Can a Fruit-Only Diet Really Cause Pancreatitis?

What actually happened to Ashton Kutcher?

Fruit spread

When Mila Kunis was a guest on the show "Hot Ones" (where guests eat spicy wings and answer questions) in October, she said that her husband Ashton Kutcher was hospitalized twice with pancreatitis while preparing for his role as the late Steve Jobs because he was following the Apple founder's "fruit-only" diet. At one point, Kutcher was "only eating grapes," she said.

The couple, who co-starred together on "That 70s Show," has previously made headlines for their comments about bathing — or a lack thereof.

Kutcher has also talked about his bout with the illness. In 2019 , he guest on the same show and mentions drinking (and only drinking) a store-bought, pre-made juice in a bottle.

Can an excessive juicing habit or too much fruit really land you in the hospital? Here's what to know.

What Is Pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can be acute or chronic. It occurs when digestive enzymes that the pancreas makes become activated inside the organ, causing inflammation and damage. Symptoms can include:

  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Abdominal pain that radiates to the back
  • Tenderness when touching the stomach area
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Can Juicing Cause Pancreatitis?

There is no evidence that suggests juicing causes pancreatitis. There is also no evidence to suggest that juicing or eating lots of fruit can negatively effect the pancreas, nor is there any statistically significant association between juice consumption and risk of pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatitis is mainly caused by two things: gallstones or heavy alcohol use. However, there is research to suggest that restrictive diets may cause a host of stomach problems.

Can Malnutrition Cause Pancreatitis?

With juice and whole fruit as his only food intake, it is possible that Kutcher could have become malnourished. Although research is limited, there are studies that suggest restrictive eating habits and malnutrition may have a role in causing pancreatitis, but it is not yet clear how.

  • A 2004 study out of NYU notes that "mild pancreatitis has been reported as a consequence of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or what has been termed the 'dietary chaos syndrome.'" And that chronic malnutrition "may precipitate acute pancreatitis." The same study says that they could only find 14 pieces of literature associating the two.
  • A 2005 letter from doctors at Louisiana State University suggests that pancreatitis occurring in those with eating disorders has been called "dietary chaos syndrome," but that it "should be suspected as a cause of pancreatitis" instead.

How Much Fruit Is OK to Eat?

Research suggests that 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day is the optimal amount for proper nutrition. In a new study, adults who consumed five servings of fruits and vegetables had a lower risk of death in general, plus a lower risk of dying specifically of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory disease.

Is Your Stomach Cramp Actually Diverticulitis?

It may not just be indigestion.

We've all been there — we get a cramp in our stomach, maybe with some nausea or constipation. It's easy to think it may just be indigestion. But what if it's something more serious like diverticulitis? That's a condition of inflammation or infection in one or more small pouches that can form in your digestive tract. Here's how to tell the difference between the pain and how to know when you should see a doctor.