Does Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Raise Your Blood Sugar?

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A popular folk treatment in use for centuries, vinegar was discovered accidentally in the process of making wine. Apple cider vinegar is promoted for use as a natural treatment for numerous ailments, such as skin infections, gastrointestinal issues, bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections. Research has shown that apple cider vinegar helps to regulate blood glucose, as opposed to contributing to a rise in blood sugar.

Blood Glucose

The term "blood glucose level" refers to the concentration of glucose in the blood at a point in time. The level of glucose available for conversion to energy at any given time fluctuates depending on the nutrients that you consume, as blood sugar is derived from the breakdown of carbohydrates, starches and sugars. Some carbohydrates, such as refined sugars and simple carbohydrates, are converted quickly into blood glucose, creating a spike in sugar available in the blood.

Insulin

Insulin organizes the use of fuel for your body, responsible for moving glucose out of the bloodstream for use by your central nervous system, brain and other parts of your body. If there is no or insufficient insulin available to respond, an excess of blood glucose results. Diabetes is a group of conditions in which insulin is not working optimally, if at all. As such, diabetics monitor their intake of carbohydrates, starches and sugars carefully in order to manage the amount of glucose that enters their bloodstream.

Apple Cider Vinegar Nutrition Content

Apple cider vinegar brings very little in the way of nutritional value. Apple cider vinegar contains only trace calories, with 1 tbsp. supplying 1 calorie. Apple cider vinegar contains no carbohydrates, proteins or fat. The liquid form of the supplement has very little nutritional impact. A study published in 2005 in the "Journal of the American Dietetic Association" notes concerns regarding great variability in labeling claims and the amount of apple cider vinegar, if any, contained in supplements.

Effect on Blood Glucose

Apple cider vinegar does not raise blood sugar levels. It contains no starches, carbohydrates or sugars that break down into sugar after you consume it. In fact, research shows that apple cider vinegar supplements actually might mitigate blood sugar levels. A 2004 study published in “Diabetes Care” indicates that vinegar “can significantly improve postprandial insulin sensitivity.” Another study published in 2005 in the “European Journal of Clinical Nutrition” further supports the positive impact of vinegar on blood glucose levels, indicating that vinegar supplements lower blood glucose levels and insulin responses following a meal high in breads.

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