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Is apple cider vinegar pregnancy safe?

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is a product made by fermenting crushed apples. First, the apples are turned into alcohol and eventually into acetic acid. It is a popular home remedy that finds itself in the kitchen as well as medicine cabinets.   

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is a product made by fermenting crushed apples. First, the apples are turned into alcohol and eventually into acetic acid. It is a popular home remedy that finds itself in the kitchen as well as medicine cabinets.   

Most kinds of vinegar are pasteurized but this one is left unpasteurized. This particular vinegar is made with fermented apples and contains bacteria that are beneficial when left in its unpasteurized state.  

The unpasteurized ACV has many health benefits as it is rich in probiotic bacteria. Thus, it is recommended for pregnant women. When bacteria are consumed by women who are pregnant, it is worrisome, but ACV does have a few benefits that we are about to discuss with you.  

”No scientific research proves the health benefits or harm done by ACV. According to most researchers and authorities, pregnant women should consume particular unpasteurized products with caution. This is because unpasteurized products contain bacteria such as Salmonella, Toxoplasma and Listeria among others.” 

Is Apple Cider Vinegar safe for pregnant women? 

No scientific research proves the health benefits or harm done by ACV. According to most researchers and authorities, pregnant women should consume particular unpasteurized products with caution. This is because unpasteurized products contain bacteria such as Salmonella, Toxoplasma and Listeria among others.  

Pregnant women could be at higher risk of foodborne illness as their immune systems are already slightly compromised during pregnancy. Some of these illnesses can take a toll on the person infected with them. Not only is the pregnant mommy at risk but these pathogens put the fetus at a greater risk of still birth, miscarriage and other complications. 

Having said all of the above, apple cider vinegar does contain acetic acid which is known to be antimicrobial and promotes the growth of only certain beneficial bacteria over others. According to the Food Research International study acetic acid is known to destroy the Salmonella bacteria. There is a high probability that it kills Listeria, E. Coli and Campylobacter.  

As per another research, certain harmful pathogens that are harbored in unpasteurized food are relatively less dangerous in apple cider vinegar as compared to the other foods. However, until a specific research is done, there is no medical backing to the Apple Cider Vinegar benefits.  

If you are planning to use unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, do so with caution and only once you are well versed with the risks. Ideally, consult a doctor before using it.  If you are planning to use pasteurized apple cider vinegar while breastfeeding or during pregnancy, you can do so safely if it is organic and filtered, however, it may not be as beneficial to your health as the unpasteurized ACV which has probiotic qualities. But you have many probiotic supplements that aren’t risky to use and act as a good replacement for unpasteurized ACV.  

How does Apple Cider Vinegar benefit pregnant women? 

Even though, the safety of apple cider vinegar has not been given a scientific go ahead, many pregnant women continue to use it without any complications. Both pasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar or unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar are used as remedies for the following. 

Morning Sickness 

Women recommend unpasteurized or pasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar as a remedy for nausea and morning sickness. This is because nausea is treated by the acids present in ACV and is not concerned with the bacterial benefits. The ACV acids help with stomach-related disturbances and nausea due to pregnancy.  

This has not been scientifically validated and in fact if you take more than the recommended dosage of 1-2 tablespoons – twice a day; it can worsen the nausea. Smelling or sucking on lemon during pregnancy is recommended as a good natural alternative to bring down nausea.  

Heartburn or Acidity –

Pregnant women tend to experience heartburn, especially during the second trimester of their pregnancy. The findings by a study of the Arizona State University in 2016 showed that women who were unable to get rid of their heartburn with OTC antacids, may find relief from apple cider Vinegar. The same dose of 1-2 tablespoons mixed with a glass of water – twice a day is recommended.  

Improving digestion and metabolism – 

Another study by the International Journal of Pharmacology conducted a study on animals and concluded that ACV could modify digestive enzymes.  

It particularly improvised the way fats and sugars were being digested by the body. The effect it had could have been proven to very good for people with type 2 diabetes and could have reduced the risk of gestational diabetes. Unfortunately, no human studies were conducted and there was no clarity about whether unpasteurized or pasteurized ACV was used. 

Preventing UTIs and Yeast Infections – 

Many women get UTIs and infections while pregnant. Even though there has been no scientific research around ACV being able to clear UTIs and yeast infections, it is recommended by many for the same. There are legitimate ways of treating a UTI during the pregnancy so it is best to speak to your doctor about it.  

In 2011 a study showed that pasteurized rice vinegar helped with clearing out a bacterial UTI but no such study was conducted to prove the same for ACV. 

Acne –

Many pregnant women are prone to acne during pregnancy due to the changing hormones. Since ACV is high in acetic acid, research has shown that it can help clear pimples. Again, since this has to do with the acetic acid in the ACV, one may use a pasteurized ACV to prevent any foodborne infections. 

Many women swear by this, even though there are no concrete studies to support the use of ACV for acne.  

To use or not to use  

Though many people recommend the use of apple cider vinegar as a home remedy for certain skin conditions and infections that arise during pregnancy, there is not enough scientific evidence to support their theories.  

Even though no harm or negative effects have been reported from the use of ACV during pregnancy, it is still advised to consult doctors before using unpasteurized apple cider vinegars. On the other hand, even though pasteurized ACV may not be as beneficial, it can be used freely and benefitted from during pregnancy. 

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