Is It Okay to Drink Apple Cider Vinegar During Pregnancy?
Wading through the many dos and don’ts of pregnancy can be confusing.
Fortunately, the mere fact that you are showing concern about what you should and should not have during pregnancy shows that you are doing a good job of ensuring your baby has the best chance of being happy and healthy.
That being said, is it safe to have apple cider vinegar during pregnancy?
Why Do People Drink Apple Cider Vinegar?
Throughout the natural medicine field, you can find a myriad of reasons why apple cider vinegar is imbibed. Some of the benefits include healing gastrointestinal issues, vaginal tract infections, and skin conditions.
Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented crushed apples that are first made into alcohol and then acetic acid. This process is usually sped up for commercial production through aeration.
The vinegar you typically find on the shelf in the supermarket is usually pasteurized to remove potentially harmful bacteria, like E. coli. However, if you go to a health food store, you can probably find unpasteurized apple cider vinegar.
Pasteurizing removes the health benefits from apple cider vinegar according to marketers of the unpasteurized variety. “The mother,” the enzymes found in the bacterial sludge that forms in the vinegar, is allegedly where the true health gems lie.
Apple Cider Vinegar’s Use during Pregnancy
Apple cider vinegar has been used as a folk cure, almost a “snake oil” of sorts, for nearly everything. It has been used to protect against osteoarthritis, to kill illness-causing bacteria in the body, weight control, and more.
In 1958, Dr. D.C. Jarvis was known to extoll the virtues of apple cider vinegar in pregnancy. He claimed that it would assure that the baby is born with “an excellent chemical pattern with which to meet its new environment.” Dr. Jarvis made his claims without scientific research.
Yet, there is evidence that apple cider vinegar and acetic acid offer an array of health benefits including neutralizing blood glucose levels and insulin and mitigating the impact of high carbohydrate meals according to a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
During pregnancy, indigestion can be a major source of discomfort, yet many women shy away from using antacids. Fortunately, one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with a glass of water will offer you some relief.
In addition, acne can be an uncomfortable reality for pregnant women who are experiencing a variety of hormonal changes. Yet, diluted apple cider vinegar applied topically can treat some skin conditions. A Simply Simple Life created a video going into more detail about how to enjoy the benefits for your skin.
But, Is It Safe for Pregnant Women to Drink Apple Cider Vinegar?
Though women do drink apple cider vinegar during pregnancy, the verdict is still out about whether it is safe for you or not. According to eMed TV, there just is not enough research on the topic to say either way. When this is the case, doctors tend to err on the cautious side.
According to research from Colorado State University, there may be an increased risk of harmful bacteria in unpasteurized foods that could affect the safety of pregnant women.
The study reports “some food-borne illnesses can cause a woman to have a miscarriage, stillbirth or serious health problems for the baby after birth.” The acetic acid in vinegar may protect against the food-borne illnesses commonly associated with unpasteurized juices, but there is no evidence of this.
In addition, if taken with certain medications, apple cider vinegar may lower your potassium levels and may inhibit the effectiveness of your prescribed medications.
On the other hand, one of the top manufacturers of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, Bragg, does not mince words when they say that their cider is safe to take during and after pregnancy. They claim that it promotes digestion and supports regularity.
You may be wary of trusting an organization with a vested interest in selling a product, but keep in mind that they would likely go out of business if these claims proved to be dishonest.
Mom Junction states that doctors suggest pregnant women should pick the pasteurized apple cider vinegars over the unpasteurized option because there is less risk of the inborn bacterial component. Of course, you may lose some of the vinegar’s benefits this way.
Either way, you should probably avoid apple cider vinegar supplements in tablet, capsule, or pill form. A study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that very few of these supplements even contained apple cider vinegar.
The bottom line is that if you are concerned at all about taking apple cider vinegar during pregnancy, you should ask your healthcare professional about it. They are the most familiar with your health situation and the latest research and can, therefore, make the most informed decision.