Can prune juice cause weight loss?

Prune juice has become a popular health drink in recent years due to its potential benefits for digestion and weight loss. Some claim that drinking prune juice can help you lose weight quickly and easily. But is there any truth to this? Let’s take a look at what the research says.

What is Prune Juice?

Prune juice is a juice made from dried plums, also known as prunes. It has a mild and slightly sweet taste. Prunes are made by dehydrating fresh plums, which concentrates their natural sugar content. The result is a thick, syrupy juice that contains various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Prunes and prune juice are well known for their laxative effects. This is due to their high sorbitol content. Sorbitol is a type of sugar alcohol that acts as an osmotic laxative, meaning it pulls water into the intestines to stimulate bowel movements.

Nutrition Facts of Prune Juice

Despite its sugar content, prune juice is actually low in calories and fat. One cup (248 grams) of prune juice contains:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 182
Protein 1.4 g
Carbs 45.4 g
Fiber 7.5 g
Fat 0.1 g

Prune juice is high in vitamin K, providing 21% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) in one cup (248 grams). It also contains smaller amounts of vitamins A, C, B2 and B6.

Additionally, a 1-cup serving provides a good amount of manganese and potassium, delivering 17% and 15% of the RDI, respectively.

When it comes to antioxidants, prune juice is rich in polyphenols, including:

  • Neochlorogenic acid
  • Chlorogenic acid
  • Cryptochlorogenic acid
  • Quercetin

These antioxidants are thought to reduce inflammation, prevent oxidative damage, and lower your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.

How Prune Juice Benefits Weight Loss

There are a few reasons why prune juice may support weight loss when consumed in moderation:

High Fiber Content

Prune juice is high in fiber, providing 7.5 grams per cup (248 grams). Fiber moves slowly through the gastrointestinal tract undigested. It promotes fullness and satiety, which can help reduce calorie intake.

One study found that when participants drank 12 ounces (355 ml) of prune juice daily, they experienced increased feelings of fullness and ate fewer overall calories.

Fiber may also prevent constipation by adding bulk to stools. This regulates bowel movements and improves gut health.

Natural Laxative

The natural laxative effect of prune juice may complement a weight loss diet. Prune juice contains sorbitol, magnesium, and potassium, which work together to stimulate bowel movements.

Staying regular allows your body to eliminate waste products and undigested fat more efficiently. This prevents unnecessary calorie absorption from extra food sitting in your digestive tract.

One study found that when participants drank 8 ounces (240 ml) of prune juice twice daily for 2 weeks, they experienced improvements in frequency and consistency of bowel movements compared to a placebo.

Aids Digestion

Prune juice contains nutrients like vitamin K, sorbitol, and potassium that help promote proper digestion. Efficient digestion optimizes nutrient absorption from the foods you eat.

Probiotics in prune juice may also protect gut health by balancing your microbiome. A healthy gut microbiome is linked to balanced weight and metabolism.

According to one study, prune juice moderately enhanced the growth of beneficial Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus bacteria strains.

Provides Antioxidants

Prune juice offers antioxidants, including neochlorogenic acid, chlorogenic acid, cryptochlorogenic acid, and quercetin. These phytonutrients combat oxidative stress caused by free radicals.

Oxidative stress may be linked to obesity by interfering with lipid metabolism. The antioxidants in prune juice help neutralize free radicals to prevent this oxidative damage.

Downsides of Drinking Prune Juice for Weight Loss

Despite the potential weight loss benefits, there are some downsides to consider when drinking prune juice regularly:

High in Sugar

While prune juice is low in fat and calories, its sugar content is quite high at 45 grams per cup (248 grams). The majority of this sugar is natural fructose from the prunes, but juice processing strips away the fiber content that helps slow sugar absorption.

Consuming too much added or natural sugar can negatively impact weight loss. Drinking large amounts of prune juice may lead to spikes and crashes in blood sugar.

May Cause Diarrhea

Due to its laxative components like sorbitol, excess prune juice can cause loose stools or diarrhea. Diarrhea causes dehydration and loss of electrolytes, which can actually promote weight gain when the body retains fluid to compensate.

If you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or are prone to diarrhea, speak to your doctor before adding prune juice to your diet.

Lacks Protein

Prune juice is not a significant source of protein, providing only 1.4 grams per cup (248 grams). Adequate protein intake is important for weight loss to help preserve muscle mass as you lose fat.

Low protein beverages like juice may not properly satisfy hunger. Pair prune juice with a source of protein like Greek yogurt or eggs to make a balanced, weight loss friendly snack.

How to Drink Prune Juice for Weight Loss

Here are some tips for incorporating prune juice into your diet to maximize weight loss benefits while minimizing side effects:

Drink in Moderation

Limit prune juice to 8-12 ounces (240-355 ml) per day. Too much can lead to loose stools from its laxative effects. Start with 4 ounces (120 ml) daily and gradually increase to assess your tolerance.

Dilute It

Dilute 4-6 ounces (120-180 ml) of prune juice with a few ounces of water or seltzer to reduce the sugar and sorbitol content. You can also dilute it 50/50 with apple or orange juice.

Have It Before Bed

Drink prune juice about 30 minutes before bedtime to take advantage of its overnight laxative effects. This prevents any diarrhea or urgent daytime bowel movements.

Avoid on an Empty Stomach

Don’t drink prune juice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, as this can lead to cramping or diarrhea due to rapid liquid transit through your system.

Pair with Protein or Fiber

Combine prune juice with protein-rich foods like Greek yogurt or protein powder. You can also blend it into a smoothie with fiber-rich fruits, veggies, chia seeds, or flaxseed.

Watch Your Total Sugar

Consider other high sugar foods and beverages you’re consuming to avoid surpassing daily sugar guidelines. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day for women and 36 grams for men.

Other Ways Prunes Support Weight Loss

In addition to prune juice, eating whole prunes may also aid weight loss. Here’s how:

  • Provide fiber to promote fullness
  • Release sugar slowly due to cellular structure
  • Stimulate digestion more gently than juice
  • Contain sorbitol and phenolic compounds
  • Offer protective antioxidants

One study in obese adults found that eating 10-12 prunes per day for 12 weeks resulted in significantly greater weight loss than a low-calorie control snack.

Try incorporating a serving of 4-5 prunes into your breakfasts, snacks, salads or yogurt parfaits. You can also make chia pudding with prunes as a fiber-filled dessert.

Should You Try Prune Juice for Weight Loss?

Here’s the bottom line when it comes to using prune juice for weight loss:

Prune juice contains beneficial nutrients and antioxidants that support regularity, digestion, and gut health. Its fiber content may promote satiety and reduce calorie intake. The natural laxative effect helps eliminate waste from your GI tract.

However, prune juice is high in sugar when consumed in large amounts. Pair it with protein or fiber and drink in moderation to avoid adverse side effects.

While research shows promise for prune juice and weight loss, more human studies are needed. Current evidence is limited to small studies of short duration.

Prune juice can be part of a healthy, balanced diet combined with regular exercise. But it should not be viewed as a magic bullet for weight loss.

Speak to your healthcare provider before making any drastic changes to your diet for weight loss, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.


Prune juice may offer some weight loss benefits when incorporated into a healthy lifestyle. Its fiber, antioxidants, and laxative components may complement your diet and fitness regimen. However, research is still limited, so prune juice alone should not replace medical weight loss strategies.

Drink prune juice in moderation, dilute it to reduce sugar content, and pair it with protein or fiber for optimal weight management. Speak to your doctor to determine if prune juice is appropriate for your individual health goals.

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