shown to suppress disaccharidase activity and raise glucose-6-phosphate concentrations in skeletal muscle. Thus, vinegar may own property same as diabetes drug acarbose or metformin. Reference: Diabetes Care January 2004 vol. 27 no. 1 281-282.

Apple cider vinegar lowers your fasting sugar level, even for people with dawn phenomena. Apple cider vinegar at bedtime lower fasting glucose by 4 to 6% in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

In 2007 study with 11 type 2 diabetes shows ingesting 2 tsp. of apple cider vinegar before bedtime lower fasting blood sugar by 4 to 6%. Vinegar may change the glycolysis/gluconeogenic cycle in liver. Thus helps diabetics with metabolic disturbance and dawn phenomenon. Reference: Diabetes Care November 2007 vol. 30 no. 11 2814-2815.​

Apple cider vinegar improves the postprandial sugar spikes in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It might be by slowing down sugar absorption. Ingesting vinegar 5 minutes before a meal decreases postprandial glucose in type 1 diabetes by about 20%.

Reference: Vinegar Decreases Postprandial Hyperglycemia in Patients With Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes Care 2010 Feb; 33(2): e27-e27.

Apple cider vinegar improves both postprandial and fasting sugar level. Thus you can able to achieve your target A1C level whether you are type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Vinegar has acetic acid and microbes (digestive friendly bacteria and enzymes). It could provide benefits of the three different classes of diabetes drugs. It is beneficial for type 2 and type 1 diabetes. It lower fasting glucose, postprandial glucose, and A1C level. However, use of vinegar should not replace healthy eating, exercise, or any glucose-lowering medications.

How apple cider vinegar can lower blood sugar levels? Many argue vinegar lower their postprandial sugar by inhibiting carbohydrate digestive enzymes. Thus carbohydrate diet has a lesser impact on your blood sugar. This argument is not buyable, because when it stops carbohydrate absorption. Later, it should cause a gas problem due to fermentation. Users claim apple cider vinegar lowered their gas trouble. This show, it is not stopping carb digestion instead, help proper carbohydrate digestion.

How Apple cider vinegar help regulate insulin? ​By delaying your gastric emptying, stimulating the liver, and making the muscles consume more glucose. In simple terms, vinegar makes the body use the carbohydrates efficiently. Vinegar reduces postprandial insulin & glucose spikes by increases muscle glucose uptake.  

Diabetics with gastroparesis should avoid apple cider vinegar because of it further slow down gastric emptying. Thus worsen diabetes control.

Reference: Effect of apple cider vinegar on delayed gastric emptying in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus: a pilot study. BMC Gastroenterology 2007 Dec 20; 7:46.

Use Apple cider vinegar & Cinnamon for better BS control

Cinnamon and vinegar combined might lower blood sugar even better. Ingest 4 g cinnamon and 2 g acetic acid combined before meals can produce better blood glucose lowering effect. Alternatively, you can soak cinnamon sticks in the vinegar for 2 to 3 days and drink this vinegar. Don’t throw away this vinegar dipped cinnamon sticks and can use it as usual.

22 Amazing Medicinal Benefits of Vinegar

Here is a partial list of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar:

