Examine publishes rigorous, unbiased analysis of the latest and most important nutrition and supplementation studies each month, available to all Examine Members. Click here to learn more or log in.

In this article

Can a shot of vinegar reduce blood glucose levels?

Medications and supplements aren't the only ways to address blood sugar regulation. This meta-analysis looked at all the vinegar and blood sugar trials conducted to date.

Study under review: Vinegar consumption can attenuate postprandial glucose and insulin responses; a systematic review and metaanalysis of clinical trials

Introduction

When we eat meals that contain carbohydrates, the corresponding increase in blood glucose levels depends on many factors, including the type of carbohydrate eaten, the composition of the meal, and the health of the person. In both people with[1] and without[2] type 2 diabetes, post-meal blood glucose excursions have been shown to be an independent predictor for getting and dying from cardiovascular disease. Accordingly, reducing post-meal blood glucose levels has therapeutic potential.

Vinegar is a substance that has been used medicinally for at least 2,000 years[3] to fight infections and clean wounds. The term “vinegar” originates from French vin aigre, meaning “sour wine,” likely because of an accidental discovery that letting wine ferment for too long allows certain bacteria to convert the alcohol from wine into acetic acid (as depicted in Figure 1). The FDA requires commercial vinegar to be at least 4% acetic acid, but it is important to acknowledge that vinegar and diluted acetic acid are not the same. Although distilled white vinegar is close to being pure acetic acid and water, vinegars made from fruits contain numerous other[4] organic acids and bioactive compounds that have demonstrated antibacterial and antioxidant effects. Several clinical trials[5] over the past 30 years have investigated vinegar’s effect on glucose metabolism in healthy people and people with type 2 diabetes. Some studies have shown promising hypoglycemic effects in both populations, while others have not. The study under review is a meta-analysis of controlled trials investigating the effect of vinegar consumption on post-meal blood glucose levels.

Figure 1: Vinegar Production
Post-meal blood glucose levels are a risk factor for developing and dying from cardiovascular disease. Numerous studies have investigated the effect of vinegar consumption on post-meal blood glucose, and the study under review is a meta-analysis of these trials.

Who and what was studied?

Become an Examine Member to read the full article.

Becoming an Examine Member will keep you on the cutting edge of health research with access to in-depth analyses such as this article.

You also unlock a big picture view of 400+ supplements and 600+ health topics, as well as actionable study summaries delivered to you every month across 25 health categories.

Stop wasting time and energy — we make it easy for you to stay on top of nutrition research.

Try free for two weeks

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

What were the findings?

Become an Examine Member to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

What does the study really tell us?

Become an Examine Member to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

The big picture

Become an Examine Member to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

Frequently Asked Questions

Become an Examine Member to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

What should I know?

Become an Examine Member to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

Other Articles in Issue #31 (May 2017)

  • Does vitamin D supplementation fight off the common cold?
    Anecdotally, vitamin D is known for "immune supporting properties". But many people just want to know if it helps prevent the common cold. This meta-analysis looked at the evidence.
  • Interview: James Krieger, MS
    For a good dose of realism, on topics ranging from insulin and fat loss myths to the most important factors in weight training, there aren't many better sources than James Krieger.
  • Putting the “C” in Cancer
    Decades ago, seminal research looked at vitamin C cancer benefits ... then research stopped. Researchers are back at it, with this trial looking at vitamin C for specific types of lung and brain cancer.
  • Throwdown, round 2: plant vs. animal protein for type 2 diabetes
    In round one of this fight, an earlier study showed that a diet with proteinrich plants didn't provide a metabolic advantage. Round two explores metabolic impacts from a different angle: amino acid composition of plant versus animal protein
  • Interview: Sohee Lee
    Dieting is often equated to a focus on calories and nutrients, but an arguably bigger factor is the psychology of eating. We delve into that with Sohee.
  • Can omega-3s prevent migraines?
    Chronic migraine is a pain, both literally and figuratively, especially since it doesn’t have many good prevention methods. Could omega-3 supplementation help?
  • Beating postpartum blues with amino acids and antioxidants
    The more serious condition of postpartum depression is often preceded by the very common and short-lived postpartum blues. A specific combination of supplements was looked at for prevention of the postpartum blues.