If you're a postmenopausal woman concerned about maintaining your bone health, there may be a new food item to add to your diet: prunes! A clinical trial investigates the effects of eating prunes on hip bone mineral density in postmenopausal women.
Osteoporosis is a condition where the creation of new bone cannot keep up with the loss of old bone. This results in weak and brittle bones that are prone to fractures with minor trauma. Bone mineral density (BMD) is a measure of the amount of minerals in the bone. Osteoporosis is common in elderly postmenopausal women making them more susceptible to bone fractures. Thus, it is important to maintain bone mineral density in these postmenopausal women.
There are many pharmacologic therapies available for maintaining bone mineral density in these women. However, due to their side effects, natural remedies are growing in popularity. One such remedy is eating prunes.
A prune is a dried plum that is believed to promote hip bone health. Their effects are likely due to their high concentration of certain nutrients, including polyphenols and vitamin K. Polyphenols are antioxidants that have been shown to have a positive effect on bone health, while vitamin K plays a role in bone metabolism and calcium absorption.
Clinical TrialA clinical trial called the Prune Study looked at the effects of eating prunes on hip bone mineral density over the course of 12 months. The trial involved 235 postmenopausal women who were randomly assigned to one of three groups: the 50g prune group, the 100g prune group, and the control group. BMD was measured at 6 and 12 months.
ResultsThe results of the clinical trial were impressive: the women who ate 50g of prunes every day had their hip bone mineral density preserved compared to those who didn't eat prunes in whom the BMD decreased.
Total hip BMD decreased by 1.1 in the control group at 12 months, whereas the BMD was preserved in the 50-g prune group (decreased by only 0.3) at 12 months.
Additionally, the clinical trial demonstrated that the hip bone fracture risk worsened in the control group at 6 months. These findings have important implications as they suggest that eating prunes may be a good option for postmenopausal women looking to preserve their bone health.
ConclusionThe Prune Study found that eating prunes every day (50g) can help preserve hip bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. It emphasizes that adding prunes to your diet may be a simple and delicious way to support your bone health.