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Apple cider vinegar is a very interesting health elixir. It’s been known to help whiten teeth, cure hiccups and soothe sore throats. Now the great news about the libation is growing. Studies now show that it regulates blood sugar levels and helps to fight body fat.

Let’s talk about the blood sugar regulation first, which is great news for diabetics. A study published in Diabetes Care found that when men and women with type 2 diabetes took two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed with a snack (like a slice of cheese), they had lower blood sugar levels the following morning, compared to if they had the same bedtime snack with only water.

In the same journal, it was also found that individuals with pre-diabetes and those with type 2 diabetes had better overall glucose readings when they ingested less than an ounce of apple cider vinegar with a high carb meal, than if they ate that same meal with a placebo. The results? Those with pre-diabetes blood glucose levels improved by nearly half when they took the vinegar. Diabetics cut theirs by 25 percent.

The health benefit reach of apple cider vinegar extends to body fat fighting properties as well. Japanese researchers put this to the test during a 2009 study. They held a double-blind trial with obese adults who had similar body weights and waist measurements and divided the participants into three groups.

During a 12-week time span, the scientists had one group drinking a beverage with half an ounce of apple cider vinegar, a second consuming a drink with one ounce of apple cider vinegar, and a third with no vinegar at all.

At the conclusion of the study they found that people who drank any of the beverages with vinegar had less belly fat, lower triglycerides and waist measurements, and a lower BMI than those in the no-vinegar group.

But, before you start chugging down shots of straight apple cider vinegar to reap its many rewards, be cautious in how you take it. Undiluted amounts of the vinegar can erode tooth enamel and damage the esophagus.

A much better way to use it is to stick to the recommended amounts that are suggested in your favorite recipe. Or you can make it the main ingredient in your salad dressing. And if you want to chug some of it everyday, drink two teaspoons of it mixed with warm water and organic honey. Whatever way you choose to add it to your diet, apple cider vinegar, according to science, appears to have excellent health benefits.