How Do Prunes Strengthen Your Bones

By Subodh / May 24, 2016

Taking care of bone health is essential, especially as you move towards your sunset years to ensure that you are not at the risk of developing osteoarthritis and other joint issues. But, prunes and bones? They do sound rhyming, but I know prunes would be the last thing that would strike you when you think about foods for better bone strength. But let me tell you a fact. According to a study that appeared in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2011, prunes contains more bone strengthening properties than all the other fruits.

Well, let us take a closer look at how one can use prunes to keep their bones stronger and healthier.


Science And Research

Study I

The study that appeared in the British Journal of Nutrition was done for one year with about 100 women in their postmenopausal stage as participants. 50% of the group were asked to include 100 grams prunes daily while the other half had 100 grams dried apples. The women were also put on 44 I.U. vitamin D and 500 mg calcium daily.

At the end of the study period, it was noticed that women who were given prunes had a higher bone mineral density than those who had apples. The study suggest that prunes have the power to slow down the rate at which bones break down, in turn improving the gross bone mineral density. The study suggests that people should include 10 prunes a day for exceptional bone health.

[ Read: How To Get Healthy and Strong Bones ]

According To The Abstract of The Results of This Study,

“Dried plum significantly increased BMD (bone mineral density) of ulna and spine in comparison with dried apple. In comparison with corresponding baseline values, only dried plum significantly decreased serum levels of bone turnover markers including bone-specific alkaline phosphatase and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase-5b. The findings of the present study confirmed the ability of dried plum in improving BMD in postmenopausal women in part due to suppressing the rate of bone turnover.”

Study II

Yet another study that appeared in Texas A&M suggests that people who eat prunes have 20% stronger bones than non-eaters. The researcher who led this study also advocated the inclusion of about 5 prunes daily in your diet for these admirable results.

This study, unlike the previously mentioned one, was conducted on mice. The actual aim of the study was to check whether prunes had the power to shield your bones from radiation induced effects. The mice were fed about 30 prunes daily for two weeks and then exposed to intense radiation. When the bone loss was measured the next day, it was noticed that the loss was prevented.

While the study does need further evidences and support as it was done on mice and that too under lab conditions, it does shower a ray of hope.

Other Studies

There exists a few more other studies, which were conducted on mice under lab conditions, that suggest the positive impact of prunes on bone health. Even these studies also look quite promising, they are still in their preliminary stages.

How Exactly Does Prunes Improve The Health of Your Bones?

plums and prunes

Prunes, which in fact are dried plums, are rich with polyphenols. These compounds, along with the minerals copper and boron, promote the formation and maintenance of stronger bones.

The Negative Impacts of Prunes

Every coin has two sides. The case is the same with prunes also. While prunes do strengthen the bones, excessive consumption could prove to be dangerous for your bone health. Instead of strengthening them, these dried fruits will stimulate the erosion of calcium from the bones, setting the stage for brittle bones. Hence, it is advisable to consume prunes in moderation as they are good for you.

Prunes, being rich in fiber, could cause constipation or diarrhea if you overdo them. Plus, they are also rich in sugar, which means overeating could actually cause you gain weight. So just add four or five prunes a day to your diet as part of a healthy balanced meal for a stronger bones.

But can prunes alone keep your bones strong and healthy? Well, no. Even though it has been discovered that prunes could strengthen your bones, you should consume a diet that is balanced and rich in all the nutrients essential for your bones. This means there should be a good and plenty supply of calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, and protein in your diet. Your food should also include adequate healthy fats so as to keep the lubrication of the joints in place. Exercises, yoga, and adequate sleep are also equally important when it comes to maintaining strong bones.