Postmenopausal Women Should Consume Prunes to Minimize Effect of Bone Loss, Study Shows

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Incorporating prunes into one’s diet may be beneficial, as a recent study suggests that this superfood has anti-inflammatory properties and helps maintain bone health. Researchers propose that regular consumption of prunes may lower inflammation markers linked to bone health and potentially alleviate bone loss effect in postmenopausal women.

Prunes could help mitigate effect of bone loss

According to Dr. Mary Jane De Souza, a professor at Penn State University, More than 50% of women above 50 experience significant bone loss. Currently, there is no cure for this issue, and available treatments, such as medications and hormone therapies, often entail lifelong management and associated risks. Dr. De Souza emphasizes the need for a deeper understanding of non-pharmacological approaches, such as lifestyle and dietary choices, to better comprehend their influence on the progression and mitigation of bone loss.

Study findings indicate that incorporating 50 to 100 grams of prunes (approximately 5-12 prunes) into daily diet led to significant reductions in inflammatory cytokines and activated monocytes, associated with chronic inflammation. Notably, 50 grams of daily prune intake resulted in lowered Tumor Necrosis Factor-α (TNF-α), while 100 grams showed reductions in Interleukin-1β (IL-1β), Interleukin-8 (IL-8), Interleukin-6 (IL-6) secretions, and activated monocytes. These findings suggest a potential anti-inflammatory benefit associated with prune consumption.

Effects of prunes attributed to bioactive compounds

The study suggests that the positive effects observed in prunes may be due to the presence of various bioactive compounds, such as vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, and phenolic acids. According to Dr. Connie Rogers, the head of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Georgia, these compounds are believed to work together to inhibit activated monocytes and their release of bone-resorptive inflammatory cytokines.

In the PRUNE study, a randomized controlled trial focused on bone health in postmenopausal women, 183 participants were divided into three groups: control, 50g daily prune consumption, and 100g daily prune consumption. Over 12 months, participants followed assigned prune protocols, with daily logs tracking compliance. All groups received calcium and vitamin D3 supplements. Immune, inflammatory, and oxidative stress markers were measured at the study’s start and end to assess prunes’ bone-protective effects.

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