An estimated 90% of all cases of diabetes in UK adults are type 2, according to Diabetes UK. Type 2 diabetes is a common condition that causes blood sugar (glucose) levels to get too high. In order to manage it, people may have to change their diet.
While there are many diet changes recommended by health authorities, some studies have shown compelling links between apple cider vinegar and blood sugar maintenance.
A small study conducted in 2004 found that vinegar can improve insulin sensitivity by 19-34% during a high-carb meal and significantly reduce blood sugar and insulin response.
Another small study, undertaken in 1995, found that sodium acetate and acetic acid in vinegar had a positive influence on blood sugar levels.
In five healthy subjects, the study found that drinking apple cider vinegar reduced blood sugar by 31.4% after eating 50 grams of white bread.
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They were asked to drink this at dinner time for three months.
The other group received a placebo.
During the trial, researchers analyzed HbA1C (glycosylated hemoglobin) and changes in fasting blood sugar.
HbA1c is a person’s average blood glucose (sugar) level over the past two to three months.
Fasting blood glucose measures the average blood sugar level after an overnight fast.
The researchers concluded that there was a “significant” change in HbA1C and fasting blood sugar in the group that consumed apple cider vinegar.
No significant change was noted in the mean statistics of the placebo group.
Therefore, the researchers concluded that “if used regularly”, the consumption of apple cider vinegar could be “effective in controlling diabetes”.
However, the National Centers for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) warns people not to replace medical treatment with unproven health products.
In terms of diet, the NHS says “there is nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but you will need to limit certain foods”.
This includes minimizing sugar, fat and salt.
People with type 2 diabetes should also avoid skipping meals.
The NHS says: “If you need to change your diet, it might be easier to make small changes every week.”