Benefits Of Prune Juice And Good Health

People who have looked into constipation treatments have likely learned about the prune. Prunes are thought to be good for treating constipation, possibly because of their high fiber content. However, many people don’t know that prune juice is also a good constipation treatment.

The prune is simply a dried plum known by the scientific name of Prunus domestica. Archaeological evidence suggests that man has been cultivating plums and drying them for hundreds if not thousands of years. The method of processing is quite simple: 18 hours of hot air dehydration, typically at 90 degrees Celsius. After dehydration, the material can be further processed into other products like prune juice.

Benefits Of Prune Juice And Good Health

The conventional understanding is that prunes get their laxative effects by having a lot of fiber. In fact, the fiber is over 5% by weight, which is quite high for a fruit. Prune juice however has almost no fiber because the particulates are filtered out usually. Therefore, how does prune juice benefit those who suffer from constipation? The key is sorbitol, a long complex sugar.

The content of sorbitol in prune juice is amazingly high. The sugar is a complex polysaccharide, meaning that it’s an extended chain of sugar-like molecules. When ingested, it tends to absorb a lot of water and stays in gut. In fact, because it’s not absorbed in the same way as glucose, sorbitol is often used as a sweetener that is calorie free.

Pears and sugar free gum are two other things with sorbitol. Of course, the pear has a higher amount and is presumably a good aid for digestion as well. One interesting fact is that dietary fiber has molecular properties that are very similar to sugar and sorbitol. It’s no coincidence that all of these laxatives have similar molecular characteristics.

How does sorbitol achieve its anti-constipatory effects? There are two properties, both of which have already been mentioned. The first is that sorbitol tends to absorb a lot of water, the second is that sorbitol isn’t metabolized by the body. Together, the effect of sorbitol is to bulk up the colonic mass with a lot of fluids.

The increased water content means that the colonic contents become softer and bulkier. A number of other constipation treatments have similar effects, two classes of which are known by their names osmotic and bulk laxatives.

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The benefits of prune juice are not restricted to helping stomach contents move faster, but also include important vitamins and sugars for energy.

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