A simple and proactive solution to reducing statistics of osteoporosis and fractures in post-menopausal women comes from something as innocuous as dried plums. Florida State’s Margaret A. Sitton professor and chairman of the Department of Nutrition, Dr. Bahram Arjmandi has gone on record to say that no fruit comes even close to the benefits dried plums can deliver in terms of increasing bone density- figs, dates, raisins and strawberries included. (1)
The study that lasted over a year and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture was headed by Arjmandi and co-conducted by a group of researchers from Florida State and Oklahoma State University, administered 100 grams of prunes to one group of 55 women and gave a similar quantity (100 grams) of dried apples to another group of 45 women each day. Besides this dietary addition each group was also given 500 mg of calcium and 400 IU of Vitamin D on a daily basis.
At the end of the study period, tests on bone density showed clear results. The group of 55 women whose diet included the intake of prunes showed significantly higher bone density in the regions of arms and spine when compared against the group that was given dried apples daily. As per Arjmandi, the chemicals in the dried plums could greatly reduce the rate of bone resorption/breakdown which in the post menopausal women exceeds the rate of growth of t new bones. (2)
In the US alone, some 8 million women and over 2 million men suffer from osteoporosis. (3)And though in the first 5-7 years of menopause women are more at risk than men (with women losing as much as 7% of their bone annually), but the statistics almost equal out by the age of 65 years for both men and women.
As per Dr. Arjmandi, “Don’t wait until you get a fracture or you are diagnosed with osteoporosis and have to have prescribed medicine. Do something meaningful and practical beforehand. People could start eating two to three dried plums per day and increase gradually to perhaps six to 10 per day.” (4)
- No Bones About It: Eating Dried Plums Helps Prevent Fractures and Osteoporosis, Study Suggests, Science Daily, August 2011. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110818093048.htm
- Dr. B. H. Arjmandi; Shirin Hooshmanda, Sheau C. Chaia1, Raz L. Saadata1, Mark E. Paytona, Kenneth Brummel-Smitha, Comparative effects of dried plum and dried apple on bone in postmenopausal women, British Journal of Nutrition, May 2011. http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8280927&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S000711451100119X
- Prevalence Report, National Foundation For Osteoporosis. http://www.nof.org/advocacy/resources/prevalencereport
- Want Super Strong Bones? How A Handful Of Prunes A Day Could Help Prevent Fractures, Daily Mail, U.K, August 2011. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2027811/Want-super-strong-bones-How-handful-prunes-day-help-prevent-fractures.html