Want to Tame Blood Sugar Spikes? Try White Vinegar

By Michael A. Smith, MD

According to the USDA, the average teenager consumes 135 grams (about 27 teaspoons) of simple sugars a day. Think grown-ups are doing better? Not much. Adults are averaging about 100 grams a day. That’s a lot of sugar.

These days, we probably eat more sugar in a year than our great-great grandparents did in a lifetime. Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration, but it’s probably not that far off.

The Problem: Blood Sugar Spikes

Simple carbohydrates, such as table sugar, are digested into individual sugar molecules which are absorbed into your bloodstream.

This flood of sugar into your circulation causes a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. Postprandial hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) is when your after-meal blood sugar reaches about 160 mg/dl. When it rises to around 200, we call it a blood sugar spike.

The problem is this: Blood sugar spikes are dangerous, especially for your heart. As a group of researchers studying the effects of sugar spikes in diabetics concluded, “Postprandial hyperglycemic spikes [blood sugar spikes] may be relevant to the onset of cardiovascular complications.”1

White Vinegar — a Possible Solution?

Fortunately, studies have revealed a way to possibly reduce the blood-spiking effects of simple sugars. How? By adding a small amount of white vinegar to meals.

In a 2005 study, researchers wanted to test white vinegar’s effect on blood sugar spikes after study subjects ate white bread. What they found was this: The subjects who drank white vinegar while eating white bread reduced postprandial (after-meal) responses of blood sugar and insulin.2

In 2004, another study published in Diabetes Care found similar effects in people with diabetes or insulin resistance who consumed a vinegar solution before carb-heavy meals.3

Based on the mounting clinical evidence, anyone battling the effects of high blood sugar should at least consider adding white vinegar to their diets.

What is White Vinegar?

Vinegar is a product of fermentation, a process in which sugars in food are digested by bacteria and yeast. In the first stage of fermentation, sugars are turned into alcohol. Then, in the second stage, the alcohol ferments into vinegar.

Vinegar literally means "sour wine." While vinegar can be made from all sorts of things — like vegetables and grains — white vinegar comes from the pulp of fruits, like apples.

Pulverized Apple Pulp — The King of White Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is often referred to as the “king of white vinegar,” and it’s been highly regarded throughout history. As a matter of fact, in 400 B.C. the great Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, even used it for its many health benefits.

Unpasteurized or organic apple cider vinegar is the best choice by far. It contains the “mother of vinegar,” which makes it look slightly congealed but offers the highest concentration of nutrients.

Apple cider vinegar is commonly used in salad dressings, marinades, vinaigrettes, food preservatives, and chutneys — but how else can you work it into your diet?

Recipe: Apple Cider Vinegar Soda Pop

Want a refreshing way to reap the rewards of apple cider vinegar while cooling off during hot summer days? Try this:

  1. 8 oz. cold filtered water
  2. 1 oz. high-quality apple cider vinegar
  3. 1 teaspoon of honey or 2–3 drops liquid stevia
  4. Mix together and pour over lots of ice
  5. Enjoy!

Will you try white vinegar to help prevent blood sugar spikes yourself? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


  • Diabetes Care. 2005 Jan;54(1):1-7.
  • Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Sep;59(9):983-8.
  • Diabetes Care. 2004 Jan;27(1):281-282.

    Wally Courie said...

    i thought white vinegar was white & Apple Cider vinegar, at least the ones i have seen, were kind of gold color. what gives?

    the rationale behind vinegar is that acidity (as well as fat & fiber) slow the stomach emptying helping w/ posprandial (after meal) levels. si t probably wouldn't matter what kind of vinegar & even for that matter lemon juice.

    Bragg's organic apple cider is good. it has the mother.

    Life Extension said...

    Hey Wally. Other types of vinegar have been tested and only white vinegar decreases sugar spikes after a meal. This is probably due to the different antioxidant make-up of vinegar and not just from the acidity. And, we agree...Bragg's apple cider vinegar rocks!

    marinades said...

    So happy to support your organization.

    Anonymous said...

    I would like the mechanism explained. How does ACV prevent blood sugar spikes?

    Life Extension said...

    Anonymous- Good question! Apple cider vinegar slows down the rate at of gastric emptying, an effect which allows blood glucose to rise at a slower pace. Here’s a link to a study which shows this effect: http://ow.ly/dLSG0

    Body Contouring said...

    Genuinely good thanks, I do believe your trusty audience would probably want a great deal more blog posts of this nature maintain the good hard work.

    LifeExtension said...

    Body Contouring - Point taken! Thanks for reading. :)

    Patti3046 said...

    Please differentiate between the white distilled vinegar I use for cleaning, and the white vinegar you mention here, which is ACV, and like mentioned above, not really white, but a golden color. The study mentions ACV, and white vinegar term is confusing to me. Can you clarify?

    Anonymous said...

    im goin to try what i have in my cabinet now white distilled tomorrow i will buy apple cider vinegar. help now

    Life Extension said...

    Anonymous- The key ingredient in vinegar which is responsible for its glucose-lowering effect is acetic acid. In one study, (referenced above) three different amounts of acetic acid were used along with white bread. Significant results were seen for the vinegar containing the highest amount of acetic acid (28 mmol). Here is the link to the actual study: http://ow.ly/r4a9P

    Distilled vinegars contain different amounts of acetic acid (usually between 3 to 5 %). Most don't exceed 5%.

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