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There are two reasons apple juice is good laxative, but neither of them makes apple juice especially "healthy."

Apple juice contains a relatively large amount of the sugar fructose. In large amounts, fructose is toxic. It goes more or less straight to the liver, which can burn about 100 calories a day as fuel, but has to turn the rest into fat and cholesterol.

Fructose is sufficiently toxic that our bodies aren't designed to absorb large amounts of it all at once. The fructose sugar stays in the small intestine, and soaks up water.

The extra water is one of the factors that makes apple juice laxative in small doses and a cause of diarrhea in large doses.

Apple juice also contains a non-digestible kind of sugar called sorbitol. In tiny amounts, sorbitol is a zero-calorie sweetener. In larger amounts, it relieves constipation. In still larger amounts, it causes gas and abdominal cramps, and if you have problems with your kidneys, it can give you problems with the lining of your colon, eroding the lining and causing bleeding, burning, and intense pain.

Of course, it takes a lot more than one glass (say, about 250 ml) of apple juice to do all that. About 20 grams (2/3 of an ounce) of sorbitol consumed in a single day is enough to give you really bad stomach cramps. About 30 grams (1 ounce) of sorbitol consumed in a single day is enough to put you in the hospital. Drinking two quarts (about 2 liters) or apple juice in a single day, if you are an adult, or just as little as 500 ml (about 2 cups), for children, will make some feel sick to the stomach. Drinking half again as much (3 quarts/liters a day for an adult, 3 cups/750 ml for a child) is dangerous, and may result in hospitalization.

Apple juice packed in China is usually very high in sorbitol, and apple juice packed in the United States is nearly as high in sorbitol. Canadian apple juice tends to contain about 2/3 less of the diarrhea-inducing chemical, and European apple juices are nearly as safe. What makes a difference in how much sorbitol there is in the juice is how dry the climate is where the apples are grown. If the trees are grown under irrigation, as they usually are in China and in the USA, but they usually aren't in Canada and Europe, then the juice is more likely to cause you to get a bellyache.

Apple cider contains more sorbitol than apple juice, about 20% more. There is also a lot of sorbitol in pear juice, more than there is in apple juice, actually. There's even more in prune juice. Peaches, apricots, and nectarines also contain sorbitol, although not as much. Any of these juices can make you regular if you drink just one glass a day and make you have to go to the bathroom repeatedly if you drink 3 or more glasses a day.

The fiber in apples and apple juice, by the way, won't loosen the bowels unless it is tranformed by probiotic bacteria. You don't get a benefit from fruit or vegetable fiber without the help of the friendly microbes. If you want to use juice.

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