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Apple Cider Vinegar and Blood Sugar continued...

Not every expert feels as confident about apple cider vinegar’s power.

"Trying to use vinegar to treat diabetes is like trying to bail out a flooded basement with a teaspoon," says Michael Dansinger, MD, director of Tufts University’s diabetes lifestyle coaching program.

He advises patients to focus instead on their overall diets -- a strategy backed by a lot more research, he says.

If you have gastroparesis, a common problem with diabetes that slows stomach emptying, be careful. Early research shows apple cider vinegar may make this problem worse.

"I’m concerned that drinking vinegar, even diluted in water, increases acid in your system, which puts a strain on your kidneys and bones,” Dansinger says.

If you have diabetes and want to try apple cider vinegar, let your doctor know, and keep an eye on your blood sugar levels.

Johnston stresses that if you are on medication for diabetes, you shouldn’t stop taking it and substitute vinegar. If you're thinking about using it to help manage your blood sugar, talk to your doctor first.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Digestion

If you drink apple cider vinegar with a starchy meal, then the starches you don't digest will feed the good bacteria in your gut, Johnston says.

Davis recommends using unfiltered apple cider vinegar, “the cloudy kind, where you can see a blob in the bottle.”

That blob is known as “the mother,” and it’s full of probiotics and other beneficial bacteria. “This kind of vinegar can support immune function and, for some people, even help with constipation,” Davis says.

Tips on Taking Apple Cider Vinegar

Don't drink it straight. It’s so acidic that it could harm your tooth enamel and your esophagus.

Don't use a lot. “Dilute 1 to 2 tablespoons in a big glass of water, and sip it along with your meals one or two times a day,” Johnston says.

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