  1. Regulate blood pressure – It help patients with low and high blood pressure to achieve normal pressure.
  2. Lower cholesterol levels – Vinegar can lower cholesterol level, in particular triglycerides.
  3. Promote heart health – It normalizes pressure, lower sugar and reduces bad cholesterol. Thus support your heart health.
  4. Regulate weight gain – For obese or overweight individuals, vinegar can lower weight, abdominal fat, and waist circumference. However, in the case of lean underweight people, their digestion improves and aid weight gain.
  5. Balance inner body –Vinegar helps the body to maintain a healthy pH level of alkaline. Acidic pH leads to low energy and a high chance of infection.
  6. Detoxify – Vinegar can stimulate cardiovascular circulation and detoxify the liver.
  7. Strengthen lymphatic system – It breaks down mucous throughout the body and cleanses the lymph nodes. It relieves allergy by reducing mucus/sinus congestion and relieve infections, sore throats & headaches.
  8. Destroys harmful microbes – Vinegar’s natural enzymes help expel dangerous microbes from the intestine. Thus, you feel more energetic, alert, and free from infection.
  9. Help digestion and reduce heartburn - Vinegar corrects low stomach acid, thus reduce heartburn and hiccups. Many people experience immediate heartburn relief after taken a tsp. of vinegar diluted with a glass of water. Also, it helps indigestion, but not advisable if you have an ulcer.
  10. Relieve stomach problems – Vinegar diluted in water remove the bacterial infection, the cause of diarrhea. Additionally, it help soothes intestinal spasms and calms your stomach.
  11. Beats exhaustion or chronic fatigue – Exercise and stress cause lactic acid build-up in the body, leads to fatigue. Interestingly apple cider vinegar modifies body pH. Additionally, potassium and enzymes it contains help relieve this tired feeling.
  12. Relieve bedtime leg cramps – Apple cider vinegar eases leg cramps and supports sound restful sleep.
  13. Shiny Hair – Rinsing your hair (after shampooing) with vinegar (1/2 a tbsp. diluted with a cup of water) will boost your hair's body and shine. Spray or pour the diluted vinegar through your hair after shampooing several times a week for dramatic results.
  14. Regulate skin pH – Dilute vinegar with two parts of water, soak a cotton ball wipes over the face after night face wash. It helps re-establish the skin pH and fade off age spots or acne scars.
  15. Remove warts – Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and put over the wart with Band-Aid overnight. The skin may swell when contact with vinegar and will fall-off in few days. Still, you need to continue for some more days to make sure the wart will not return. Vinegar can also combat calluses, corns, and warts.
  16. Remove teeth strains – Add 1 tsp. vinegar into 200ml of water and rinse your mouth with this diluted vinegar help remove teeth stains. Be careful some it may corrode your enamel.
  17. Soothe sunburnt skin – Add a cup of vinegar to bath and soak for 10 minutes to heal sunburn.
  18. Natural aftershave – Dilute VINEGAR with equal parts of water and apply as aftershave. It helps to disinfect and heal skin scars.
  19. Relieves arthritis pain
  20. Help osteoporosis – However overuse may fasten osteoporosis, don’t overdo.
  21. Prevents food poisoning
  22. Fight infection by destroying bacteria, germs, mold and viruses

All the above said health benefits of apple cider vinegar based on animal studies. There are no human studies to confirm. However, people those who using it, find beneficial for their wellness.

How apple cider vinegar provide such an extensive list of benefits? Drinking vinegar diluted with water before meals might improve your body’s ability to absorb nutrients in the foods.

Apple cider vinegar users experience

Below is the list of apple cider vinegar experiences collected from forums and comments shared by real people.

  1. Drinking 2 tsp. of vinegar and 1 tsp. of honey in a cup of water before meals lower BS (by about 20%), and help reach A1C close to normal range.
  2. Vinegar improves blood sugar and decreases the need for medication. In type 1 diabetes it can help lower insulin dose.
  3. Taking vinegar before bedtime by diabetics with dawn syndrome found their syndrome disappeared completely.
  4. Continuous vinegar ingestion help loses weight.
  5. Another significant side effect of vinegar is it help clear up a yeast infection.
  6. Apple cider vinegar is helpful for gas pains, farting, and burping. People claim drinking vinegar cleared their gas pain immediately!
  7. One who started taking vinegar experience reawakening of sex drive? It might be due to efficient nutrient absorption and stronger immune system.

Other apple cider vinegar uses: relief from arthritis pain, normalize pressure, high energy, restful sleep, no food craving, healthy cholesterol, and improved complexion.

Not only positive effects, some individual experience few adverse effect.

Low blood pressure person who ingests vinegar experienced bubbly sounds from the stomach, followed by bloating.

Apple Cider Vinegar Dosage

Traditionally, people have been taking 1 tsp. Vinegar diluted with 200ml water and sweetened it with original honey early in the morning in an empty stomach.

For external use, dilute vinegar with an equal part of water and use for skin care, and aftershave. For a wart, use undiluted vinegar for a better result.  

