By Nina Chhabra on November 15, 2019
Apple cider vinegar is made from combining apples with bacteria and yeast to produce a fermented product. The sugars in the apple are eventually converted into acetic acid, which is why the product has that vinegar smell and taste.
Some studies have shown that drinking apple cider vinegar may help reduce the rise of blood sugar that typically occurs after eating. In one study of healthy adults, apple cider vinegar mixed in water and sweetened with saccharine was given to patients after eating a meal that had a high glycemic index. There was a reduction of blood sugar by 54% compared to when the same meal was consumed and only water and saccharine was ingested1. A larger study of patients with type 2 diabetes who were on a diabetes regimen compared the addition of apple cider vinegar once a day for three months had statistically significant average decreases in fasting blood sugars, HbA1C, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels compared to placebo2.
In regards to weight loss, a study with 155 obese men and women in Japan, showed that drinking a half teaspoon or one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with 8 ounces of water twice a day, led to a significant amount of weight loss. Those who drank a half teaspoon lost an average of 2.6 pounds over three months, while those who drank one tablespoon lost 4.2 pounds over three months3.
It is thought that the acetic acid is what contributes to the reducing of blood sugar. However, be careful when buying products. The acetic acid concentration should be no more than 20%, as acetic acid in concentrations greater than 20% are considered unsafe. Caution should also be used when drinking apple cider vinegar as the acidity in the product can wear down tooth enamel. Always mix the apple cider vinegar in water before drinking.
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Please note the above uses have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consumers should consult with their health care provider before taking any new medication or dietary supplement — especially pregnant or nursing mothers, children under 18, and individuals with a known medical condition.
Nina Chhabra earned her doctorate in pharmacy from St. John's University in New York. Prior to her becoming a Natural Medicines Specialist, she worked in a community pharmacy and as an inpatient pharmacist, focusing on diabetes and heart failure. She has served on the New York State Council of Health-system Pharmacists and has given continuing education lectures regarding diabetes treatment to her peers.