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Prune Concentrate

Maintaining digestive health is vital to achieving overall wellness. Prunes, which are the dried fruit of various plum species, primarily the European plum, or Prunus domestica, have been known since Biblical times for their benefits in supporting digestive health.

Prune juice is richer in fiber—both soluble and insoluble —than plum juice, and is often marketed as a remedy for constipation and for help with kidney stones. Insoluble fiber helps speed food through the digestive tract. Soluble fiber, on the other hand, is a slower-moving fiber, good for lowering cholesterol and regulating blood-sugar levels.

Prune juice concentrate is made from the high-volume, low-temperature water extract of prunes. Prune concentrate is obtained by vacuum evaporation of the water-soluble portion of prunes to a concentration of about 70% soluble to dissoluble matter.

Prunes are also high in polyphenols, which include antioxidants that protect cellular DNA against damage, decrease inflammation, and may help prevent cancer. Prune concentrate acts as a natural laxative by stimulatating peristalsis (movement of the muscles in the digestive tract) in the colon, thereby aiding the process of elimination. Prune concentrate promotes bowel movements and is believed to help regulate bowel function.

Interestingly, in a 1990 announcement that came as a shock to millions of Americans, the US Food & Drug Administration declared that the common prune was not an effective laxative. In reality, this was not to be interpreted to mean that prunes or prune concentrate do not have laxative properties when taken as foods—rather, the case here is that FDA no longer regards them as effective as a drug!

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Principal Author: M. Ofiyeva
Date of Initial Publication: 07/05/2007
Article Last Updated: 03/10/2011