Study: Dried plums consumption benefits bone health

By Adi Menayang

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: David Pacey/Flickr via Creative Commons
Photo: David Pacey/Flickr via Creative Commons

Related tags Osteoporosis

Calcium and vitamin D are often credited as the nutrients to go to for bone strength, but according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, it takes far more than just that.

Dairy is a popular source for calcium, but by no means the only one. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), fortified fruits and vegetables also have a great impact to bone health.

Dried fruit producer Sunsweet recently released a joint statement​ with NOF announcing their partnership to increase awareness of osteoporosis prevention.

NOF’s latest position paper, published in the February edition of Osteoporosis International​, “highlights the nutrition, physical activity and lifestyle factors recommended to optimize peak bone mass and reduce the risk of osteoporosis and related fractures later in life,” ​the press release said.

Better in a team

The position paper also emphasized that it’s not calcium and vitamin D alone that supports bone strength—dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C also contribute to it.

April last year, researchers from San Diego State University and Florida State University published a study on the effects of low dose dried plum (50g) on bone mineral density and bone biomarkers​ in older postmenopausal women, who often experience bone thinning.

In the study, three groups of post-menopausal women were supplemented with either 50g of dried plums, 100g of dried plums, and a control group ingesting no dried plums daily. Researchers observed that tartrate resistant acid phosphatase-5b (TRAP-5b, a marker of bone resorption) decreased at three months and six months in the groups of women supplemented with dried plum.

“These results confirm the ability of dried plum in improving BMD in older postmenopausal women and suggest that lower doses of dried plum (i.e. 50 g) may be as effective as 100 g dried plum in reversing bone loss in older, osteopenic postmenopausal women,” ​the research said.

"Our research suggests that the consumption of nutrients found in prunes, like potassium, magnesium and vitamin K, are important for bone health,"​ Dr. Shirin Hooshmand, Associate Professor at the School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences at San Diego State University, who was part of the aforemention prune study, said in the Sunseed and NOF press release.

"The new Peak Bone Mass Study is an exciting addition to the growing body of evidence of the role that nutrition can play in developing optimal bone health."

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