Constipation seriously complicates the lives of about 20% of people. Even when laxative medications help, up to half of patients are dissatisfied with them due to side effects or other reasons. For example, some drugs, even eliminating constipation, do not work quite physiologically – stools and defecation are not quite the same as normal. Can prunes help with this?
“Indeed, there were serious and scientifically correct studies of 40 people suffering from constipation, in which prunes were compared with psyllium preparations,” says general practitioner and gastroenterologist, candidate of medical sciences Konstantin Spakhov. – Such medicines are made from psyllium husks, and contain a lot of dietary fiber. Thanks to them, the drugs increase the volume of feces and make them softer, retaining water. This mechanism of action is very physiological. These drugs are popular, there are many of them, some are available in the form of dietary supplements. American scientists from the University of Iowa have chosen doses so that both products contain the same amount of fiber. In the morning and evening, some participants in the experiment took 50 g of prunes, they contain 3 g of dietary fiber, while others – 11 g of psyllium with exactly the same dose of fiber. This went on for three weeks. Then there was a break for 6 weeks, after which they did the so-called “crossover”: those who were first treated with prunes began to take psyllium for 3 weeks, and vice versa. This is a very correct scientific technique that allows, as it were, to equate the participants in the study in order to exclude the influence of some personal characteristics on the results. After all, both means were accepted by everyone, and the assessment of this will be more objective. Patients kept a daily diary in which they indicated their symptoms, the number of bowel movements and other sensations that are relevant for such problems.
Both drugs were effective in the treatment of mild to moderate constipation, well tolerated, without causing side effects. But prunes more and better alleviated the symptoms of constipation. Yes, and the subjective feelings of patients were also in favor of dried plums. The authors of the study conclude that in the treatment of mild and moderate constipation in adults, it is better to give preference to prunes as a first-line drug.
If you have such a problem, then you can use this recipe. Now in the season you can take plums, and the rest of the year – prunes. At the same time, keep in mind that the dose of plums should be 2 times higher, because. it has more water.
Why was prunes more effective with the same dose of fiber? It seems that this is due to the fact that in addition to the fibers in the plums, there are also other components with a laxative effect. This is sorbitol, it is often used as a sugar substitute, and chlorogenic acids, which are also found in coffee.