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Apple Cider Vinegar Before Meals

Diabetes Study #1

Professor Carol Johnston PhD, working on the subject of vinegar and diabetes with her research team from the department of nutrition at Arizona state university, have recently shown that drinking apple cider vinegar slows the rise of blood sugar after the consumption of a high-carbohydrate meal.

The results are reported in the scientific journal Diabetes Care in 2004. (See reference 1)

Test Procedure - Vinegar and Diabetes

In this study 29 people were given a breakfast of orange juice and a bagel, which contained a total of 87 grams of carbohydrates.

Two minutes before the meal, half of the subjects were given 20 grams (about 4 teaspoons) of apple cider vinegar mixed with 40 grams water and 1 teaspoon saccharine. The other half were given a placebo drink.

A cross over trial was conducted a week later, at which time the placebo group received the vinegar.

The participants' blood sugar levels were measured before and after the breakfast. They were classified into 3 separate groups as follows:
  • 10 people with type 2 diabetes
  • 11 people with prediabetes (insulin resistant)
  • 8 healthy control people (insulin sensitive)
Test Results - Vinegar and Diabetes

Analysis of the results showed that in all 3 groups the consumption of apple cider vinegar slowed the rise of blood sugar after the high-carbohydrate breakfast:

For the group with prediabetes, their blood sugar levels after the meal dropped by 34%. For the group with type 2 diabetes, their blood sugar levels dropped by 19%.

Observations and Conclusions - Vinegar and Diabetes

Based on these results and two other recent studies, (see references 2 & 3), Dr Johnston thinks that the vinegar tonic interferes with the absorption of high-carbohydrate foods which reduces the blood sugar rise that normally occurs after a meal.

In her words," The acetic acid in vinegar may inhibit enzymes that digest starch so that carbohydrate molecules aren't available for absorption and are eliminated as fecal matter."
" Vinegar appears to have effects similar to some of the most popular medications for diabetes" (Acarbose or Metformin) continues professor Johnston and "Further investigations to examine the efficacy of vinegar as an antidiabetic therapy are warranted."

This is especially important given that a 50% increase in the number of Americans with type 2 diabetes is expected in the next 25 years.

In addition, the Diabetes Prevention Program and STOP-NIDDM, two recent large-scale trials, have shown that therapeutic agents used to improve insulin sensitivity in diabetes, may also delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes in people with prebiabetes.


(1.) Johnston C, Kim C, Buller A: Vinegar improves insulin sensitivity to a high-carbohydrate meal in subjects with insulin resistance or diabetes. Diabetes Care 27:281-282, 2004

(2.) Ogawa N, Satsu H, Watanabe H, Fukaya M, Tsukamoto Y, Miyamoto Y, Shimizu M: Acetic acid suppresses the increase in disacchatidase activity that occurs during culture of Caco-2 cells. J Nutr 130:507-513, 2000

(3.) Fushimi T, Tayama K, Fukaya M, Kitakoshi K, Nakai N, Tsukamoto Y, Sato Y: Acetic acid feeding enhances glycogen repletion in liver and skeletal muscle of rats. J Nutr 131:1973-1977, 2001

Apple Cider Vinegar Before Bedtime
Diabetes Study #2

In August 2007 a second trial was conducted at Arizona State University, this time to determine the effect apple cider vinegar would have on the fasting blood sugar levels of people with type 2 diabetes.

Test Procedure - Vinegar and Diabetes

11 people with type 2 diabetes, who were not taking insulin but were taking prescription oral antidiabetic medication, were given either 1 oz cheese and water (placebo group) or 1 oz cheese and 2 tablespoons of vinegar at bedtime for two days.
A cross over trial was conducted a few days later, at which time the placebo group received the vinegar and cheese, and the vinegar group received only cheese and water.

Fasting blood sugar levels were measured every morning.

Test Results - Vinegar and Diabetes

The researchers found the average fasting blood glucose levels fell by 2% with the placebo (cheese only) and by 4% with the vinegar and cheese.

On closer examination of the data they found that those participants with the highest fasting glucose levels benefited the most from the evening vinegar drink - their fasting blood glucose levels fell by 6%.

Test Results - Vinegar and Diabetes

These results show that apple cider vinegar, taken with cheese at bedtime, can significantly lower the waking glucose concentrations in type 2 diabetics.

And the authors of this study conclude that "Vinegar is widely available, it is affordable, and it is appealing as a remedy, but much more work is required to determine whether vinegar is a useful adjunct therapy for individuals with diabetes."


White A, Johnston C : Vinegar Ingestion at Bedtime Moderates Waking Glucose Concentrations in Adults With Well-Controlled Type 2 Diabetes.
Diabetes Care 30:2814-2815, 2007 ( Web Link )

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WebMD - Vinegar For Diabetes

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