This Food Can Improve Your Bone Health

29677683 - pitted prunes on old table

By INC, Special for  USDR

As the demographic shift to an older population continues, a growing number of men and women will be diagnosed with osteoporosis. In addition to existing drug therapies, certain lifestyle and nutritional factors are known to reduce its  risk[1].

The benefits of prune consumption for osteoporosis and their role in total body bone mineral density (BMD) loss have been supported by scientific research in both animal studies and clinical  trials.

Research in prunes has increased beginning with studies of their potential in restoring bone and preventing bone loss in animal models of osteoporosis[2]. Animal studies suggest that fruit consumption with antioxidant content may have a pronounced effect on bone health by enhancing bone formation, suppressing bone resorption and increasing bone strength. The bone protection effects seem to be mediated via antioxidant or anti-inflammatory  pathways[3].

According to a randomized controlled trial published last year, prune consumption may prevent the loss of total body BMD in older osteopenic postmenopausal women. Forty-eight osteopenic (bone mineral density is lower than normal but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis) women were randomly assigned into one of three treatment groups for six months: 50 g of prunes, 100 g of prunes or a control group. Total body, hip and lumbar bone mineral density were evaluated, as well as several markers of bone metabolism. Data revealed that both prune groups were able to prevent the loss of total body BMD when compared to the control group[4]. This effect has been explained in part to the ability of prunes to inhibit bone reabsorption. The study support previous data on the role that prunes may play in preventing bone loss, especially in postmenopausal  women[5],[6].

About the International Nut & Dried Fruit  Council

INC members include more than 700 nut and dried fruit sector companies from over 70 countries. INC is the leading international organization regarding nuts and dried fruit health, nutrition, statistics, food safety, international standards and  regulations.

1. Zhu K, Prince RL. Lifestyle and osteoporosis. Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2015  Feb;13(1):52-9.

2. Franklin M [ ], Bu SY [ ], Lerner MR [ ], Lancaster EA [ ] et al. Dried plum prevents bone loss in a male osteoporosis model via IGF-I and the RANK pathway. Bone. [ ] 2006 ;39(6):1331-42.

3. Shen CL [ ], von Bergen V [], Chyu MC [ ]. Fruits and dietary phytochemicals in bone protection. Nutr Res. [ ] 2012;32(12):897-910.

4. Hooshmand, S, Kern, M, Metti, D et al. The effect of two doses of dried plum on bone density and bone biomarkers in osteopenic postmenopausal women: a randomized, controlled trial. Osteoporosis International.  2016;1-9.

5. Hooshmand, S., Brisco, J. R., & Arjmandi, B. H. (2014). The effect of dried plum on serum levels of receptor activator of NF-κB ligand, osteoprotegerin and sclerostin in osteopenic postmenopausal women: a randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Nutrition,  112(01), 55-60.

6. Rendina E, Hembree KD, Davis MR et al. Dried plum’s unique capacity to reverse bone loss and alter bone metabolism in postmenopausal osteoporosis model. PloS one.  2013;8(3):e60569.

SOURCE International Nut & Dried Fruit Council  (INC)

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