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Does prune juice detox your body?

With the popularity of juice cleanses and detox diets, many people wonder if drinking prune juice offers detoxification benefits. Prune juice contains nutrients and antioxidants that can support digestive health. However, there is no evidence that it “detoxifies” the body. This article explores the science behind prune juice and detoxification.

What is Prune Juice?

Prune juice is made from dried plums, also known as prunes. Prunes are dried versions of European plums. The process of drying removes water, causing prune juice to be highly concentrated compared to the whole fruit.

Prune juice is rich in fiber, potassium, vitamins and antioxidants. A 1 cup (248 gram) serving provides (1):

Nutrient Amount
Calories 182
Fiber 7 grams
Potassium 707 mg
Vitamin A 293% DV
Vitamin C 3% DV
Vitamin K 21% DV
Iron 7% DV

Prune juice also contains a group of antioxidants known as phenolic compounds. These antioxidants may provide health benefits by fighting oxidative stress caused by free radicals in your body (2).

Claimed Benefits of Prune Juice

Here are some of the ways people claim prune juice supports detoxification and health:

Relieves Constipation

Prune juice is commonly used as a home remedy for constipation relief. Its high fiber and sorbitol content help add fluid to stools and may stimulate bowel movements (3).

In one study of 40 elderly patients with constipation, drinking around 5 ounces (150 ml) of prune juice per day significantly increased bowel movement frequency compared to a control group (4).

Supports Liver Health

Some claim that prune juice cleanses or detoxifies the liver. It’s true that prunes contain antioxidants that protect liver cells from free radical damage. However, there’s no evidence that drinking prune juice cleanses or detoxifies the liver.

Aids Weight Loss

Due to its effects on bowel function, some people believe prune juice helps with losing weight. It may relieve constipation and reduce appetite slightly thanks to its fiber content (5).

That said, there is no evidence that prune juice increases weight loss. Any loss of water weight from its laxative effects would be temporary.

What Does “Detox” Really Mean?

Detoxification is a popular concept in alternative medicine. Many foods, diets, cleanses and products claim to “detox” the body by removing toxins.

In reality, your body is constantly filtering and eliminating toxins on its own through the liver, kidneys, digestive system and skin (6).

The truth is that no specific food, juice or product can speed up this natural detoxification process. Your body has all the tools it needs to remove toxins.

Potential Harms of Juice Cleanses

Juice cleanses involve consuming only fruit and vegetable juices for days or weeks. Proponents claim this process removes toxins from your system.

However, there is no scientific evidence that juice cleanses remove toxins from the body (7).

In fact, juice cleanses can do more harm than good by causing nutrient deficiencies, altering gut bacteria and inducing hunger. They may also trigger overeating once the cleanse ends (8).

Rather than cleansing your body, it’s better to support your body’s natural detoxification with adequate nutrient intake, liver support supplements or sauna use.

Does Prune Juice Detox Your Body?

Based on the current evidence, prune juice does not “detox” the body or stimulate the removal of toxins.

That said, it does offer some benefits:

Relieves Constipation

Prune juice contains sorbitol and fiber, which help loosen stools and encourage bowel movements. It may relieve constipation, especially in the elderly (9).

Supports Digestive Health

Prune juice contains prebiotics — types of fiber that nourish your beneficial gut bacteria. Prebiotics support the growth of health-promoting bacteria in your digestive system (10).

Additionally, prune juice’s antioxidants may reduce inflammation in your digestive tract.

May Help Prevent Liver Disease

Animal studies suggest prunes’ antioxidants may protect liver cells and prevent fibrosis, or scarring, of liver tissue (11, 12).

More human research is needed to confirm this protective effect.

Nutrient Density

Prune juice is high in potassium, vitamin A and antioxidants like vitamin E and phenolic compounds (13).

These nutrients and antioxidants benefit your health, even though prune juice does not specifically remove toxins.

Should You Drink It?

Prune juice offers some digestive and antioxidant benefits that support good health. However, it does not “detox” your body.

Keep in mind that prune juice is high in natural sugars. Consuming large amounts may spike your blood sugar levels. Moderation is best, even if you’re drinking it for constipation relief.

If you dislike the taste, try mixing prune juice with water or mineral water. You can also blend prunes into smoothies.

At the end of the day, focus on getting nutrients from a balanced diet based on whole foods. Remember that no single juice can replace a healthy lifestyle.

The Bottom Line

Prune juice contains nutrients that can relieve constipation and support the health of your digestive system and liver.

However, there is no evidence that it removes toxins or provides other detoxification benefits.

For optimum health, incorporate antioxidant-rich foods as part of a balanced diet and lifestyle. Prune juice can be an excellent addition in moderation.