Vinegar's effects on hemoglobin A1c and postprandial glycemia in individuals at risk for diabetes

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Objective: Vinegar consumption studies have demonstrated possible therapeutic effects in reducing HbA1c and postprandial glycemia. The purpose of the study was to closely examine the effects of a commercial vinegar

Objective: Vinegar consumption studies have demonstrated possible therapeutic effects in reducing HbA1c and postprandial glycemia. The purpose of the study was to closely examine the effects of a commercial vinegar drink on daily fluctuations in fasting glucose concentrations and postprandial glycemia, and on HbA1c, in individuals at risk for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2D). Design: Thirteen women and one man (21-62 y; mean, 46.0±3.9 y) participated in this 12-week parallel-arm trial. Participants were recruited from a campus community and were healthy and not diabetic by self-report. Participants were not prescribed oral hypoglycemic medications or insulin; other medications were allowed if use was stable for > 3 months. Subjects were randomized to one of two groups: VIN (8 ounces vinegar drink providing 1.5 g acetic acid) or CON (1 vinegar pill providing 0.04 g acetic acid). Treatments were taken twice daily immediately prior to the lunch and dinner meals. Venous blood samples were drawn at trial weeks 0 and 12 to measure insulin, fasting glucose, and HbA1c. Subjects recorded fasting glucose and 2-h postprandial glycemia concentrations daily using a glucometer. Results: The VIN group showed significant reductions in fasting capillary blood glucose concentrations (p=0.05) that were immediate and sustained throughout the duration of the study. The VIN group had reductions in 2-h postprandial glucose (mean change of −7.6±6.8 mg/dL over the 12-week trial), but this value was not significantly different than that for the CON group (mean change of 3.3±5.3 mg/dL over the 12-week trial, p=0.232). HbA1c did not significantly change (p=0.702), but the reduction in HbA1c in the VIN group, −0.14±0.1%, may have physiological relevance. Conclusions: Significant reductions in HbA1c were not observed after daily consumption of a vinegar drink containing 1.5 g acetic acid in non-diabetic individuals. However, the vinegar drink did significantly reduce fasting capillary blood glucose concentrations in these individuals as compared to a vinegar pill containing 0.04 g acetic acid. These results support a therapeutic effect for vinegar in T2D prevention and progression, specifically in high-risk populations.