Blood Sugar and Weight Control

Apple vinegar

Apple Vinegar

Apple Vinegar

When fresh apples are allowed to ferment organically, the result is vinegar that contains natural sediment with pectin, trace minerals, beneficial bacteria and enzymes. Apple cider vinegar, dark, unrefined and different from refined clear versions, contains high levels of cholesterol-reducing pectin and 19 minerals including potassium, phosphorus, chlorine, sodium, magnesium, calcium, sulfur, iron, fluorine and silicon. In fact, apple cider vinegar contains 93 different components that can help the body.

And it just so happens that apple cider vinegar drinks are gaining popularity. A special edition of The Oprah Winfrey Show called “Diabetes—The Silent Killer,” featured a discussion with Oprah, fitness guru (and Healthy Living contributor) Bob Greene and popular television physician Mehmet Oz, MD, about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar in lowering the glycemic index of a meal when added to foods (the glycemic index is a scientific measure of how fast carbohydrate- containing foods raise blood sugar levels). Low glycemic index foods and meals are associated with better blood sugar and insulin level control for diabetics and for weight control.

A new study conducted at Arizona State University (ASU) by Dr. Carol Johnston, professor and director of the Nutrition Department, supports the therapeutic effects of apple cider vinegar drinks (taken in the form of Bragg Organic Apple Cider) for individuals at risk for Type 2 Diabetes, including those diagnosed with prediabetes. The study is important because it presents a food that may well prove useful in fighting diabetes in susceptible individuals.

“Vinegar ingestion at mealtime reduces postprandial glycemia and increases satiety, metabolic effects that may benefit individuals struggling with diabetes,” say the authors of the study, presented at the 2013 Experimental Biology Conference in Boston in April.

The study notes that vinegar always has been a favorite food among the diabetic community:

“In a research summary, the American Diabetes Association states that ‘Vinegar may make food healthier.’ As a result, the medicinal use of vinegar has likely increased in recent years. The main constituent of vinegar, acetic acid, is the active component responsible for the improved glycemic responses to meal ingestion.”

The researchers said that most vinegar research to date involved acute trials spanning one to two meals. Little is known regarding the long-term effects of regular vinegar ingestion in healthy individuals at risk for developing diabetes, they added.

The 12-week study investigated the effects of daily vinegar ingestion on blood glucose concentrations in healthy individuals with elevated fasting glucose and insulin levels (98 mg/dl for glucose, 19 uU/ml).

Of the 14 participants (including 13 women), 8 were diagnosed prediabetic, but not prescribed hypoglycemic medications. Fasting glucose and two hour post-meal glucose concentrations were recorded daily using a glucometer.

Reductions in fasting glucose were immediate and sustained for the vinegar drink group with an average 12-week reduction of more than 16 and 4.5 mg/dl, respectively. Average 12-week reductions in two-hour post-meal glucose did not vary significantly between groups.

The study concludes, “These results support a therapeutic effect for vinegar in individuals at risk for Type 2 Diabetes, including those diagnosed with prediabetes.”

Liljeberg H, Björck I: Delayed gastric emptying rate may explain improved glycaemia in healthy subjects to a starchy meal with added vinegar. Eur J Clin Nutr 1998;52:368-371. Östman E et al.: Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses and increases satiety after a bread meal in healthy subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr 2005;59:983-988. Johnston CS, et al: Vinegar improves insulin sensitivity to a high-carbohydrate meal in subjects with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2004;27:281-282. research/ostman-vinegar.html
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