Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Special Diets >
May 1, 2013 09:58 AM

Vinegar and Blood Sugar


Like many folks on this board, my H is living with Type 2 Diabetes. While picking up blood pressure meds at the pharmacy today, the pharmacist inquired if he'd considered adding a couple of spoonfuls of vinegar diluted 50/50 with water before meals to reduce postprandial BG levels.

Have any of you tried this? Is it bunk? Ideally, though he's now off of insulin injections, we'd also like him to be eventually free of the Metformin, too.

Thanks--and I know that every "body" is different and the BIG factors are diet and exercise. I value your opinions.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I've heard from some folks that say they think it helps. What worked for me when I tried it with meals was 150mg of standardized silymarin, and much easier to get down my throat.

    It's there on PubMed...

    4 Replies
    1. re: mcf

      Just looked it up. the very least, unless you're allergic to it, it doesn't hurt.

      mcf, did you take it at mealtime or before?

      1. re: pinehurst

        When I took it, it was with meals. Very pronounced and reproducible effects. I took Jarrow, usually like their stuff.

        1. re: mcf

          Thank you, mcf. I know that not all of your personal results as you changed your own diet/life course are reproducible for everyone, but everything you've mentioned has been spot-on in my H's case. I appreciate your willingness to help and share insights on this board.

          1. re: pinehurst


            I think of anecdotal experiences such as what I offered here as just a starting off point for personal research and investigation (preferably on PubMed/Medline) and once well informed, personal experimentation.

            I never skip those steps, and I don't think anyone reading what I post should, either.

            I should add, though, that I'm not sharing just my own experiences about what's worked for me, but those of hundreds of others I've discussed with and read online for about 15 years now.

            Most of what I post is based upon all that, not my own case. For instance, the advice to save carbs for late in the day; I wasn't eating them in the a.m. and hadn't had that experience, but as a person with steroid issues, I knew how to interpret it wrt diurnal cortisol rhythm.

    2. Go for it. Not only can it help manage post-prandial BG in a lot of people, it's good for your liver and may help promote favorable lipid profiles.

      P.S. Drinking some before bed is the one thing that helps take the edge off my next-day misery on the rare occasion I indulge in a glass of wine.

      12 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Rock on, you do the 50/50 dilute route? Also, do you use cider vinegar? Sorry for all the questions. Every little bit helps and frankly, I'd rather use diet/exercise/milk thistle/vinegar more and meds less for H, if poss.

        1. re: pinehurst

          You might find, as many do, that stopping the met doesn't make much diff after one's controlling carbs. Except in fbg, and maybe for only weeks to months. Energy will often improve, too.

          1. re: pinehurst

            I use raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. I dilute it when I drink it, but I also use it in salad dressing, and you'd be amazed how well a splash of it pairs with curry spices.

            To be clear, I'm not diabetic, but I am mildly insulin-resistant. I use ACV for its flavor in cooking *and* for general health benefits - it really helps with my acid reflux.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              That's okay--even if I weren't cooking for H, I can ALWAYS use tips for my general health and cooking....believe me.

              Thank you GHG and mcf.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                For acid reflux, do you drink it before every meal, or just once a day?

                1. re: gembellina

                  Every meal, just a splash diluted in water. The theory is that it triggers closure of the esophageal sphincter, preventing the gastric acid from escaping and moving upward to cause discomfort. I imagine the prebiotic culture in the raw, unfiltered stuff has something to do with it as well, otherwise any vinegar would have the same effect. Most doctors claim it's bunk, but I swear it helps me, and I'll take non-pharmaceutical help wherever I can get it. Plus, it works a heck of a lot faster for me than popping a pill does.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    Interesting, thanks. Omeprazole has helped in the past but like you I'd rather avoid if there is an alternative.

                    1. re: gembellina

                      Omeprazole has the unfortunate side effect of gastric slowing as this class of drugs tends to. I took Zantac for a week and my digestion just stopped dead, kept my blood sugar high for a long time post meals.

                      1. re: mcf

                        I have the same problem with PPIs. I deal with sluggish digestion and *really* long transit time as it is, and they make it even worse. When I was taking Prevacid regularly for a while I noticed that every time I ate, it took me hours and hours to digest a single meal.

                        1. re: mcf

                          tbh anything that slows it down is a good thing for me! I only took it for a few days as I think it's mostly stress-related, and when the stress went away it seemed to calm down. But it will still be useful to have something else to try as I'm sure it will re-occur...

                          1. re: gembellina

                            tbh anything that slows it down is a good thing for me!
                            It's really not - it screws with your BG & insulin, and you often feel nauseated & bloated after meals, even if you stop eating before you feel "full." Blech.

                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    I'm also not a diabetic, but slightly insulin-resistant. Also, if I have to many carbs and sugars in one day, I can get cramps in my legs and feet at night.

                    Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (with the mother) definitely helps this. You can work your way from smaller amounts to larger amounts diluted in water. I enjoy the vinegar water a lot. It can also settle your stomach. I usually drink it after a meal or at night. But maybe I should try it before meals.

                    I use it in soups and on greens also.

                    Kombucha can also have a similar effect.

              2. I drink unfiltered apple cider vinegar regularly (not diabetic).

                I really like this mix:
                Fill a quart mason jar 3/4full with water
                Add 4 tablespoons (or more) of apple cider vinegar
                Add a bit of stevia to balance it out
                Stick a cinnamon stick in it or ground cinnamon (it settles in the bottom)
                Keep in fridge, it tastes kind of like apple pie to me :)
                I like it over a tall glass of ice.

                Sounds weird maybe, but when I skip wine with dinner, I pour some of this mixture in a wine glass (half way) and fill with soda, seltzer or tonic water...kind of reminds me of a sparkling wine drink and it seems to go with all kinds of dinners nicely.

                1. FYI, as if we didn't know! :-)


                  "From baseline to three weeks, patients on the low-carb diet reduced their use of conventional oral antidiabetic medication by 86%. Those on the low-fat diet reduced them by only 6% by the end of three weeks, but intake went down another 57% by the end of their two-week low-glycemic diet phase. "And still they had improvements in glucose," von Bibra said. Medications other than oral ones for diabetes, such as antihypertensive drugs, were not changed in anyone during the study."