Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good for Diabetes?

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR: SHOULD YOU ADD IT TO YOUR DIET?

Apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular remedies people look out for, nonetheless, it has been used as a natural remedy for a long time. Its benefits range from weight loss to glucose control, to antimicrobial benefits. However, several claims do not have a lot of scientific validation. In this article, we are going to go more in-depth about the potential benefits, its risks, and how to take apple cider vinegar effectively.

WHAT IS APPLE CIDER VINEGAR?

Apple cider vinegar is apple juice that has been added to yeast. The yeast uses the sugar in the apple juice and turns it into alcohol, a process commonly known as fermentation. Bacteria then turn the alcohol available into acetic acid, a substance that provides a lot of health benefits which we will discuss later. It contains several vitamins, minerals, and some dietary fiber as well. Currently, there are no rules around what is classified as apple cider vinegar; hence the amount of each component found could vary from product to product.

BENEFITS

Lowering blood sugar levels

One of the main benefits it has been attributed to it, its effect on blood glucose levels and managing type 2 diabetes. Remember that for managing your blood glucose levels, it is important to control your carbohydrate sources and portions, but apple cider vinegar seems to help as well. Several studies have found that consuming it before a meal that is going to be higher in carbohydrates significantly lowers blood glucose levels and insulin response. Also, another study suggests that consuming before bedtime could reduce fasting blood glucose levels the next morning.

Antimicrobial

It may help to kill bacteria. That is why vinegar has been used to clean or disinfect. If you want to wash your vegetables, adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a liter of water helps wash and disinfect your fruits and vegetables. Apple cider vinegar can help preserve your food. For example, one way to add apple cider vinegar to your diet is making pickled onions in apple cider vinegar.

Weight loss

It has been said that a weight loss of 5 to 10% helps regulate blood glucose levels. It also has been studied to see if it could aid in weight loss. Research says that apple cider vinegar increases your satiety levels. Meaning that you feel fuller which leads to eating fewer calories and thus a potential weight loss. However, remember to consume it in moderation and weight loss is due to eating fewer calories throughout the day.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF APPLE CIDER VINEGAR?

Even though apple cider vinegar brings a lot of benefits, you must be careful when you add it to your diet. Due to its acidity, it might produce some digestive problems in some people. Another common effect is throat burn. Finally, another problem that is commonly seen in people that drink or consume it regularly is damage to tooth enamel. More research needs to be done regarding these concerns, but there are certain considerations one must consider if you are to add it to your diet.

HOW TO TAKE IT

The amount per day depends on the health benefit that wants to be achieved. The recommended dosage varies from 15 mL to 30 mL per day. A study testing the positive effects on blood glucose management concluded that the optimal dosage was of 20mL combined with water before a high carbohydrate meal significantly reduced blood glucose levels after the meal. In another study, focused on weight loss, it concluded that 15 to 30mL of apple cider vinegar for at least 3 months helped overweight adults lose weight.

Remember that due to its acidity it can cause digestive problems and tooth enamel damage. It is recommended to ingest apple cider vinegar diluted in water or even better if it is used as an ingredient in a salad dressing. At the end of the article, a couple of recipes are provided so that it is easier to incorporate it as a salad dressing. If you choose to use it diluted in water, drinking it through a straw can help reduce the damage done to the tooth enamel. It is also advised to rinse your mouth with water after ingesting water with apple cider vinegar.
Even though consuming it promotes a lot of health benefits, a study showed that drinking more than 237 mL per day for several years was linked to low blood potassium levels and could potentially lead to osteoporosis. However, more research needs to be conducted.

CONCLUSION

Apple cider vinegar provides a lot of health benefits, some containing more evidence than others. In some cases, further studies are needed before it can be recommended as an alternative therapy. Including it in your diet might help you manage your weight and your blood glucose levels. It seems that the ideal recommendation is 15-30mL (1-2 tablespoons) of apple cider vinegar throughout the day. However, try to take it as a salad dressing or with a glass of water, never on its own to avoid gastric problems or tooth-related problems.

RECIPES

Simple Vinaigrette Dressing

Ingredients
• 1/3 cup of olive oil
• ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
• 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
• ½ teaspoon garlic powder
• ½ teaspoon onion powder
• Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation
1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl or a container.
2. Shake and mix well.
3. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Sesame Ginger Dressing
Ingredients
• ¼ cup olive oil
• ¼ cup sesame oil
• ½ cup apple cider
• 1 teaspoon sugar-free maple syrup
• 1 teaspoon grated ginger
• 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Preparation
1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl or a container.
2. Shake and mix well.
3. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

AHMET ERGIN, MD, FACE, CDCES, ECNU
ENDOCRINOLOGIST
561-462-5053

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