Diabetes is a disease of metabolism, where body is not able to synthesis sufficient insulin or the blood cells stop responding to the insulin produced in the body.
There are three main types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes: results from the body’s failure to produce insulin, and presently requires the person to inject insulin. (Also referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, IDDM for short, and juvenile diabetes.)
Type 2 diabetes: results from insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency. (Formerly referred to as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, NIDDM for short, and adult-onset diabetes.)
Gestational diabetes: is when pregnant women, who have never had diabetes before, have a high blood glucose level during pregnancy.
A Spoonful of Vinegar Helps the Blood Sugar Go Down
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most potent ‘all-purpose’ tonics around. Among its huge array of health benefits, multiple studies have found that it may help lower blood sugar levels.
The traditional uses of apple cider vinegarare vast. To name just a few, reduce inflammation, regulate pH balance, alleviate allergy symptoms, ease nausea and heartburn, as a staple in detox regimens, it has been used to ease digestion, aid in flu prevention, and for a number of skin conditions, including reducing acne and smoothing wrinkles.
“Scientific studies over the past 10 years show benefits from vinegar consumption,” says Carol Johnston, Ph.D., head of the nutrition department at Arizona State University, Tempe. Vinegar decreases both fasting and postprandial (after-meal) glucose levels, she says. “It’s inexpensive and can be easily incorporated into the diet. Used in combination with diet and exercise, it can help many people with type 2 diabetes.” Much of the vinegar research comes out of Johnston’s laboratory and that of Elin Ostman, Ph.D., at Lund University in Lund, Sweden.
Test Procedure – Vinegar and Diabetes
In this study 29 people were given a breakfast of orange juice and a bagel, which contained a total of 87 grams of carbohydrates.Two minutes before the meal, half of the subjects were given 20 grams (about 4 teaspoons) of apple cider vinegar mixed with 40 grams water and 1 teaspoon saccharine. The other half were given a placebo drink.A cross over trial was conducted a week later, at which time the placebo group received the vinegar.
The participants’ blood sugar levels were measured before and after the breakfast. They were classified into 3 separate groups as follows:
10 people with type 2 diabetes
11 people with prediabetes (insulin resistant)
8 healthy control people (insulin sensitive)
Test Results – Vinegar and Diabetes
Analysis of the results showed that in all 3 groups the consumption of apple cider vinegar slowed the rise of blood sugar after the high-carbohydrate breakfast:
For the group with prediabetes, their blood sugar levels after the meal dropped by 34%.
For the group with type 2 diabetes, their blood sugar levels dropped by 19%.
Observations and Conclusions – Vinegar and Diabetes
Based on these results and two other recent studies, (see references 2 & 3), Dr Johnston thinks that the vinegar tonic interferes with the absorption of high-carbohydrate foods which reduces the blood sugar rise that normally occurs after a meal.
In her words,” The acetic acid in vinegar may inhibit enzymes that digest starch so that carbohydrate molecules aren’t available for absorption and are eliminated as fecal matter.”
” Vinegar appears to have effects similar to some of the most popular medications for diabetes” (Acarbose or Metformin) continues professor Johnston and “Further investigations to examine the efficacy of vinegar as an antidiabetic therapy are warranted.”
This is especially important given that a 50% increase in the number of Americans with type 2 diabetes is expected in the next 25 years.
In addition, the Diabetes Prevention Program and STOP-NIDDM, two recent large-scale trials, have shown that therapeutic agents used to improve insulin sensitivity in diabetes, may also delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes in people with prebiabetes.
Tips on Taking Apple Cider Vinegar
Don’t drink it straight. It’s so acidic that it could harm your tooth enamel and your esophagus.
Don’t use a lot. “Dilute 1 to 2 tablespoons in a big glass of water, and sip it along with your meals one or two times a day,” Johnston says.
Johnston suggests that people include vinegar with food. The easiest way is by using oil and vinegar salad dressing, made with balsamic, red wine, apple-cider, or any number of flavored vinegars (avoid the fruity, sweet ones, of course, or you may cancel out the benefit). When making the dressing, use about 50 to 75 percent vinegar, and add some diced garlic, dried oregano, and basil — or stir in a little Dijon mustard.
Johnston recommends also using vinaigrette dressings drizzled over steamed veggies, such as cauliflower. Another option is to dip small, thin slices of whole-grain bread into a mix of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Or, better, try sourdough bread, which contains a substance that also seems to mediate blood sugar response.
Vinegar is a natural meat and fish tenderizer, so you can use it to marinate meat and chicken. It’s also used to cook brisket, sauerbraten, and in the preparation of the spicy Korean vegetable, kimchi. Look for low-sodium versions of dill pickles, and consider other condiments and veggies pickled or preserved in vinegar.
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This article is not intended to take the place of a competent nutritionist or doctor. It is solely intended to educate people on the vital and perhaps underestimated importance of this nutritional element.
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