Greetings from Triune
I hope you are all having a wonderful, healthy summer. Remember to stay well
hydrated and to exercise early in the morning to avoid the heat. It is a
perfect time of year to go to the Grower's Market and get all your organic
fruits and vegetables.
A Popular Home Remedy: Does it Work?
The More Things Change The More Things Stay the
As a physician with conventional medical training, I often used to look at home
remedies with skepticism. I have had several patients who have sworn that apple
cider vinegar was good for whatever ailed them. Apple cider vinegar has been
around for ages. Hippocrates used it to treat wounds; soldiers in the civil war
used it for digestive problems and to prevent pneumonia and scurvy. Apparently
Cleopatra used it to dissolve her pearls to make a love potion for Mark Antony.
(I do not advise it for this use however!)
Studies Showing Benefit
There have been recent studies done at the University of Arizona that have
caused me to take a second look at apple cider vinegar. One study looked at 29
patients with either insulin resistance (prediabetes) or type 2 diabetes. They
were given either a drink of vinegar, water and saccharine or placebo followed
by a meal with 87 grams of carbohydrate. Compared to placebo, blood sugar
decreased by 64% in the prediabetes group and 19% in the diabetes group.
Another study looked at weight loss in healthy women. The women were given a
morning drink of vinegar or placebo followed by a bagel breakfast. Not only did
the vinegar group have a 54% lower blood sugar one hour later, but they also
consumed 11-16% fewer calories throughout the day.
Yet, another study found that taking a drink containing two tablespoons of apple
cider vinegar along with eating one ounce of cheese before bedtime significantly
lowered fasting blood sugars in the morning.
There are potential safety and side effect issues. Obviously those allergic to
apples need to avoid apple cider vinegar. Raw apple cider vinegar can contain
bacteria, so it would be better to use the pasteurized form. Apple cider
vinegar capsules can cause burning in the esophagus if they get lodged there.
Apple cider vinegar can also irritate the stomach. There are potential drug
interactions if a patient is taking digoxin, insulin or diuretics. Vinegar can
lower potassium levels.
Of course, as with everything, moderation is the key. Taking a mixture of apple
cider vinegar in juice or water in the morning may help with both blood sugar
and weight control. It is important to discuss this with your doctor before you
White AM, Johnston CS. Vinegar ingestion at bedtime moderates waking glucose
concentrations in adults with well-controlled type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care.
(2007) 30.11: 2814-2815.
Johnston CS, Kim CM, Buller AJ. Vinegar improves insulin sensitivity to a
high-carbohydrate meal in subjects with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes Care. 2004; 27:281-282.