Category: Nutrition


Vinegar May Lower Blood Sugar

Doesn’t it seem like everyone is talking about the beneficial effects of vinegar? Well as it turns out, there is at least one scientifically proven benefit that I think you should know about.

In a recent study that was published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, researchers conducted four randomized trials to determine the effectiveness of vinegar in reducing blood sugar after a meal. They experimented on three groups of adults without diabetes, with one group that did have Type II diabetes. The study gave small amounts of vinegar (10 g) either with a meal, or five hours before a meal. The meals were standardized by serving either a complex carbohydrate, or a simple carbohydrate sugar – dextrose.

The researchers found that 10g of vinegar (2 teaspoons) ingested at mealtime, but not 5 hours before a meal, has a dramatic effect on blood sugar after the meal, reducing it by as much as 20% in comparison to placebo. This effect was seen when complex carbohydrates were ingested, but interestingly, not when simple carbs (sugar) were consumed.

Now, there may be some detrimental issues associated with vinegar consumption, but keep in mind that vinegar is one of the components of the so-called Mediterranean diet, a diet that has a track record of association with reduced risk for a number of diseases.

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  • Erik Edlund

    If the blood sugar is low, where does it show up?

    • ohneclue@yahoo.com

      It would show up 30, 60, 90 and 120 minutes after the meal as the standard research practice.

  • Jace Whitmarsh

    With the food/in the food or prior to the meal?

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  • Dorothea Johnson

    Is it true that people with seasonal allergies should not drink ACV?

  • Sara

    What are the detrimental issues associated with vinegar??

    • NashvilleTiger

      Good question….you’d think they would’ve elaborated on that particular subject since it could be a deal breaker on taking vinegar!

    • Pat A.

      I think the corrosive effects on teeth are a consideration for those who drink it either straight (why would you do this – ugh!) or diluted in water, as some people do and drink larger quantities throughout the day. If you drink it in water, you could use a straw to limit the contact with teeth. If eaten with a meal as dressing on raw or cooked veggies, I imagine the chewing of other food plus the saliva would remove or buffer the vinegar’s contact with teeth pretty rapidly. Someone who has a lack of saliva, I imagine might have to take special care.

      Another consideration is people who take vinegar capsules trying to avoid the tart taste of vinegar – there’s a serious danger here of capsules sticking in the esophagus, then dissolving. This can cause severe damage to the lining of the esophagus with possible scarring and structures as a result.

      I believe that I have also read that people with kidney disease (as many diabetics do) should avoid unless get an OK from the nephrologist.

      • Pat A.

        Strictures, not structures – autocorrect should be called autobloopers, IMO. Autocorrect just tried to change autobloopers to automobiles 😄

      • earthmom1960

        I used to drink natural vinegar (with the mother) mixed with honey from my bees and it, over time, did damage my teeth. However, mixed with honey it was – in my opinion – quite tasty.

  • sarah

    Would this amount of vinegar consumption be detrimental for those with IBS?

  • michael walli

    I have always used Apple Cider Vinegar with good results.

    • David Perlmutter

      Good choice!

  • AnnieLaurie Burke

    So, make your own unsweetened salad dressing — pour EVOO and vinegar on your salad and enjoy your dinner!

    • David Perlmutter

      That’s the way to do it!

    • Sandra Clagett

      I do it all the time.

    • Sarah Clegg

      Never understood why on earth anyone would add sugar to salad dressing in the first place but does seem to be normal in US recipes… Definitely not in Europe though. The very thought of it makes me shudder! Eww!

      • AnnieLaurie Burke

        Me, too! In the US, manufacturers inexplicably put sugar in every prepared food. If one is craving a sweet salad, why not sliced fruit — handful of berries, orange segments, cubed cantaloupe, etc.? And I don’t understand why some folks put sugar on fruit, either. Americans get addicted to sugar from an early age — folks used to put corn syrup in babies’ formula.

        • Sarah Clegg

          I think the tolerance for sweetness is definitely much higher in the US than anywhere else, for sure. Not so long ago my other half brought some corn on the cob home from Costco… One bite of it, without anything else added, was enough to have me spitting it out straight into the bin. Must have been almost pure sugar and bred to taste of nothing else! Utterly revolting!

          • AnnieLaurie Burke

            You have the problem pegged — American horticulturists have been breeding varieties of veggies with ridiculous amounts of sugar, and, in the process, reducing the content of essential nutrients. Jo Robinson, in her excellent book, “Eating on the Wild Side”, discusses the specifics of such selective breeding gone amok, showing just how nutrient-deficient some common veggies have become, compared to the varieties of the same veggies our grandmothers ate. For home gardeners, she suggests varieties that are low in sugar and higher in vitamins and minerals.

          • Sarah Clegg

            Hadn’t come across that book before – thanks, will look out for it. I’m a big fan though of ‘old’ and unusual plant varieties. Actually planning to completely make-over my garden this year and make it much more food-crop oriented!

          • darlene warner

            Instead of the sugary and high cal dressings. I have been putting cottage cheese on my salads and love it.

        • barbara carroll

          Mom used to buy white sugar in the 50 pound bags as we canned every fruit and if she did not use sugar (thick syrup) the peaches, pears, cherries, and jam texture was not good. Hard when you grow up with that. I have been fighting it all my life.

