In Focus: Osteoporosis-Fighting Fruit

An apple a day? That is so last year!  Recently, a Florida State University research group conducted a study that strongly suggests dried plums — more commonly known as prunes — are a strong deterrent to bone fractures when consumed daily.

During the 12-month study, one group of women was told to eat 100 grams of prunes (about 10) every day, while another group did the same with dried apples. All participants also received a daily dose of calcium and vitamin D.

In the end, the prune group had considerably higher bone mineral density in the ulna (one of two long bones in the forearm) and spine than the dried apple group. Lead researcher Dr. Bahram H. Arjmandi attributes this difference to prunes’ ability to suppress the rate at which bones degrade, which tends to exceed the rate of new bone growth as people age.


While consuming so many prunes each day might seem intimidating, those looking for a way around eating all that dried fruit be warned; prune juice and other prune parts won’t necessarily provide benefits. “When you take them separately, they may have some effect, but not as much as the whole,” Arjmandi noted.

Prunes have about 21 calories each and may be cooked in a variety of ways and recipes. If you want to give prunes a try, slowly build up to 10 a day, starting with two or three and adding more from there. Otherwise, their effects could be — ahem — uncontrollable.

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