On February 4, 2010, a special edition of The Oprah Winfrey Show called “Diabetes – The Silent Killer,” featured a discussion with Oprah, Fitness guru Bob Greene, and popular television physician Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD, about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar in lowering the glycemic index of a meal when added to foods (the glycemic index is a scientific measure of how fast carbohydrate-containing foods raise blood sugar levels). Low glycemic index foods and meals are associated with better blood sugar and insulin level control for diabetics and weight control. Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar was the brand shown and discussed on the show that would be effective for lowering glycemic index of foods. But is there truth to the health claims made by Oprah?
The answer is yes according to a new study performed at Arizona State University, and published in the journal Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism (2010;56:74-9). In this clinical study, “two teaspoons of vinegar (10 grams) reduced the postprandial glucose (PPG or after diner glucose) levels; this effect was most pronounced when vinegar was ingested during mealtime as compared to five hours before the meal. Levels were lowered by a significant 20 percent,” said lead researcher Carol Johnston, PhD.
A December 2008 article in the Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences reports amazing health benefits for apple cider vinegar. In this study, the effect of apple cider vinegar on fasting blood glucose (FBG), glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) and lipid profile was investigated. Levels of HbA1c significantly decreased by apple cider vinegar in the diabetic group. There was also a “significant reduction of low density lipoprotein-cholesterol…and significant increase of high density lipoprotein-cholesterol…” Apple cider vinegar also reduced serum triglyceride levels. “These results indicate that apple cider vinegar…may be of great value in managing the diabetic complication,” note the researchers.
Drs. CS Johnston and CA Gaas, of the Department of Nutrition, Arizona State University, undertook a preliminary study on apple cider vinegar and diabetes, the results of which were published in the March 2008 issue of the Journal of Medical Foods. While pronouncing apple cider vinegar a true medical food, they also found that urinary pH was significantly reduced, meaning it truly alkalizes the body. In the March 2009 issue of Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, they showed that vinegar beneficially influenced hemoglobin A1c in diabetic patients.
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