Health, Nutrition

6 Serious Side Effects Of Prunes

Here are 6 serious side effects of prunes that you really need to know about if you consume this fruit often. Prunes are very tasty and beneficial to the digestive tract due to their high fiber content. With that being said, eating too much of it or consuming more than you should actually harm you instead of help you.

Read on to discover the serious side effects of prunes and why you need to eat them in moderation.

side effects of prunes

6 Serious Side Effects Of Prunes

Think of prunes and the first thing that comes to mind is constipation! Prune juice is often used to treat constipation in infants and young children, but it can be used by adults as well.

Prunes do make your bowel movements smoother and offer some other benefits too. But like everything else in nature, prunes too can cause a few side effects. Here are a few side effects of eating prunes:

1. Dangers Of Acrylamide

Prunes contain a high concentration of acrylamide, which is considered a carcinogen and a neurotoxin (1). Acrylamide is not naturally found in normal food, except when it is cooked at temperatures above 100° C.

According to Food and Agriculture Organization, the amount of acrylamide required to cause neuropathic harm is about 500 times the daily dietary intake. So, consuming prunes is relatively safe. However, carcinogenicity is a concern as prunes were found to be highly carcinogenic to the animals that were tested in labs.

2. Prunes Can Cause Diarrhea

The insoluble fiber in prunes can cause or worsen diarrhea. This is why you need to avoid them when you have diarrhea (2). There have also been certain cases of people who had experienced diarrhea post the ingestion of prunes and prune juice (3). This can be attributed to the laxative property of prunes.

They are natural laxatives as they contain a laxative compound called sorbitol. So, an unregulated dose or having too many of these fruits can easily lead to diarrhea. Some sources also talk about the dietary fructose intolerance found in many individuals, which can also lead to abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Prunes contain high amounts of sugar, which might trigger such a problem.

3. May Lead To Weight Gain

One serving of 6 uncooked prunes contains 137 calories and 22 grams of sugar. That sure is a little on the higher end. And a one-cup serving of prune juice contains about 185 calories. Though the fiber in the fruit can aid weight loss, taking them in excess can have the opposite effect.

Prunes also have a high glycemic load (how much any particular food will raise a person’s glucose levels post-consumption) (4). This means consuming prunes can elevate your blood sugar levels more than most other fruits.

4. Can Cause Intestinal Gas And Bloating

Prunes contain complex carbohydrates and sugars that do not completely break down in the digestive tract (5). So, when the sugars reach the colon, the bacteria start feeding on these undigested carbohydrates.

These bacteria are responsible for intestinal gas and bloating. This can also lead to farting. You can take alpha-D-galactosidase before eating prunes as it reduces intestinal gas by breaking down the complex carbohydrates before they reach your gut.

5. May Lead To Laxative Dependency

Prunes are mostly used as irritant laxatives. However, those who suffer from frequent constipation should not rely on prunes completely to clear their digestive system. This can lead to laxative dependency after a certain period of usage, which can aggravate the condition and cause complications (6).

6. May Cause Dark Stools

Prunes are rich in iron and, like most iron-rich foods, can cause dark stools if taken in excess. Prunes have their own set of side effects, but you can still consume them in moderation.