Optimum vinegar dose has not established. People prefer to take 1–2 tablespoons before each meal containing carbohydrate. Ingesting vinegar with the first bite of the food prevents nausea and heartburn.

The safest thing is to start small with 1/2 tsp. Vinegar in 200ml water once a day for a few days, then increase to twice daily. The next week, try 1 tsp. Vinegar in water twice daily. Increase vinegar dosage in steps until you reach 2 tsp. Vinegar in water thrice daily. Track how well you feel and how your blood sugar is responding.

If you do not like the taste of vinegar, then you can take vinegar as capsules.

Vinegar is safe, natural, inexpensive, better than medicines, and easily incorporate into your diet.

Best Vinegar to use

Which is best clear or murphy brown apple cider vinegar?

Choose organic, unfiltered, unprocessed apple cider vinegar, which is murky and brown.

The sparkling clean varieties on grocery stores is distilled vinegar that removed beneficial microorganism.

Balsamic vinegar in the market often made of fruit juice with added vinegar to create a sweet, sour taste. So be careful in selecting a proper brand, always choose raw, unpasteurized vinegar.

Many users find apple cider vinegar and white vinegar are useful, but balsamic does not.

Ways to take raw apple cider vinegar

The best way is to mix vinegar with other flavors and use it as a salad dressing or on cooked vegetables.

Here are some recipes:

  1. Half a glass of water with a tablespoon of cider vinegar.
  2. Two tablespoons of vinegar with one tablespoon of honey.
  3. One tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 1 cup of water, with a few drops of stevia.
  4. A delicious way to ingest vinegar is by combining it with olive oil as a salad dressing.
  5. Vinegar is a natural meat and fish tenderizer, so you can use it to marinate meat and chicken.
  6. Useful in the preparation of the spicy Korean vegetable, kimchi.
  7. Mix 4 tablespoons of raw honey, 1 ounce of vinegar, and 5 teaspoons of ground cinnamon to 1 gallon of water. Drink 8 ounces before food help lowers sugar better than vinegar alone.

Bioactive constituents of Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar contains 5% acetic acid. Additionally has potassium and small quantities of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium and zinc.

Prefer apple cider vinegar made from organic apples and unpasteurized. Unpasteurized vinegar contains the "mother," cloudy deposits in the bottom. This vinegar contains digestive friendly bacteria and enzymes.

Possible side effects of Vinegar

Ingesting apple cider vinegar is safe for most adults when used for medical purposes. However, consuming an excess of apple cider vinegar might not be safe for some individuals. Ingesting 8 ounces (237 mL – 1 cup) of vinegar /day for prolong time might lead to low potassium and weak bones (osteoporosis). For people taking vinegar pills, when this vinegar tablet stuck in the throat may develop pain and ulcer in the esophagus. 

Acetic acid present in the vinegar metabolized by the liver into bicarbonate. Then, your kidney uses potassium to excrete bicarbonate from the body. So chronic excess use could lead to hypokalemia (potassium deficiency). Vinegar suggested dose is just 5 teaspoon (just 25ml) once daily; the above-said risk is for 237 ml (10 times more than recommended). You may aware, even drinking an excess of water can kill.

People should avoid concentrated vinegar (greater than 20%) tablets. When it struck in the esophagus, then it can damage the esophagus. Excess vinegar use might cause nausea and esophagus & stomach irritation. Thus don’t over involve.

Diabetics trying vinegar should check blood glucose more frequent and adjust medication regimen accordingly. Vinegar delay gastric emptying, so pre-meal short-acting insulin needs adjustment. Gastroparesis patients must check blood glucose more often to prevent hypoglycemia.

How can you consume apple cider vinegar safely? Careful when ingesting vinegar, it might cause heartburn and esophagus damage. Taking undiluted vinegar or taking it without food may cause burping and acid reflux. The solution is taking diluted vinegar and have with food.

Drinking undiluted vinegar has reported causing erosion of dental enamel. So, better to drink vinegar using straw (but not necessary) to avoid enamel corrosion.