Dried Plums Keep Bones Healthy

Help Ward Off Osteoporosis




When it comes to improving bone health in postmenopausal women—and people of all ages, for that matter—eating dried plums is a simple, proactive solution to help prevent fractures and osteoporosis, reports a Florida State University researcher. “During my career, I have tested numerous fruits, including figs, dates, strawberries and raisins, and none of them come anywhere close to having the effect on bone density that dried plums, or prunes, have,” says Bahram H. Arjmandi, The Florida State University’s Margaret A. Sitton Professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences.

Arjmandi and his colleagues tested two groups of postmenopausal women over a 12-month period. The first group of 55 women consumed 100 grams of dried plums (about 10 prunes) each day, while the second, control group of 45 women ate 100 grams of dried apples. All participants also received daily doses of calcium (500 milligrams) and vitamin D (400 international units).

The group that consumed dried plums had significantly higher bone mineral density in the ulna (one of two long bones in the forearm) and spine, compared with the group that ate dried apples. According to Arjmandi, this was due in part to the ability of dried plums to suppress the rate of bone resorption, or breakdown, which tends to exceed the rate of new bone growth as people age.

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