Bone Health Benefits of Prunes for Men and Women + Free Webinar
Multiple Studies Suggest Prunes May Help to Prevent Bone Loss
March 14, 2022
According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, it is estimated that an osteoporotic fracture occurs every three seconds somewhere in the world. At 50 years of age, one in three women and one in five men will suffer a fracture in their remaining lifetime.1 Luckily, there are steps we can take to help patients prevent bone loss.
Focusing on bone-healthy foods is one way you can help your patients to improve their bone health. Multiple studies suggest prunes may help to prevent bone loss. In fact, research suggests that eating just 5-6 prunes per day can have a positive effect on bone health in post-menopausal women. 2 A separate, yearlong study even saw an increase in bone mineral density of certain regions of the body in people who ate 10-11 prunes per day.3
In addition, a first-of-its-kind study recently published in the Journal of Medicinal Food saw positive effects on markers of bone health after men ate prunes. The researchers divided a group of 66 men into two treatment groups – half of the men were asked to eat 10-12 (100 grams) prunes per day for a period of one year, the other half of the men did not eat prunes. At the end of the year-long study, researchers saw that the men who ate prunes experienced bone-protective effects compared to those who did not eat prunes.4 This study is the first clinical trial to look at the effect of prunes on bone health in men and is good news for the estimated two million American men who already have osteoporosis and the 12 million more who are at risk.5
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Prunes have vitamins and minerals that likely work together to protect the bone, including fiber, vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, boron, copper and polyphenols.6 Shirin Hooshmand, PhD, RD, Professor, School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences at San Diego State University, recently took an in-depth look at the latest research around prunes and bone health for both men and women in her webinar “The Bone Health Benefits of Prunes for Men and Women” – watch for free here. In the webinar, Dr. Hooshmand covers:
- Risk factors for osteoporosis
- How the bones change over time
- Determinants of peak bone mass
- Studies showing the effect of eating prunes for both women and men
- Ways to get 5-6 prunes in the diet per day
Here are a few more ways you can encourage your patients to support their bone health:
Get moving – Exercise enhances the benefits of bone-healthy nutrition. Patients should consider engaging in regular, weight-bearing exercises to maintain strong bones and muscles. Perform weight-bearing exercises like walking, hiking, jogging, or yoga for 30 minutes, three to five a week.
Start the day smart – Consider warming up in the morning with simple, easy yoga exercises that focus on the hips and spine. Spinal stretch, cat tilt, and puppy dog are a few poses that not only help the bones but also may help curb stress.
Balance their plate – Eat a well-balanced diet of bone-friendly foods that contain vitamins and minerals like calcium, vitamin D, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin K. Foods like leafy green vegetables, yogurt, nuts, and prunes contain many of these key nutrients. For delicious ways to incorporate prunes into your patient’s diet, check out the Sunsweet recipe page.
For more information on prunes and bone health, visit Sunsweet’s The Pros of Prunes and Prune Juice resource.
2 Hooshmand S, Kern M, Metti D, Shamloufard P, Chai SC, Johnson SA, Payton ME, Arjmandi BH. The effect of two doses of dried plum on bone density and bone biomarkers in osteopenic postmenopausal women: a randomized, controlled trial. Osteoporos Int. 2016 Jul;27(7):2271-2279. doi: 10.1007/s00198-016-3524-8. Epub 2016 Feb 22. PMID: 26902092.
3 Arjimandi, et al. Nutrients. Bone-Protective Effects of Dried Plum in Postmenopausal Women: Efficacy and Possible Mechanisms. 2017, 9, 496: doi:10.3390/nu9050496.
4 Hooshmand S, Gaffen D, Eisner A, Fajardo J, Payton M, Kern M. Effects of 12 Months Consumption of 100 g Dried Plum (Prunes) on Bone Biomarkers, Density, and Strength in Men. J Med Food. 2022 Jan;25(1):40-47. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2021.0080. Epub 2021 Oct 29. PMID: 34714130.
5 Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation. “Just for Men”. Accessed 11.8.21. https://www.bonehealthandosteoporosis.org/preventing-fractures/general-facts/just-for-men/
6 Arjmandi, Bahram H et al. “Bone-Protective Effects of Dried Plum in Postmenopausal Women: Efficacy and Possible Mechanisms.” Nutrients vol. 9,5 496. 14 May. 2017, doi:10.3390/nu9050496