Vinegar & Acids Help Lower Blood Sugar

The “Really?” column in today’s Science Times (NY Times) reports on studies showing that including vinegar in a meal will help lower blood sugar. One Italian studies showed including vinegar as salad dressing with a meal that includes bread and other carbs will reduce blood sugar by 30%. The results were verified in another study by the American Diabetes Association. You can check the results yourself by eating 2 identical carb meals. With one, add 2 teaspoons vinegar with the other do not use vinegar. Check your blood sugar after each meal, and see if there’s a drop in the meal eaten with vinegar.

The author’s of the ADA study concluded that:

The data indicates that vinegar can significantly improve postprandial insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant subjects. Acetic acid has been shown to suppress disaccharidase activity (3) and to raise glucose-6-phosphate concentrations in skeletal muscle (4); thus, vinegar may possess physiological effects similar to acarbose or metformin. Further investigations to examine the efficacy of vinegar as an antidiabetic therapy are warranted.

These findings help explain why Dr. Richard Tan’s recommendation of drinking lime water throughout the day lowers blood sugar for diabetics.

To do this, juice a lime and pour the juice in a bottle of water and sip throughout the day. Apparently the ‘white part’ is important, so keep the pulp. Dr. Tan says that within 3 months blood sugar levels will drop. I have a current patient who is using key limes and after 3 weeks has been noticing lower blood sugar levels.

Reporter Anahad O’Connor astutely points out in the aforementioned Really? column that amongst other perils of the Holiday Madness season, are the difficulties diabetics face navigating social gatherings and work place break rooms during the last 6 weeks of the year.

Here are a few abstracts of other studies relating to vinegar and blood sugar levels by the authors of the cited study. KB

J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 Dec;105(12):1939-42.

Vinegar and peanut products as complementary foods to reduce postprandial glycemia.

Johnston CS, Buller AJ.

Department of Nutrition, Arizona State University, Mesa 85212, USA.

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2009 May;84(2):e15-7. Epub 2009 Mar 9.

Preliminary evidence that regular vinegar ingestion favorably influences hemoglobin A1c values in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Johnston CS, White AM, Kent SM.