Plum Out of Bone Density

Postmenopausal women with osteoporosis benefit with prunes in the diet

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) The old saying, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" is certainly sage advice. But apples are having to take a back seat to dried plums in the osteoporosis department.

Aging women in particular often are faced with deteriorating bone mass. While there are drugs such as Boniva and Fosamax to treat osteoporosis, are there other easy adjustments to the diet that can enhance bone density?

According to a Florida State University (FSU) researcher, dried plums added to the diet help to prevent fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

"Add prunes to your diet to slow down bone deterioration."

Bahram H. Arjmandi, FSU's Margaret A. Sitton Professor and chairman of the Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences in the College of Human Sciences reports throughout his career of testing fruits including raisins, strawberries, figs, plums and prunes, dried plums reign supreme in terms of enhancing bone health. While all fruits and vegetables positively impact nutrition, dried plums are exceptional for bone density enhancement.

Arjmandi and his research group from FSU and Oklahoma State University enrolled 100 postmenopausal women and randomly assigned them to two treatment groups. The first group of women were told to eat 100 grams of dried plums a day while the second group was told to consume 100 grams of dried apples. Both groups were given 500 mg of calcium a day and 400 international units of vitamin D.

The group who consumed dried plums had much higher bone mineral density in their forearms and spines compared to the group that ate the dried apples. Arimandi reports that this is probably because dried plums have a superior ability to suppress the rate of bone breakdown which happens as people grow older.

This research entitled, "Comparative Effects of Dried Plum and Dried Apple on Bone in Post Menopausal Women" is published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

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Review Date: 
August 19, 2011
Last Updated:
August 20, 2014