In a recent groundbreaking study titled "The Effect of 12-month Prune (Dried Plum) Supplementation on Inflammatory Responses and Cardiometabolic Health in Postmenopausal Women", researchers have unveiled the potential benefits of prunes in supporting bone health and reducing inflammation in postmenopausal women.
Osteoporosis, a condition characterized by a significant loss in bone mineral density, affects millions of women worldwide. With estrogen deficiency during menopause being a major contributor to bone loss, there's a growing interest in finding alternative dietary interventions to mitigate this issue. Enter prunes, or dried plums, which are emerging as a promising functional food for bone health. Rich in phenolic compounds, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, prunes have shown potential in improving bone turnover markers, bone density, and overall bone strength.
The study, conducted over 12 months, involved postmenopausal women aged between 55 to 75 years. Participants were divided into groups, with some consuming prunes (at doses of 50g/day and 100g/day) supplemented with the recommended dose of calcium and vitamin D3, while a control group was given only calcium and vitamin D3. The results were promising. While prunes did not significantly alter markers of glycemic control, blood lipids, and liver enzymes, they did show a reduction in pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion, suggesting a potential role in attenuating chronic inflammation associated with postmenopausal bone loss.
Moreover, the study found no adverse effects of prune supplementation on cardiometabolic risk factors, making it a safe and potentially effective dietary intervention for postmenopausal women.
In a world where dietary guidelines are shifting towards whole-food approaches rather than focusing on isolated nutrients, this study paves the way for further research into how prunes, when incorporated into a balanced diet, can offer health benefits beyond just bone health.