How prunes and plums prevent bone loss in post-menopausal women

By: Information Source - Science Daily

Researchers from Penn University in Philadelphia have found that eating 10 prunes a day may help prevent bone loss in postmenopausal women.

Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become weak or brittle and is most common among women over the age of 50. After menopause, lower levels of estrogen can trigger a rise in oxidative stress and inflammation which in turn increases the risk of weakening bones and fractures. The condition affects more than 200 million women worldwide, causing almost nine million fractures each year. Bones are maintained throughout adult life by processes that continually build new bone cells while removing old ones. But after the age of 40, this breaking down of old cells begins to outpace the formation of new ones.
This can be caused by multiple factors including inflammation and oxidative stress, which is when free radicals and antioxidants are unbalanced in the body.
The researchers found that eating prunes can help prevent or delay bone loss in postmenopausal women, possibly due to their ability to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. Consumption of prunes may trigger a change in the gut microbiome that leads to a lowering of inflammation in the colon and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and markers of oxidative damage.

For their review, the researchers analysed data from 16 preclinical studies in rodent models, ten preclinical studies, and two clinical trials. Across the studies, the researchers found evidence that eating prunes helped reduce inflammation and oxidative stress and promoted bone health.

Trials found that eating 100 grams of prunes -- about 10 prunes -- each day for one-year improved bone mineral density of bones in the forearm and lower spine and decreased signs of bone turnover.

Additionally, eating 50 or 100 grams of prunes a day for six months prevented loss of total bone mineral density and decreased TRAP-5b -- a marker of bone resorption -- compared to women who didn't eat prunes.

Now given that prunes are dried plums it stands to reason that plums will also protect against bone loss as will most fresh fruit and vegetables rich in bioactive compounds such as phenolic acid, flavonoids, and carotenoids that can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.

The California Dried Plum Board helped support this research and they do have a vested interest in promoting the consumption of prunes. I think the take-home message to all of this is that we should be eating a wide range of fresh produce and include some prunes in the mix for strong bones and overall good health
Source : Eating prunes may help protect against bone loss in older women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 February 2022.


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