Ingredient Spotlight: Apple Cider Vinegar

2018-11-16T16:21:21+00:00November 13th, 2018|Ingredients & Quality, Weight Management|

Isagenix offers weight loss solutions and aids to limit calorie intake. One of these is Isagenix Natural Accelerator™, a formula combining ingredients for blood sugar support and thermogenesis like acetic acid, which comes from apple cider vinegar.

While vinegar shares some similarities with wine and yogurt, those foods are byproducts of bacterial fermentation, whereas vinegar is made when microorganisms produce acetic acid. Vinegar contains about 5 to 20 percent acetic acid, water, and trace amounts of compounds from the food source (1, 2, 3). Today, the most common vinegars on the market are apple cider vinegar and normal vinegar (3).

Several animal and clinical studies since 1998 demonstrate that vinegar’s most significant health benefits are modulating blood sugar and improving sensitivity to the hormone insulin so cells can absorb sugar (3-6). Vinegar’s blood sugar modulating effects are most likely due to the presence of acetic acid (3-8). Studies show that acetic acid helps to inhibit carbohydrate-specific digestive enzymes, such as amylase, slowing down the breakdown and absorption of sugars and starches and reducing their impact on blood sugar. An additional effect is a feeling of fullness, which may help support weight control, especially in overweight or obese individuals (3-7).

A Liquid Appreciated by Ancient Cultures Derived From Wine

“Vinegar” comes from the French word “vinaigre,” which means “sour wine.” If wine is left open to the air, it rapidly becomes acidic, turning sour (1). Thus, the origin of vinegar is closely associated with wine’s discovery.

Vinegar has been available in households for over 10,000 years (3). Around 5000 B.C., Babylonians used it as a food, preservative, and pickling agent (1). Vinegar residue has been found in Egyptian urns dating back to 3000 B.C. In China, texts about vinegar were written as long ago as 1200 B.C. (2).

Several ancient societies touted vinegar for its health properties. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, recommended cider vinegar mixed with honey as a health aid. Diluted vinegar was often used as a vitalizing and energizing tonic. Roman soldiers used a refreshing vinegar-based beverage called “posca” to clean and disinfect wounds (2).

Apple cider vinegar is one of the most common vinegars still in use today. It’s made from fruit juices, grapes, dates, figs, sugar cane, and apples (3). In modern scientific literature, researchers have reported that vinegar has an effect on sugar and lipid modulation (3-7).

Acetic Acid: The Main Compound in Vinegar

For a long time, we only had anecdotal evidence that vinegar can assist in weight loss diets. Eventually, animal and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical studies were designed to understand if consuming vinegar before or after a meal had any effect on weight loss and sugar levels (3).

In 1998, a seminal animal study demonstrated that when given a solution of 2 percent acetic acid after a high-glucose meal, rats’ blood glucose levels were reduced (3). This led to a number of clinical trials that have replicated this finding (3, 4, 5, 6).

Researchers have since hypothesized that vinegar’s blood sugar modulating effects are related to acetic acid (4, 5). Acetic acid appears to control carbohydrate digestion by inhibiting the enzymes responsible for breaking down table sugar and other disaccharides in our food (5). The effect appears to be exclusive to acetic acid and other organic acids (e.g., citric, succinic, malic, and lactic) while having negligible effects on disaccharides’ activity (5).

Effects of Vinegar Found in Clinical Studies

Several randomized, crossover, placebo-controlled clinical trials have been conducted to confirm earlier studies’ results supporting vinegar’s ability to lower postprandial glucose and improve insulin sensitivity (3-7).

Carol Johnston, a registered dietitian and professor at the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion at Arizona State University, has been involved in several of the early studies about vinegar. Her findings suggest that in healthy subjects, vinegar moderately reduces glucose response after high-glucose meals. The reduction in fasting glucose and the decrease in blood glucose after high-carbohydrate meals increase insulin response and satiety (3-5).

In Japan, Kondo et al. studied 155 obese and healthy subjects who consumed a 500 mL beverage with 15 to 30 mL (1 to 2 tablespoons) apple cider vinegar for 12 weeks (7). They found that body mass index, visceral fat, and waist-to-hip ratio all decreased at both doses used (7).

A systematic review of randomized and nonrandomized controlled clinical trials on diabetic individuals who consumed 4 teaspoons to 2 tablespoons of vinegar found a small but significant reduction in mean HbA1c after eight to 12 weeks of vinegar administration (3).

Although these results appear to be unusually impressive, apple cider vinegar isn’t sufficient on its own for blood sugar management, especially in individuals with reduced insulin sensitivity. However, apple cider vinegar taken daily — by the spoonful or in supplements like Natural Accelerator — may be useful while on a weight loss plan by helping to manage appetite and blood sugar.

References

  1. Bourgeois JF, Barja F, The history of vinegar and of its acetification systems. Arch Sci 2009;62:147-160.
  2. Solieri L, Giudici P, Vinegars of the world, Springer-Verlag, Italy, 2009.
  3. Fahey R Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar and Other Common Vinegars: A Review, Integrat Med Alert, 2017;20(6):1-8.
  4. Johnston CS, Steplewska I, Long CA, et al. Examination of the antiglycemic properties of vinegar in healthy adults. Ann Nutr Metab 2010;56:74-79.
  5. Johnston CS, Quagliano S, White S, Vinegar ingestion at mealtime reduced fasting blood glucose concentrations in healthy adults at risk for type 2 diabetes,  J Funct Foods 2013: 2007-2011.
  6. NewsRx. Reports from Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences Highlight Recent Findings in Obesity (Beneficial effects of Apple Cider Vinegar on weight management, Visceral Adiposity Index and lipid profile in overweight or obese subjects …) Obesity, Fitness & Wellness Week. (May 12, 2018): 6319.
  7. Kondo T, Kishi M, Fushimi T, et al. Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 2009;73:1837-1843.
  8. Ley SH, Hamdy 0, Mohan V, Hu FB, Prevention and management of type 2 diabetes: dietary components and nutritional strategies, The Lancet 2014;383(9933):1999-2007.