Study Shows that Prunes Could Help Prevent Bone Loss in People with Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a medical condition that causes your bones to become thin, fragile, and weak. This causes the bones to be easily fractured or broken. It is a silent disease meaning that you will not display symptoms until you fracture or break a bone. Anyone can get osteoporosis but it is most common among women after menopause. Women are four times more likely to get osteoporosis than men. It is the most common type of medical condition that affects the bones. It is estimated that approximately 54 million people in the United States have osteoporosis (2).
Osteoporosis can be diagnosed by your healthcare provider using a type of X-ray called a DEXA scan which tests your bone mineral density. A DEXA scan is recommended for all women over the age of 65 or earlier if you have risk factors.
It is not possible to cure osteoporosis but you can use treatments to prevent and delay further bone density loss. Standard treatments to consider include weight-bearing exercises, medication, supplements, and diet modifications. Advise with your healthcare provider to see what would work best for you.
Prunes May Help Prevent Bone Loss
In January 2022, Penn State researchers published an article in the Advances in Nutrition Journal. The researchers did a clinical review and found that prunes may help postmenopausal women prevent or delay bones loss. Prunes have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that aid in osteoporosis treatment. They help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress which both contribute to osteoporosis. This was a significant finding because oftentimes patients look for non-pharmaceutical options to aid in treating health conditions (1).
This recent study is not the only research that has been conducted on the effects of prunes on bone density. In 2017, a comprehensive review article was published in the journal Nutrients titled ‘Dried Plums, Prunes, and Bone Health’. This review concluded that there are no adverse effects of consuming prunes, and they could have protective effects on bone loss (3). In 2016, a clinical trial with 48 women with osteoporosis concluded that consuming 50g of prunes daily could prevent bone loss in post-menopausal women (4). Although prune consumption will not cure osteoporosis, you might want to consider incorporating prunes into your diet to help slow bone density loss.
- Osteoporosis affects approximately 54 million people across the United States and it most common among postmenopausal women
- Osteoporosis is a medical condition where bones become thin, fragile, and weak, therefore the bones are more easily fractured or broken
- A DEXA scan can be used to diagnose osteoporosis
- Treatments for osteoporosis include exercise, diet modifications, supplementation, and medications
- New research shows that prunes may be able to help prevent bone loss caused by osteoporosis
- Prunes have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects
- Janhavi J Damani, Mary Jane De Souza, Hannah L VanEvery, Nicole C A Strock, Connie J Rogers, The Role of Prunes in Modulating Inflammatory Pathways to Improve Bone Health in Postmenopausal Women, Advances in Nutrition, 2022;, nmab162
- Osteoporosis: Symptoms, Causes, Tests & Treatment. (2020). Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved February 21, 2022
- Wallace T. C. (2017). Dried Plums, Prunes and Bone Health: A Comprehensive Review. Nutrients, 9(4), 401.
- Hooshmand S, Kern M, Metti D, Shamloufard P, Chai SC, Johnson SA, Payton ME, Arjmandi BH. The effect of two doses of dried plum on bone density and bone biomarkers in osteopenic postmenopausal women: a randomized, controlled trial. Osteoporos Int. 2016 Jul;27(7):2271-2279. doi: 10.1007/s00198-016-3524-8. Epub 2016 Feb 22. PMID: 26902092.
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