Promising new research from a first-of-its-kind study provides men with an easy, food-based option to help benefit their bone health. Often known as the ‘silent disease’ and traditionally associated with women, osteoporosis can also affect men. However, a new study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, saw positive effects on markers of bone health after men ate prunes. Good news for the estimated two million American men who already have osteoporosis and the 12 million more who are at risk.
“After so many years of studying the positive effect of prunes on bone health in women, we are so pleased to see that they can also play a beneficial role in the bone health of men too,” says Shirin Hooshmand, PhD, RD, Professor of Nutrition, San Diego State University. “We are looking forward to continuing to study the role of prunes on bone health in men to further understand the mechanisms at play.”
The researchers divided a group of sixty-six men into two treatment groups – half of the men were asked to eat 10-12 (100 grams) prunes per day for a period of one year, the other half of the men did not eat any. At the end of the year-long study, researchers saw that the men who ate them experienced bone-protective effects compared to those who did not eat prunes.
This study is the first clinical trial to look at the effect of prunes on bone health in men. Previous clinical trials have found that prunes can be beneficial for bone health in women. A study published in Osteoporosis International found that eating just 5-6 (50 grams) prunes per day may help to prevent bone loss in post-menopausal women. While a prior study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, found that eating 10-12 (100 grams) prunes per day for one year was associated with increased bone mineral density and improved indicators of bone turnover in postmenopausal women. Prunes have vitamins and minerals that likely work together to protect the bone, including fiber, vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, boron, copper and polyphenols.
“Eating prunes is a delicious way to help improve bone health that people can feel good about,” says Stephanie Harralson, Director of Marketing, North America, at Sunsweet Growers Inc. “Men over the age of 50 are actually more likely to break a bone due to osteoporosis than they are to get prostate cancer. This new research gives men an easy way to take action to help improve their bone health.”
For more information on prunes and bone health, visit Sunsweet.com.