          • AnnieLaurie Burke

            The use of such copious amounts of sugar is a relatively recent development. Our great grandmothers couldn’t afford to can that way. And I’ve done a lot of canning — and drying — of fruit using no sugar. Your mother may have used that amount of sugar to make the homemade product compete with the commercial ones, like Smucker’s, that used to advertise that they used equal amounts of fruit and sugar (makes me shudder just to think of it….)

          • barbara carroll

            I think after the war was over they went crazy. When you are restricted (they just could not get any) they thought it was ok. Also, our friends grew sugar beets for white sugar and how could a vegetable be that bad? Right? we know better now. However, there was little diabetes, little overweight kids. We all worked very hard on the farm and burnt it off I guess. Everyone worked on the farm in the fields. Even the city kids worked morning till night doing farm work. That was the way it was. Now, everything is sprayed and we need to hire migrant workers to do any farm work.
            At least in the Okanagan Valley.

      • barbara carroll

        When I was a kid in Southern Ontario my grandfather put white sugar on a fresh tomato. He did not like salt. It was normal for them. Of course, Chatham Ontario was head of C and D Sugar co. During the war sugar was rationed to make cordite for bombs. A little history many do not know. Barbara

  • Roman

    A very simple and brief read of Apple Cider Vinegar will aid in better understanding this issue. I was diagnosed as a Type II Diabetic and by simply changing a few dietary issues, ice cream being one of them, and literally putting no more than one or two teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar in a small glass of water, my A1C’s have dropped considerably, I feel full after each meal; eating less as a result has helped me reduce some unwanted weight and reading as much as possible of David Perlmutter’s columns has increased my health. Simple as that

  • Grace

    So what if you have low blood suger; should I take vinegar? I purchased some raw organic lavender vinegar at a specialty store here. Any benefit’s other than lowering blook sugar?

  • Sarah Musavi

    In India, we always keep a bowl of raw onions dipped in raw vinegar with salt and mint as a dressing especially when meats are served.

  • Dewayne Woolf

    I hear that Berberine is also very effective at keeping blood sugar in the normal range of 82-115.

    • John Riley

      Yes, I have been taking Berberine for a while – at my Doc’s direction – and it does seem to be helpful.

  • Gwen Giacoboni

    I have GERD, how will the vinegar affect that?

    • Evalynne

      I’ve read that ACV is supposed to help. It increases stomach acid, & that’s probably the reason. Often people with GERD have too little stomach acid rather than too much. Google it.

    • eileenfb1948 .

      It helps with digestion but what is really helpful is that the acid in vinegar closes the valve at the top of the stomach therefore reducing or eliminating acid reflux or gerd.

  • Alexandra Innes

    This report doesn’t state what kind of vinegar was used. There’s a huge difference between, for instance, white vinegar and real apple cider vinegar (with mother). Or even between refined supermarket-brand apple cider vinegar and the real thing (with mother).

  • veritas

    Thank you Dr. Perlmutter, but what are the “detrimental issues” you refer to in the article please? (We swish water after consuming to rinse off of teeth, is this protective enough?) Thank you!

  • Alfonso Núñez Franz

    Thanks Dr. Perlmutter for the information, I’ve got it in my mind. I’m controling my weight by eating no carbos at breakfast and lunch with very good results, my healh indicators are very well, less blood pressure, however I’ll get it

    • Truth59

      If you are hungry, eat more fat. You could totally give up carbohydrates, except for fruits and vegetables.

  • Jneen

    Since I used the Apple cider vinegar for many months, my teeth have become sensitive. I’m so sad not to get to use it. Does it affect tooth enamel?

    • Truth59

      It can. Google the question. Do some research on your own before you give it up.

    • Iney

      I drink it through a straw that doesn’t touch my teeth, as well as using a xylitol toothpaste and swishing my teeth with a 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of xylitol. Must be the actual Birch Sugar, available in health food stores and Amazon. within 2 weeks the tooth sensitivity should be gone. Xylitol also protects from cavities.

  • Lynne

    Question- Should someone with hypoglycemia be taking the vinegar?

  • T. Kick

    Dr. Perlmutter…..would you please clarify what specific type of Vinegar to you suggest and how does one avoid the vinegar negatively effecting one’s teeth? Would drinking it w/a straw avoid teeth/enamel damage?

  • Alexandra

    I drink apple cider vinegar (with the mother) mixed in a glass of water every morning. (I use Bragg’s brand) I drink it through a straw to help protect my teeth and then brush my teeth as soon as I am done with the drink. The health benefits of ACV are incredible. My mother knew this 60 years ago!

  • darlene warner

    ACV also comes in the pill form. Is this just as effective ?

  • Maria Yaccarino

    Re: Apple Cider Vinegar – Buy the Bragg, Organic, Raw, Unfiltered, Unpasteurized with the ‘Mother’ kind. This is the vinegar to get all the health benefits, not the one you put on salads. Both are very different and taste differently. I think many people out there are getting the two mixed up. You can buy it at any supermarket. Mine sells the 32 fluid ounce size for $6.99 and it lasts a long time, since it is used sparingly every day.

  • Maria Yaccarino

    I do not want my first and last name on here. How do I use my other name on this site? Someone please help me!

  • SK


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