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Examination of the antiglycemic properties of vinegar in healthy adults – Source: Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, 2010

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[Note: postprandial glycemia refers to level of glucose in the blood (blood sugar) after a meal.]

Background: Vinegar reduces postprandial glycemia (PPG) in healthy adults. This study investigated the vinegar dosage (10 gm vs. 20 gm) [2 vs 4 teaspoons], timing (during mealtime vs. 5 hours before meal) and application (acetic acid as vinegar vs. neutralized salt) for reducing PPG.

Methods: Four randomized crossover trials were conducted in adults (n = 9-10 per trial):

• With type 2 diabetes (1 trial)

• Or without diabetes (3 trials).

All trials followed the same protocol: A standardized meal the evening prior to testing, an overnight fast (more than 10 hours) and 2-hour glucose testing following consumption of:

• A bagel and juice test meal (3 trials). [Bagels are a complex carbohydrate source that is transformed to simple sugar (glucose) for absorption into the blood. Fruit juice is high in sugar.]

• Or dextrose [another name for glucose] solution (1 trial).

For each trial, postprandial glycemia was compared between treatments using area-under-the-curve calculations 120 min after the meal.

Results: Two teaspoons of vinegar (10 g) effectively reduced postprandial glycemia, and this effect was most pronounced when vinegar was ingested during mealtime as compared to 5 hours before the meal.

Vinegar did not alter postprandial glycemia when ingested with monosaccharides [sugars, per se], suggesting that the antiglycemic action of vinegar is related to the digestion of carbohydrates.

Finally, sodium acetate did not alter postprandial glycemia, indicating that acetate salts lack antiglycemic properties.

Conclusions: The antiglycemic properties of vinegar are evident when small amounts of vinegar are ingested with meals composed of complex carbohydrates. In these situations, vinegar attenuated PPG by 20% compared to placebo.

Source: Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, 2010;56(1):74-9. PMID: 20068289, by Johnston CS, Steplewska I, Long CA, Harris LN, Ryals RH. Nutrition Program, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, Mesa, USA. [E-Mail: carol.johnston@asu.edu]

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