Eating prunes every day may help women mitigate bone loss in older age

A newly published study in Osteoporosis International set out to assess the effect of regular prune consumption on volumetric bone mineral density, bone geometry and estimated bone strength.

The study formed part of The Prune Study, a large, single-center, parallel-arm, 12-month randomized controlled trial completed with 183 postmenopausal women ranging in age from 55 to 75. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: a group that ate 50 grams of prunes daily, a group that ate 100 grams of prunes daily, or a control group that did not eat any prunes. Beyond the daily prune consumption requirements, participants did not follow any specific diet, but all (including the control group) consumed a daily requirement of 1,200 mg of calcium and 800 IU vitamin D through diet plus supplements. To assess bone health and bone changes, a peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) scan was given to participants every six months.

The findings showed that estimated bone strength was significantly maintained in the shin bone (tibia) in participants who ate at least 50 grams of prunes daily, compared with those in the no-prune group. The study adds to a growing body of research showing that eating prunes daily can help mitigate bone loss in older age.

The California Prune Board provided funding for this study.

Koltun, K.J., Strock, N.C.A., Weaver, C., Hang, L., Williams, N.I., Rogers, C.J., Damani, J., Ferruzzi, M.G., Nakatsu, C.H., & De Souza, M.J. (2024). Prunes preserve cortical density and estimated strength of the tibia in a 12-month randomized controlled trial in postmenopausal women: The Prune Study. Osteoporosis International.


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