Vinegar beverage shows blood sugar management potential

By Stephen DANIELLS

- Last updated on GMT

Vinegar beverage shows blood sugar management potential
Vinegar (acetic acid) should be ‘purposefully’ integrated into more food matrices, say the researchers behind a new study which reports the potential blood sugar management potential of a vinegar beverage.

Writing in the Journal of Functional Foods​,​ scientists from Arizona State University report that daily consumption of an 8oz glass of Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Drink Sweet Stevia for 12 weeks led to a significant reduction in fasting blood sugar levels, compared to the control group.

In addition, evidence was presented by the scientists for an increase in colonic fermentation in the vinegar beverage group.

“This research adds to the growing literature demonstrating the antiglycaemic properties of vinegar,”​ wrote Carol Johnston, Samantha Quagliano, and Serena White.

“Purposeful integration of vinegar or acetic acid into the food matrix, beyond the standard dressings and sauces, may facilitate reductions in blood glucose concentrations in both those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and those at risk for this disease.”

Bragg Live Food Products provided the product for the study, which was funded by the Nutrition Research Fund of the Arizona State University Foundation.

Vinegar for health

While vinegar may not top everyone’s list of healthy and tasty options, there is growing evidence of its potential health benefits, from being a natural fat fighter​, to helping food formulators to reduce salt levels in food​.

Vinegar – a common, inexpensive, shelf-stable ingredient – has been used medicinally since ancient times, explained Johnston, Quagliano, and White. Numerous studies have reported that vinegar at mealtimes may help control blood sugar, no long-term trials have investigate the effects of daily vinegar ingestion on markers of diabetes in at-risk adults.

The ASU researchers recruited 14 people at-risk of type-2 diabetes to participate in their pilot study. The participants were randomly assigned to receive either the Bragg vinegar beverage (8 oz per day) or one vinegar pill (Apple Cider Vinegar tablets, GNC with 40 mg of acetic acid per pill) twice daily for 12 weeks.

Results showed that the average fasting glucose level in the vinegar group was significantly lower than in the control group (−0.91 versus −0.26 mmol/l, respectively).

On the other hand, there were no differences between the groups for glucose levels two hours after eating, insulin and glycated hemoglobin.

“This study in healthy individuals at risk for type 2 diabetes demonstrated that a simple diet strategy, regular vinegar ingestion (1 tablespoon at mealtime twice daily), resulted in greater reductions in fasting blood glucose concentrations than daily metformin or rosiglitazone use (−0.89 versus −0.22 and −0.50 mmol/l respectively),”​ wrote Johnston, Quagliano, and White.

“This effect of vinegar is particularly noteworthy when the cost, access and toxicities associated pharmaceutical medications are considered.”

“This effect was immediate (occurring within the first week of treatment) and sustained during the study period; moreover, this effect was noted without any further changes to eating patterns,” ​they added. “Elevations in colonic fermentation as evidenced by breath hydrogen and methane measurements suggest that the antiglycaemic effect of vinegar is related in part to carbohydrate maldigestion.”

Source: Journal of Functional Foods
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.jff.2013.08.003
“Vinegar ingestion at mealtime reduced fasting blood glucose concentrations in healthy adults at risk for type 2 diabetes”
Authors: C.S. Johnston, S. Quagliano, S. White

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