Diabetes has become extremely prevalent, with approximately 9 percent of the population affected. Controlling blood sugar can be challenging. Although many medications may be prescribed to help, sometimes simple remedies such as cinnamon and apple cider vinegar make a difference.
Q. I have type 2 diabetes. Last summer my triglycerides were dangerously high (300), my cholesterol was 288, and my HbA1C was 8.2. I was taking Janumet and Trilipix, but they were not working.
I decided to try taking 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon mixed with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of honey every day. My triglycerides are now down to normal-121! My cholesterol has dropped to 260 and my HbA1C is good at 6.5. So this is really helping.
Cinnamon and Apple Cider Vinegar to Lower Blood Sugar:
A. The use of cinnamon to normalize blood sugar is controversial, but some research supports it (PLoS One, Feb. 14, 2014). In addition, cinnamon has been tested in rats and found to counteract the negative behavioral effects of an unhealthful diet high in fat and fructose (PLoS One, Dec. 13, 2013).
An Iraqi study of people with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes also found cinnamon helpful (Journal of Intercultural Ethnopharmacology, Feb. 21, 2016). Volunteers took 1 gram of cinnamon daily or placebo for three months. Those taking cinnamon lowered their fasting blood sugar and HbA1c, a measure of blood sugar over time, significantly more than those assigned to take placebo. Like you, these participants continued taking their regular diabetes medicine.
What Else Might Lower Blood Sugar?
An Australian review proposed that the polyphenol compounds in cinnamon and a number of other foods may help regulate insulin and glucose metabolism (Nutrients, Jan. 5, 2016). Some of the other foods that might be expected to help with blood sugar control include cocoa, tea and coffee, grapes, pomegranates, berries and olive oil. Most of these have not been well studied for their ability to lower blood sugar. Presumably apple cider vinegar also contains some polyphenols If so, these compounds might explain why cinnamon and apple cider vinegar seems to be a good combination.
We are not sure about the honey, though. One study of honey vinegar syrup (a traditional Iranian condiment) found no benefit for fasting blood sugar and undesirable effects on beneficial HDL cholesterol (International Journal of Preventive Medicine, Dec., 2014).
For more information about cinnamon, vinegar and non-drug approaches to help control blood sugar, we are sending you our Guide to Managing Diabetes. You will also find additional discussion and comments about controlling blood sugar at PeoplesPharmacy.com
It is important to remember that, like any agent that can alter our physiology or biochemistry, cinnamon can carry some risks. You can learn more about them here.
Vinegar and Blood Sugar:
Vinegar with or just after a meal that would normally raise blood sugar can blunt this response (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Nov. 2012). The research to date suggests that people without diabetes get more benefit (Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, online May 23, 2016).
The primary downside of vinegar is that it can soften dental enamel for up to an hour. As a result, you should wait a bit after consuming it before brushing your teeth.