Eating 5 to 6 prunes a day may prevent bone loss and osteoporosis

Eating 5 to 6 prunes a day may prevent bone loss and osteoporosis

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A new study shows that incorporating prunes into your daily diet may help with bone health. Westend61 / Getty Images
  • Osteoporosis, or the loss of bone mass and density, affects many people, especially people over the age of 50, resulting in an increased risk of fractures and fractures.
  • A new randomized study found that eating 5-6 prunes a day can maintain bone mass and density, and stop the development of osteoporosis.
  • The same researchers found, in a second study, that the loss of bone health is linked to inflammatory processes in the body, and plums are known to be anti-inflammatory.

Osteoporosis is a condition in which a person’s bones lose density and mass, making the bones more likely to fracture. according to National Osteoporosis FoundationAbout 10 million Americans have this condition, with another 44 million lacking bone density, putting them at risk of developing osteoporosis.

Half of women over 50 are at increased risk of broken bones, and one in four are men. Loss of bone mass and density can occur at any age. However, osteoporosis is more common among the elderly.

Osteoporosis occurs most often in postmenopausal women. In 2017-2018, 19.6% of women over 50 have had the condition — a higher percentage than the number of women with heart attacks, strokes or breast cancer combined.

The hip bones, vertebrae, and the wrist are among the most common sites for bone fractures due to osteoporosis, although it can occur in any bone. For older adults, hip fractures can be especially dangerous.

new Randomized controlled trial It shows that eating 5-6 prunes a day can halt the progression of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, compared to a control group that did not consume the fruit.

This is the second study in a pair of studies conducted by researchers at Penn State University in University Park, Pennsylvania. The first, an observational study not yet published, looked at the association between inflammatory markers and loss of bone mineral density, or BMD.

Principal Investigator Dr. Mary Jane Souza Tell Medical news today:

“Our findings suggest that higher levels of inflammatory markers were associated with lower trabeculae Bone points in the lumbar spine among study participants—basically, the higher the inflammation, the weaker the bone health. “

“Inflammation may be an important mediator of postmenopausal bone loss and a potential target for nutritional therapies,” Dr. Souza pointed out.

The research, funded by the California Prune Board, was presented at the North American Menopause Society’s annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, in October 2022.

Dr. Souza explained that researchers have been researching the links between prunes and bone health for many years.

“Our latest research represents the largest trial, with a group of more than 200 postmenopausal women, to investigate the relationship between prunes and good bone health,” she said.

Dr. Sousa said MNT that with the current larger randomized trial, they wanted to build on existing research “to validate and replicate results from previous smaller trials that had indicated that prunes may be a promising non-drug dietary intervention for bone preservation and maintenance of bone density and strength.”

“Our study is the first to reveal that eating 5-6 prunes per day prevented loss of bone mineral density in the hip, which is the most common site of aging in men and women because hip fractures typically result in hospitalization, deterioration in quality of life, and loss of independence.”
– Dr. Mary Jane Souza

“Plum eaters were also protected from increased hip fracture risk compared to non-peach eaters, whose fracture risk was increased,” she added.

The researchers also found “a similar trend in which bone strength is maintained at the tibia and cortical volumetric density while the control group showed a deterioration in these parameters.

The researchers divided the participants into three groups. The first, the control group, did not eat plums. Another group ate 5-6 prunes a day, and another group ate 10-12 prunes every day.

The benefit of prunes was most pronounced at 5-6 per day, with no benefit from eating more.

“The main differences were a lower dropout rate in the 5-6 prunes per day group – 15% compared to a 41% dropout rate in the 10-12 prunes per day group,” Dr. Souza said.

Furthermore, we saw that hip BMD was maintained in 6 prunes/day compared to the control group – a result not observed in the 10-12 prunes daily group. This result was noticeable within six months and… it lasted until month 12.”
– Dr. Mary Jane Souza

We also noticed that FRAX [Fracture Risk Assessment] The score in the total hip did not increase in the pooled group of women [containing both the 5-6 prunes a day group and the 10–12 prunes a day group] Dr. Souza said. This suggests that eating more prunes does not increase bone health.

“While it is not necessarily clear what exactly in prunes exerts this positive effect on bone health, this whole fruit contains many vitamins and minerals important for bones, including boron, potassium, copper and vitamin K. Bioactive polyphenols “Compounds that appear to play a role in bone formation,” Dr. Souza said.

She noted the anti-inflammatory effects of prunes, saying that they “study this effect specifically, and will report on these findings soon.”

“We are keen to continue this type of bone health research, while expanding investigations into the effect of prunes on the gut-bone axis, and what research may reveal about this link,” she added.

Michelle Rothensteina cardiology dietitian at, who was not involved in the study, suggested that Medical news today Additional ways to maintain bone health:

“Other nutritional strategies that may help combat bone loss and support bone strength include consuming adequate amounts of calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin K from food.”

“I highly recommend getting calcium from foods like sardines, yogurt, and cabbage. Other foods rich in vitamin K, magnesium, and potassium include edamame and leafy greens like Swiss chard and kale.”
– Michelle Rothenstein

For those seeking to use supplements to keep their bones healthy, Rothenstein added, she advised “to avoid calcium supplements in high doses above 500 mg due to their potential to cause arterial calcification.”

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