In honor of National Osteoporosis Month this May, Sunsweet encourages us all to take control of our bone health and share this information with the men and women in our lives. One in two women and up to one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis.1 The “silent disease” of osteoporosis affects both men and women alike. In fact, men over age 50 are more likely to break a bone due to osteoporosis than they are to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.2
“While some osteoporosis risk factors can’t be changed, like age, family history and even taking certain medications that can increase osteoporosis risk, there are steps that we can take to help improve bone health,” says Dr. Shirin Hooshmand, PhD, RD, Professor of Nutrition in the School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences at San Diego State University. “Small changes in diet and exercise – for example – can be instrumental in strengthening bones.”
In fact, prunes specifically have been studied extensively for over the past 10 years and are emerging as an easy and delicious way to help improve bone health. Good news for men – a new, first-of-its kind study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food saw positive effects on markers of bone health after men ate prunes.3 The researchers followed men who ate 10-12 prunes (100 grams) per day for one year and compared them to men who weren’t eating prunes and found that the men who ate prunes experienced bone-protective effects.
“This was the first time we have looked at how eating prunes can impact bone health in men in a clinical trial,” says Dr. Hooshmand. “We are so excited to see these promising results as our previous research has shown prunes to be very impactful on the bone health of women.”
“For most, bone mass peaks by our late twenties, so the best time to work on your bone health was yesterday. But it’s never too early, or too late, to improve bone density, overall bone health, and prevent bone loss,” says Chris Mohr, Ph.D., RD, and co-owner of Mohr Results. “Everyday foods, like prunes, can be such a simple way to help improve your bone health. Start by adding 5-6 prunes into your favorite meals or snacks throughout the day.”
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.4 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.5 Prunes have vitamins and minerals that likely work together to protect the bone, including fiber, vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, boron, copper and polyphenols.5
“Prunes are easy to add to foods you are already eating – like oatmeal or salad – or eat as a quick snack. They’re also delicious in savory recipes and in baked goods,” says Stephanie Harralson, Director of Marketing, North America, at Sunsweet Growers Inc.
To view prune-based recipes and for more information on prunes and bone health, visit https://www.sunsweet.com/.
1 “What is Osteoporosis and What Causes It?” Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation. https://www.bonehealthandosteoporosis.org/patients/what-is-osteoporosis/. Accessed 3.28.22.
2 “The Man’s Guide to Osteoporosis” National Osteoporosis Foundation. http://www.bonehealthandosteoporosis.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Mans-Guide-to-Osteoporosis-1.pdf. Accessed 3.28.22
3 Hooshmand, et al. Effects of 12 Months Consumption of 100 g Dried Plum (Prunes) on Bone Biomarkers, Density, and Strength in Men. Journal of Medicinal Food. 2022 25:1, 40-47.
4 Hooshmand, et al. 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.
5 Arjmandi, et al. Nutrients. Bone-Protective Effects of Dried Plum in Postmenopausal Women: Efficacy and Possible Mechanisms. 2017, 9, 496: doi:10.3390/nu9050496.
SOURCE Sunsweet Growers Inc.