Prunes may improve bone health in older women, according to researchers


New research from Penn State University found  that eating prunes may help prevent or reduce bone loss in postmenopausal woman due to anti-inflammatory, anti-resorptive, and antioxidant properties of the dried fruit.

The review, published in Advances in Nutrition, analyzed the results from 16 preclinical studies using rodent models of osteopenia or osteoporosis, 10 preclinical studies on the nutritional properties of prunes, and two clinical trials on the impact that prunes have on the bone health of postmenopausal woman.

The results from the 10 studies of prunes and their nutritional properties suggested that the polyphenol extracts from the dried fruit decrease malondialdehyde and nitric oxide secretion, reduce inflammation, and increase antioxidant expression, according to the review. Based on the 16 studies on animal models, Penn State researchers concluded that the dietary properties of prunes can prevent and even reverse bone loss in rodents. According to the review, the two clinical trials showed that eating prunes had a positive influence on mineral density and bone biomarkers.

The paper concluded that together, these studies suggest that consuming prunes helps support bone health in postmenopausal woman. Penn State researchers plan to conduct their own investigation in the future, studying the effects that eating prunes have on bone health, inflammation, and the gut microbiome.

Integrative practitioners may want to consider the conclusions from this review, as well as future studies, for their treatment plans for older patients, specifically women, struggling with bone health.