The Gut Stuff Reader:
I have been taking a tbsp of raw unpasteurised AVC with a dash of honey, diluted in half a pint of water every morning for about the last 6 months. I don’t feel particularly different for taking it but I certainly don’t feel like its doing me any harm, however, the more I read about it, the more it seems it doesn’t really have any proven health benefits. I am also now pregnant so although I know it is advised not to have any unpasteurised products I thought that if the good benefits of ACV outweighed the bad then I’d continue with it – especially as medical reports seem to suggest that the acetic acid in it kills off most nasties anyway. However, I can’t really seem to find anything helpful to suggest I should continue taking it. What is your view on ACV in general? Is it beneficial or just a fake health fad?
Most of the evidence on apple cider vinegar is anecdotal. There isn’t enough clinical evidence to support you taking it or not taking it, i.e. evidence that is good for you or that it will damage you or, now, your baby. Pasteurised products have been submitted to intense heat for a short space of time. This kills any potential bugs that could hurt you. Unpasteurised products haven’t undergone that process and there’s a long history of traditional usage with hardly any evidence of harm. For example, unpasteurised cheese is consumed throughout Spain and France by pregnant mothers without the huge warnings we see in the UK. Sushi and sashimi are consumed daily by pregnant mothers in Japan and if you tried to tell them not to do it they’d think you’re insane. It’s also about the quantity and frequency of use. Having a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in water every day is unlikely to harm anyone. Having 10 large tablespoons might be different. The same with cheese, or raw fish. If you make these foods your staple they’re likely to interact with you and your baby in a completely different way than if you have them sporadically. I can’t tell you whether you should include these foods in your diet or not, but I hope my answer helps you put things in perspective. Wishing you and your baby all the very best! Tag me on your Instagram when you post a picture!
No advice in this column is designed to override any by your medical doctor and should not be relied on as a substitute for specialist dietary advice. If you have any concerns about your health, visit your general practitioner, or medical consultant.
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