Colonic fermentation as a byproduct of vinegar consumption: a parallel arm randomized control trial in adults at risk for type 2 diabetes
Many people with or at risk for diabetes have difficulty maintaining normal postprandial blood glucose levels (120-140 mg/dl). Research has shown that vinegar decreases postprandial glycemia. The purpose of this study was to examine a possible mechanism by which vinegar decreases postprandial glycemia, particularly the effect of vinegar ingestion on gut fermentation. In this parallel arm randomized control trial, the effects of daily ingestion of vinegar on gut fermentation markers were observed among adults at risk for type 2 diabetes in Phoenix, Arizona. Subjects (n=14) were randomly assigned to treatments consisting of a vinegar drink (1.5g acetic acid) or a placebo (2 vinegar pills containing 40mg acetic acid each). All participants were required to consume the vinegar drink (16 oz) or 2 placebo pills every day for 12 weeks. At week 12, participants filled out a questionnaire to report gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and three consecutive breath samples were taken from each subject to measure fasting breath hydrogen (BH2) with a breath analyzer. Fasting BH2 measures for the vinegar drink group (16.1+11.8 ppm) were significantly different than those from the pill group (3.6+1.4) with a partial eta squared of 0.39 (p=0.023). After adjusting for age as a confounding factor (r=0.406) and removing an outlier, fasting BH2 measures for the vinegar drink group (4.3+1.1 ppm) were still significantly different than those from the pill group (3.6+1.4) with a partial eta squared of 0.35 (p=0.045). Participants in both groups reported mild changes in GI symptoms. In conclusion, adults at risk for type 2 diabetes that consume 2 tablespoons of vinegar a day may have increased gut fermentation compared to those who do not consume vinegar.