Library
All Topics
Huile d'abricot femmes enceintes

Is apricot vegetable oil not recommended for pregnant women?

Pregnancy is a rather restrictive period for women who must closely monitor their diet and lifestyle for their own health and that of their baby. While it is fairly well-known that most essential oils are not recommended for pregnant women, recommendations vary from one vegetable oil to another. Can apricot oil be used during pregnancy?

Topical Application: A potential use of apricot oil for pregnant women?

The apricot oil is a vegetable oil with an amber color and a subtle fruity scent. Highly appreciated in massage, it provides numerous benefits to the skin and can be used by pregnant women. However, caution is advised if you are breastfeeding: it is not recommended to apply apricot oil to your nipples or any areas of your body that may come into contact with your baby just before holding them. If this is not the case, its regular application throughout pregnancy on the breasts, belly, thighs, and buttocks is recommended to prevent stretch marks. These scar-like streaks are quite common during pregnancy and appear when the structure of the dermis is altered, due to a rupture of collagen fibers.

Once established, stretch marks are very difficult to eliminate, so the best way to avoid them is through prevention, and apricot oil can be beneficial for this. Indeed, this vegetable oil can soften and hydrate the skin due to its richness in oleic acid (60-70%). Naturally present in the hydrolipidic film, this unsaturated fatty acid plays a protective role and limits skin dehydration, making it more supple and less prone to stretch marks. Moreover, the apricot oil contains linoleic acid, an omega-6 that contributes to the cohesion of the corneal layer. When this layer is strengthened, the skin is more resistant to weight fluctuations and pulls. However, despite these properties of apricot oil, it is important to remember that it is not a miracle ingredient. While its application can, to some extent, help prevent stretch marks, it will not be able to do anything against established stretch marks.

Is the ingestion of apricot oil advised against during pregnancy?

Currently, there are no studies regarding the potential dangers of ingesting apricot oil for pregnant women. Therefore, we recommend adhering to the precautionary principle and avoiding consumption of this vegetable oil during pregnancy, due to a lack of evidence regarding its safety for pregnant women and the traces of amygdalin it may contain. Indeed, before its extraction, apricot oil is enclosed within the kernels of the same-named fruit. These kernels contain amygdalin, an aromatic compound that converts into cyanide after ingestion, under the action of a digestive system enzyme. Cyanide has a very high acute toxicity and can be lethal between 0.5 and 3.5 mg/kg of body weight.

A report from ANSES (French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety) recently revealed that 154 cases of poisoning from bitter apricot kernels occurred between 2012 and 2017. The quantities involved were significant, ranging from 10 to 60 kernels. As for apricot vegetable oil, there are no known cases of food poisoning, and its consumption in reasonable proportions, that is, between 1 and 3 teaspoons per day, does not pose any dangers. However, considering the importance of a pregnant woman's diet for the development of their baby and the exchanges via the bloodstream between them, it seems more prudent to avoid consuming apricot oil during pregnancy.

Note : This contraindication does not apply to apricots, whose flesh is not in direct contact with the kernel. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibers, these fruits are excellent for the baby's development and the mother's health.

Sources

  • Vigil'Anses No.5. The Anses vigilance bulletin (June 2018).

  • QADIR R. & al. Cold pressed apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) kernel oil. Cold Pressed Oils (2020).

  • KHANEGHAH A. & al. The potential of apricot seed and oil as functional food: Composition, biological properties, health benefits & safety. Food Bioscience (2023).

Diagnostic

Understand your skin
and its complex needs.