Vinegar & Diabetes: Can It Reduce Blood Glucose Levels?

bottles of different kinds of vinegarVinegar continues to gain in popularity among consumers for its many purported health benefits including hypertension, weight loss, dandruff, leg cramps, fungal infections and diabetes. However, there is no clear scientific evidence to support these claims except for diabetes. In fact, there is an emerging body of evidence to support the benefit of vinegar in helping to reduce blood glucose levels.

A recent review of the body of available control clinical trials that report on the effect of vinegar intake on blood glucose levels after meals was published in the Journal of Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice. Analysis of the studies revealed a significant glucose and insulin reduction in both healthy and participants with diabetes or insulin resistance who consumed vinegar compared with those in the control group who did not have vinegar. The researchers concluded that vinegar could be effective in reducing glucose and insulin levels after meals, indicating it could be considered as a tool to be used with other therapies for improving glucose control.

How Vinegar Lowers Glucose

Acetic acid, the active ingredient in vinegar is believed to lower blood glucose levels in three primary ways: slow digestion; prevent the complete breakdown of starches, and facilitate muscle glucose absorption. There are several types of vinegar available.

The four most common are cider vinegar made from apples, wine vinegar from grapes, malt vinegar from barley and sugar; and white vinegar from distilled diluted alcohol. The amount of acetic acid varies depending on the type of vinegar. Cider and wine vinegar contain 5% to 6% acetic acid, and white vinegar ranges from 4% to 7%.