The Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
As natural remedies become more popular for the treatment of chronic health conditions, there is greater interest in exploring these substances with clinical research studies so that physicians can feel comfortable advising their patients about the risks and benefits of natural treatments. For patients with diabetes, adding simple home remedies can become a very important way to help improve blood sugar levels without adding new medications.
There are many different natural supplements for diabetes, but not all of these are clinically proven to work. In recent years, natural supplements such as cinnamon, bitter melon and niacin have become popular among both patients and health care providers for their many benefits for diabetic patients. One popular natural remedy that has been used for centuries and is quickly grabbing the attention of clinicians and researchers is apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar is an acidic substance that is a by-product of fermentation of apples. It has a unique, strong odor and flavor and is widely used in cooking and for green cleaning. For centuries it has been used as a natural remedy for numerous health issues that include weight loss, stomach upset, acne, hives, warts and more! In recent years, apple cider vinegar has been carefully studied for its health benefits for patients with cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
What are the Apple Cider Health Benefits for Diabetics?
The use of apple cider vinegar for lowering blood sugar has been studied in healthy patients and some limited studies have been performed in diabetics. Patients with diabetes may see the following benefits from adding apple cider vinegar to their diet:
- Slower Gastric Emptying: Research done in patients without diabetes have demonstrated that apple cider vinegar slows the rate at which the gastrointestinal tract empties. This can lead to a longer feeling of fullness and perhaps reduce snacking.
- Lower Post-Prandial Glucose Readings: Patients without diabetes have seen reduction in blood sugar levels after meals. However, evidence of the effects of apple cider vinegar on post-prandial glucometer readings in type 2 diabetics is inconclusive.
- Lower Post-Prandial Insulin Levels: Clinical studies have also shown that insulin levels tend to be lower after meals in people who take small amounts of apple cider vinegar.
- Improved Insulin Sensitivity: Studies of patients with type 2 diabetes have demonstrated that these patients have improved insulin sensitivity when they use daily apple cider vinegar supplementation.
- Improved Hemoglobin A1c: Animal studies performed on diabetic rats have shown that a1c levels can be lowered slightly when apple cider vinegar is added to the diet. Interestingly, this substance did not effect the fasting sugar levels in these studies.
- Improved Cholesterol: In animal studies, diabetic laboratory rats who were fed a high fat diet had significant improvement in their triglyceride levels when treated with apple cider vinegar. These animals also showed a significant increase in the cardioprotective HDL levels. In addition, rats without diabetes showed improvement in their LDL levels. At this time, information about the effects in humans is limited.
As more research is done examining the many health benefits of apple cider vinegar it is possible that this treatment may become more widely accepted. It may be possible to improve blood sugar simply by adding two tablespoons of vinegar to your diet every day.
At this time, there are few clinical studies to support using apple cider vinegar to treat diabetes. However, this substance has relatively few side effects and can easily be added to daily meals. If you are interested in trying apple cider vinegar to improve your diabetes, ask your doctor if it is safe to do so!