Prunes Can Halt the Progress of Osteoporosis

It may be time for the underrated prune to get some respect in the health community. While prunes have long been held in high regard by those who had constipation, a new study that has come out the University of Florida suggests that there is a lot more to this sweet little snack than just keeping people regular. Prunes can halt the progress of osteoporosis.

In this study, entitled Comparative Effects of Dried Plum and Dried Apple on Bone in Post Menopausal Women, prunes were found to be beneficial not only in preventing osteoporosis but to actually have improved the bone density of the participants.

According to Professor Arjmandi, “Over my career, I have tested numerous fruits including figs, dates, strawberries and raisins and none of them have come anywhere close to having the effect on bone density that dried plums or prunes have. All fruits and vegetables have a positive effect on nutrition, but in terms of bone health, this particular food is exceptional.”

Professor Bahram A. Arjmandi, is the chairman of the Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences at the University of Florida College of Human Sciences and has been working in conjunction with a group of researchers from the University of Oklahoma and Florida State University. The 12 month study followed two groups of women over the period of a year.

The first group of 55 women, were told to eat about 100 grams of dried prunes daily. 100 grams is equal to about 10 prunes. The control group of 45 women were told to eat 100 grams of dried apples. Both groups received the same amount of calcium and vitamin D.

According to the article published in the  British Journal of Nutrition, the group who ate the prunes did significantly better than the group who ate the dried apples. The test group had results that were high enough to draw the conclusion that the dried plums were beneficial in stopping bone loss and even increasing bone density in the ulna and spine.

In recent years, several different drugs that address this problem have been developed. This study offers aging baby boomers the opportunity to be proactive. By making a few changes to diet and including dried plums in the quantities suggested by the study, there is the opportunity to remove the threat of osteoporosis instead of trying to cure the problem after it has occurred.

As the population in the United States ages, there are more cases of osteoporosis diagnosed. The decrease of hormones in women is one of the primary causes of the disease. It is not only aging women however, who suffer from this problem. Men after the age of 65 are also susceptible.

Professor Arjmandi suggests, don’t wait until you are diagnosed with osteoporosis and have to have prescribed medicine, do something meaningful and practical beforehand. People could start eating three dried prunes per day and increase gradually to perhaps six to 10 per day. Prunes can be eaten in all forms and can be included in a variety of recipes.

 

More information:

Science Daily


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