Made from fermented apples, ACV has been used to support human health for millennia. Drinking apple cider vinegar is even an increasingly popular health trend.
An interesting and unexpected way to use apple cider vinegar is to regulate blood sugar; this is especially important for people with type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes.
It’s estimated that almost 400 million people worldwide have diabetes. (1) Add to that an increasing number of people with “pre-diabetes” (higher-than-normal blood sugar levels) and it’s estimated that the number will rise to more than 470 million people by 2030. (2)
Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar for Diabetes
A 1995 study showed that when vinegar is taken with a meal (in this case, in the form of salad dressing), it significantly regulated the body’s glycemic response to the ingestion of other foods—including bread. (3)
Another study affirmed this finding, further showing a delay in insulin response and increased satiety after eating a meal with bread and vinegar. (4) (Note that this also has implications for weight loss.)
These and other studies prompted researchers to investigate the effect of taking apple cider vinegar at night before bed to see how it would affect the morning’s blood glucose level in people with type 2 diabetes.
Hyperglycemia (too much blood sugar) experienced while fasting (e.g., sleeping) is common in people with type 2 diabetes. It occurs due to liver dysfunction (when the organ doesn’t synthesize blood sugar properly).
What the study found is that the acetic acid in vinegar effectively regulated the synthesis of glucose in the liver and skeletal muscles, “which may benefit diabetic individuals with metabolic disturbances contributing to a pre-breakfast rise in fasting glucose (also known as the ‘dawn phenomenon’).” (5)
By slowing the breakdown of carbohydrates, the blood sugar level becomes more stable, reducing the spikes that stimulate insulin production. (6)