[Effects of Prunes] 3 Hidden Benefits of Prunes, a Natural Laxative
Nov 17, 2023KimSunhyo
[Effects of Prunes] 3 Hidden Benefits of Prunes,
a Natural Laxative
Constipation Problem Solved, What are Other Benefits of Prunes?
This content is health information about ingredients and not directly related to a specific product.
Effects of Prunes
1. Improves Frequency of Spontaneous Bowel Movements and Stool Consistency 2. Reduces total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol 3. Prevents bone loss after menopause
Hello, I am Jinny, a pharmacist.
While working at a pharmacy, I often came across reviews of people suffering from constipation who said that drinking prune juice was more effective than laxatives. Of course, prunes are not a medicine, but a type of dried fruit made from dried plums, but they are rich in soluble and insoluble dietary fiber and sorbitol, so many people are satisfied after eating them. In particular, sorbitol has a sweet taste, but unlike glucose, it does not increase blood sugar but absorbs moisture and helps stool pass smoothly.
However, research has shown that prunes have various effects other than those related to bowel movements. Today, we will be introduced to the various benefits that can be gained from consuming prunes through looking at research papers.
1. Improves Frequency of Spontaneous Bowel Movements and Stool Consistency
Many people probably know that dietary fiber intake helps with constipation. This is because dietary fiber softens stool and increases its volume, increasing the number of bowel movements and the amount of stool. And prunes are rich in various dietary fibers.
In relation to this, a paper was published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics in 2011 reporting the results of improving the number of spontaneous bowel movements and stool consistency when consuming prunes in subjects with constipation.
“The number of completely spontaneous bowel movements per week and stool consistency scores were significantly improved using dried plums.”
Reference : Attaluri, A., Donahoe, R., Valestin, J., Brown, K., & Rao, S. S. (2011). Randomised clinical trial: dried plums (prunes) vs. psyllium for constipation. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics, 33(7), 822–828.
2. Reduces Total Cholesterol and LDL Cholesterol
LDL cholesterol penetrates the inside of the blood vessel wall and causes various inflammatory reactions, then clumps up and sticks to the blood vessel wall or thickens the blood vessel wall overall. As blood vessel walls thicken and blood vessels narrow, the risk of exposure to various vascular diseases increases. In this regard, the polyphenols contained in prunes work to lower blood cholesterol levels by preventing cholesterol from being absorbed into the digestive tract.
In fact, in 2017, a paper was published in Pharmaceutical Biology showing that consuming prunes reduced total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels.
“Subjects consuming prune essence concentrate (PEC) showed significant reductions in total cholesterol (TC) and LDL-c levels, and slightly improved HDL-c levels compared to baseline (week 0).”
Reference : Chiu, H. F., Huang, Y. C., Lu, Y. Y., Han, Y. C., Shen, Y. C., Golovinskaia, O., Venkatakrishnan, K., & Wang, C. K. (2017). Regulatory/modulatory effect of prune essence concentrate on intestinal function and blood lipids. Pharmaceutical biology, 55(1), 974–979.
3. Prevents Bone Loss After Menopause
After menopause, bone loss increases due to decreased estrogen, increasing the risk of osteoporosis. If the overall intake of minerals, which are constituents of bones, is insufficient at this time, the threat to bone health becomes greater. Prunes are rich in vitamin K, potassium, magnesium, and boron, which are necessary for building strong bones.
A paper published in the Journal of medicinal food in 2019 reported that when postmenopausal women consumed prunes, bone resorption was reduced and bone loss was prevented.
"A decrease in C-telopeptide (CTX) values indicates a decrease in bone resorption, which is considered desirable. (Omitted) In the second phase, it suggests a favorable trend of CTX reduction among those consuming 6 prunus (DP) did."
Reference : Al-Dashti, Y. A., Holt, R. R., Carson, J. G., Keen, C. L., & Hackman, R. M. (2019). Effects of Short-Term Dried Plum (Prune) Intake on Markers of Bone Resorption and Vascular Function in Healthy Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Crossover Trial. Journal of medicinal food, 22(10), 982–992.
Today we looked at the various benefits you can get from consuming prunes. However, when consuming it, you must be careful not to eat too much at once. This is because the dietary fiber and sorbitol, which are abundant in prunes, can cause diarrhea or abdominal bloating. Therefore, we recommend starting with a small amount and gradually increase the amount.
I hope you have a healthy day both physically and mentally. This was Jinny.