Prune Juice for Constipation

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Constipation is an irritating problem faced among people nowadays. Unhealthy lifestyle and skipping meals or skipping timely meals are main leading causes of constipation. This problem can be sometimes uncomfortable and painful as well. The treatment of constipation involves a few dietary changes along with proper medications and constipation remedies.

Lack of fiber in diet is one of the major causes behind constipation. Dried plums or prunes contain insoluble fiber helpful in treating constipation. Prune juice, which is a rich source of insoluble fiber besides the availability of sorbitol in it, can help alleviate the pain caused due to constipation.

How does prune juice work in constipation?

Making stool softer

Prunes contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. The insoluble fiber in prune juice exhibits higher absorbent capacity. It soaks up larger amounts of water thereby making stool softer, bulkier and easier to pass through colon and hence reducing the transit time.

Restoring intestinal health

In addition, the insoluble fiber in the prune juice provides food for the good bacteria living in the large intestine. The good bacteria in the intestine uses this insoluble fiber and produces butyric acid, a kind of short chain fatty acid that acts as a vital fuel for intestinal cells that help maintain a healthy colon.

Sorbitol or sugar alcohol in prune juice helps in making stools softer, which then pass quickly through the colon. Sugar alcohol, unlike the name has no intoxicating effects.

A cup of fresh prune juice has 2.6 gm of fiber. Moreover, 5 ounce serving of fresh prune juice provides 6.6 gm of sorbitol to your diet.

When compared to glucose, sorbitol is slowly absorbed into the bloodstream. Hence, it takes more time to absorb water from the large intestine.  This might be the reason behind the laxative effect of prune juice. Therefore, you need to gradually increase or adjust the intake of prune juice in your diet. Hence, include around 80 ounces of fluids in your diet.

Benefits of having prune juice for treating constipation

Prune juice is more effective and has many other benefits helpful in treating constipation.  Prunes are high in fiber and contain sorbitol, which acts as a mild colonic stimulant.

Prune juice is an alternative, if you do not like the wrinkly texture of prunes. You need to increase the intake of prune juice when compared to prunes to achieve the benefits of prune juice in treating constipation.

100 ml of prune juice has 6.1 grams of sorbitol and you have more prune juice in your diet to avail the same benefits of prunes as they are processed.

Recommended Dosage

How much prune juice should I drink for constipation?

For Adults

For adults, the recommended intake of prune juice is around 120 ml per day besides consuming plenty of fluids.

Too much of prune juice when drunk regularly might cause loose motions and stomach cramps.

However, you need to consult your general physician for know your recommended dosage in case you have other digestive disorders.

For Children

For children, 4-6 ounces of prune juice is recommended.

FAQs

How fast does prune juice work?

It depends on your body’s sensitivity to the prune juice. In some people, its effects appear within 2 to 3 hours and others may have to wait for 3 to 7 days for getting relief from obstinate constipation. People with mild constipation can experience fast relief with prune juice, but prune juice might take a few days for people with chronic constipation and hard stool.

Can we use prune juice for baby constipation?

Yes, you can use prune juice for the treatment of constipation in babies. We do not recommend using prune juice before age of 6 months. It can help when you introduce semisolid or solid foods to your baby.  You can give 20 ml to 80 ml prune juice to older children.

Can I take prune juice for constipation after surgery?

Prune juice can relieve constipation after surgery. The main action of prune juice is making stool softer and reducing transit time. It can help cleansing colon naturally.

Can I drink prune juice for constipation during pregnancy?

Prune juice provides good nutrition and fiber content, so it can be used during pregnancy to get rid of constipation. It is POSSIBLY SAFE and helps improving intestinal health and peristaltic movements.

Conclusion

Prune juice has several health benefits. It helps treating constipation, lowers cholesterol, aids in losing weight etc.

Drinking prune juice alone will not help manage constipation. You also need to follow healthy eating habits and lead a good lifestyle to get rid of constipation.

References

  1. Chemical composition and potential health effects of prunes
  2. Diagnosis and treatment of chronic constipation
  3. Randomized clinical trial: dried plums (prunes) vs. psyllium for constipation
  4. The effect of prunes on gastrointestinal function


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