Monday, April 16, 2012


Prune juice, also known as prune juice, is best known for its laxative effects due to high levels of insoluble fiber. But the benefits of prune juice don't stop there. Due to the antioxidants the juice contains, it might also help lower your cholesterol levels and strengthen your body's defenses against various types of disease.

Nutrition and Fiber
An 8 oz. glass of prune juice contains up to 12 percent of your total recommended daily allowance of fiber and contains both insoluble and soluble fiber. Insoluble is the type that promotes digestive regularity and boosts liver function. Soluble fiber helps keep your blood sugar levels stable and improves cholesterol. Prune juice also contains 15 percent of your daily RDA of potassium, 8 percent the RDA of magnesium and 10 percent vitamin B6. One 8 oz. glass provides more than 100 percent of your RDA of Vitamin C. Prune juice contains antioxidants called polyphenols that help prevent and fight cell damage and inflammation.

Cardiovascular Benefits
Coronary heart disease is a leading cause of death for U.S. adults and is often accompanied by high blood pressure. Fiber intake has been shown to lower the risk for this disease by 40 percent in one long-term Harvard study of professional men. Research at the Shifa College of Medicine in Pakistan in 2010 had patients with borderline high blood pressure drink prune juice and consume whole prunes for eight weeks. After the study period, the patients had significant reductions in blood pressure and cholesterol compared with a control group.

Gastrointestinal Benefits

Dietary fiber helps prevent constipation and intestinal disorders such as diverticulitis, an inflammation of the intestine. In the long-term, Harvard study of professional men, a high-fiber diet reduced diverticulitis risk by 40 percent. Researchers have found mixed results regarding the consumption of fiber and colon cancer prevention, but one study published in the "Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology" in 2006 found that dried plum extract was able to inhibit cell growth in one human colon cancer cell line in vitro.

Liver Disease

Dried plums have been used in several folk medicine traditions to treat diseases such as hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver. A study published in 2010 in the "Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Science" gave prune juice to 166 volunteers over an eight-week period. The patients in the prune juice group had a significant reduction in levels of alanine transaminase and alkaline phosphatase, two markers for liver inflammation and disease.

Cognitive Ability

Although the benefits of prune juice have been associated with heart and digestive health for some time, researchers at Tufts University discovered a potential brain-boosting effect in a study published in the May 2009 issue of "Nutrition." Aging rats that were given prune juice for eight weeks had improvements in working memory and cognitive function


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