Vinegar: An elixir for blood sugar?

While it may be the last thing you want to guzzle down with meals, vinegar can help diabetics gain better control over blood sugar levels, reports a new study in the Journal of Functional Foods.

Scientists from Arizona State University found that patients who consumed Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Drink Sweet Stevia for 12 weeks showed a significant reduction in fasting blood sugar levels when compared with individuals who did not consume the drink.

"This research adds to the growing literature demonstrating the antiglycaemic properties of vinegar," wrote the study authors.

Health properties

Vinegar has proven to be naturally good at fighting fat, reducing salt levels in food, cleansing the digestive system and even eliminating gallstones or ulcers. And while some research has reported that vinegar can help to control blood sugar, long-term studies on how it affects diabetics haven't been conducted.

For their study, ASU randomly assigned 14 participants either the Bragg vinegar beverage (8 ounces per day) or an apple cider vinegar tablet with 40 mg of acetic acid per pill. All of the study subjects were at risk for type 2 diabetes, and the groups took their supplements twice daily for 12 weeks.

Immediate effects

Average fasting glucose levels in the vinegar group were significantly lower than those in the control group, the researchers reported, but there were no differences between the groups' glucose levels two hours after eating.

Since the effects of vinegar were immediate – results were seen in the first week of treatment – and sustained during the study period, researchers stressed that vinegar might be a viable alternative to daily doses of metformin or rosiglitazone.

"This effect of vinegar is particularly noteworthy when the cost, access and toxicities associated with pharmaceutical medications are considered," the team concluded.

Source: Food Navigator

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