No health issue happens in isolation. Often the underlying cause of one disease will also raise your risk of other complications. So it is with diabetes and blood sugar issues. Unfortunately, if you’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, you have a higher risk of other problems including cardiovascular issues(source), issues with your weight (source), and maybe even cancer (source).
The good news is that making sustainable changes to your diet and lifestyle can help to fight a variety of health risks all at once. Even certain natural ingredients can have multiple benefits to your body. The case in point? Apple cider vinegar.
About Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is made in a two-step process, similar to how alcohol is made. The first step is to expose crushed apples, or apple cider, to yeast, which ferment the sugars and turn them into alcohol. Then bacteria is added to the alcohol solution which ferments the alcohol and turns it into acetic acid, the main compound in vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar is a miracle worker. It can do so many things for the body, including, curing hiccups, soothing a sore throat, lowering cholesterol, preventing indigestion, aiding in weight loss, clearing acne, boosting energy, controlling bad breath, and whitening teeth (2). But if you are diabetic or insulin resistant, apple cider vinegar at bedtime could help you control your blood sugar.
Apple cider vinegar before bedtime
In a study of four men and seven women diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, who were not taking insulin, findings indicated that two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar taken with 1 ounce of cheese before bedtime may favorably impact waking glucose concentrations (1). This is mostly due to the acetic acid in the vinegar.
Acetic acid, the main active ingredient in apple cider vinegar, can alter glucose metabolism in the liver, which benefits people with diabetes who experience a pre-breakfast rise in fasting glucose, known as the dawn phenomenon (1).
It may also help people with diabetes because acetic acid has an anti-glycemic effect that reduces starch digestion and delays gastric emptying (1).
Reducing blood glucose
As a result, the study was able to prove that in comparison to a control (water and cheese) apple cider vinegar and cheese reduced fasting glucose by twice the amount. The control group reduced fasting glucose by 2 percent and those who underwent vinegar treatment experienced reduced fasting glucose by 4 percent (1).
So as you can see, if you have type 2 diabetes, taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bedtime will help you take control of your fasting glucose. More research needs to be done into whether or not apple cider vinegar can be used as a treatment for diabetes but recent findings point to it being a successful candidate for controlling blood glucose.
ACV for Weight loss
It can also help you lose weight. Studies have shown that consumption of vinegar with a high carbohydrate meal can increase feelings of fullness and make people eat 200 to 275 fewer calories for the remainder of the day (4). By consuming apple cider vinegar on a regular basis, you can prevent overeating.
A study in obese individuals showed that daily consumption of vinegar led to reduced belly fat, waist circumference, lower blood triglycerides and weight loss (5). Generally, apple cider vinegar is useful as a weight loss aid by promoting satiety and lowering glucose and insulin levels.
ACV for Cardiovascular health
Several factors linked to cardiovascular disease have been shown to be improved by vinegar consumption. In studies done on rats, apple cider vinegar was shown to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels (6). This may be because apple cider vinegar contains the antioxidant chlorogenic acid, which has been shown to protect LDL cholesterol particles from becoming oxidized, a crucial step in the heart disease process (7). Additional studies in rats have shown that vinegar reduces blood pressure, one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease (8).
There is a lot of talk that apple cider vinegar can help fight off cancer. Unfortunately, most of the findings are in rat studies and have yet to be studied in humans, but these studies have shown that vinegar can kill cancer cells and shrink tumors (9) (10).
So there you have it, not only has it been shown that apple cider vinegar can control blood sugar in people with diabetes, but it also contributes to healthy weight loss, prevents cardiovascular disease by reducing cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure, and could even help fight cancer.
(1) American Diabetes Association. Vinegar Ingestion at Bedtime Moderates Waking Glucose Concentrations in Adults with Well-Controlled type 2 Diabetes http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/30/11/2814 Published: November 30, 2007. Accessed: December 7, 2016.
(2) Reader’s Digest. 13+ Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar http://www.rd.com/health/wellness/apple-cider-vinegar-benefits/ Accessed: December 7, 2016.
(3) NCBI. Antibacterial action of vinear against food-born pathogenic bacteria including escherichia colihttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9713753 Published: August 1998. Accessed: December 7, 2016.
(4) NCBI. Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses and increases satiety after a bread meal in healthy subjects https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16015276 Published: September 2005. Accessed: December 7, 2016.
(5) NCBI. Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum triglycerides levels in obese japanese subjects https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661687 Published: August 2009. Accessed: December 7, 2016.
(6) NCBI. Dietary acetic acid reduces serum cholesterol and triacylglycerols in rats fed a cholesterol-rich diet https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16611381 Published: May 2006. Accessed: December 7, 2016.
(7) NCBI. Reactivity of dietary phenolic acids with peroxyl radicals: antioxidant activity upon low density lipoprotein peroxidation https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8068036 Published: August 1994. Accessed: December 7, 2016.
(8) NCBI. Antihypertensive effects of acetic acid and vinegar on spontaneously hypertensive rats https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11826965 Published: December 2001. Accessed: December 7, 2016.
(9) NCBI. Induction of apoptosis in human leukemia cells by naturally fermented sugar cane vinegar (kibizu) of amami ohshima island https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15630260/ Published: 2004. Accessed: December 7, 2016.
(10) NCBI. Extract of vinegar “kurosu” from unpolished rice inhibits the proliferation of human cancer cells https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15149153/ Published: March 2004. Accessed: December 7, 2016.
(11) Authority Nutrition. 6 proven benefits of apple cider vinegar https://authoritynutrition.com/6-proven-health-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar/ Accessed: December 7, 2016.
(12) Youtube. Drinking apple cider vinegar before bedtime will change your life for good https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klwjR7-qPC4 Published: November 24, 2016. Accessed: December 7, 2016.