Apple Cider Vinegar, Yogurt, and Vitamin C can all create a short term, or by usage effect on your digestion, and a body with an underlying problem could easily become dependent on any of these products to maintain balance.
The Holistic Loophole exists though, because each of these three products is worth taking every day for reasons completely unrelated to digestion. So is being on the hook to continue a health habit honestly, the worst thing?
Apple Cider Vinegar can increase the ease and frequency that you move your bowels but it can also increase insulin resistance when taken after a large meal.
This is completely contrary to the way that I usually recommend ACV, (a morning wake up call) but since increased insulin sensitivity and chronic constipation are two things that can coexist during ED recovery, this makes it an especially useful tool for anyone attempting to bring their body back to balance.
Sources for the studies on ACV after meals leading to a better handle on insulin resistance can be found here at the diabetes journals.
Vitamin C can cause the trots if taken in large doses, which is not the goal. But adding a Vitamin C supplement (from a bottle or from food sources) to introduce more than 100% of your daily recommended value to your diet can soften stool as a side effect, in addition to supplying your phagocytes and t-cells with the energy they need to be valuable members of your immune system.
Once your white blood cells have taken what they can from the Vitamin C in your diet, the rest will pass through your digestive system, having an osmotic effect as it goes. This means it will literally pull water in to your digestive tract.
Most over-the-counter Vitamin C supplements will give you more than 100% of your daily dose. Personally, I like to buy tablets so I can snap them in half. Bluebonnet makes a good one which I’m currently taking and will probably buy again. And Nutrigold makes a very high quality whole food sourced Vitamin C with a more reasonable dosage which I’ve taken before and loved. I don’t want 1000% of my vitC DRV, unless it’s been prescribed to me for some reason. Sorry.
People do definitely have different tolerances for Vitamin C though, So if any dose gives you loose poops, you are getting too much for your body. Luckily, dosing vitamins that are readily found in whole food sources is an especially flexible process.
If you already take a daily Vitamin C supplement and you still suffer from constipation, then this solution will not help you, although it might be worth stopping or reducing the vitC for a week. Overdoses of Vitamin C can cause your body to absorb WAY MORE dietary vegan iron and too much iron can cause constipation.
Yogurt comes to mind when I think of whole food ways to create balance in the digestive system.
Probiotic pills are also available and can hypothetically have the same effect as yogurt; some even think that probiotic pills might be more effective.
But for sustainable change, the dietary delivery system of unsweetened yogurt is, from my perspective, superior.
Inadequate water intake can undermine the work of pill form probiotics. Yogurt is a hydration rich probiotic source.
Pill form probiotics can also be undermined by the Standard American Diet and their benefits may stop once habitually taking the pill drops off.
I’ve personally found that I’ve been able to coast, in terms of digestion health for weeks after doing just one week of mindful yogurt + prebiotic fiber consumption.
Meaning if you are heading for a 10 day vacation, a very strict week of consuming a high quality yogurt + prebiotic fiber combo each day can help you get through that unpredictable week with little to no disruption.
In addition to helping you go more regularly, probiotics of different strains can support your immune system, fortify your lungs against respiratory infections, and actively search and destroy pathogens that make it in to your guts.
If you experiment with any of these food source “un-laxatitives” be aware of the changes to your digestion as they happen and be ready to pivot your actions.