Prunes For Strong Bones
This surprising news comes from a Penn State study showing that consuming prunes appears to help prevent or delay bone loss in postmenopausal women. According to Connie Rogers, an associate professor of nutritional sciences and physiology, prunes seem to slow or reverse the weakening of bones stemming from lower levels of estrogen as women age. Weak or brittle bones are most common among women aged 50 and older and are responsible for nearly nine million fractures per year. Worldwide more than 200 million women are believed to be affected.
Dr. Rogers and her team reported that clinical trials have shown that eating about 10 prunes daily for one-year improved bone mineral density in the forearm and lower spine and reduced signs of bone turnover. They also found that eating 50 or 100 grams of prunes daily for six months prevented loss of total bone mineral density and lowered a marker of bone resorption compared to women who didn’t eat prunes.
The researchers suggested that eating prunes may help by triggering a change in the gut microbiome that then lowers inflammation in the colon. This may reduce levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and markers of oxidative damage.
According to Mary Jane De Souza, professor of kinesiology and physiology, “fruits and vegetables that are rich in bioactive compounds such as phenolic acid, flavonoids and carotenoids can potentially help protect against osteoporosis, with prunes in particular gaining attention in previous research.”
The investigators plan to report on the effects of prune consumption for 12 months on bone outcomes, inflammatory pathways, and the gut microbiota in a randomized controlled trial.
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; DOI: 10.1093/advances/nmab162 January 3,2022.
Try this recipe today: Seared Salmon With Orange Glaze
Sign up for more Dr. Weil newsletters: