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Eat Prunes and Anti-Inflammatory Food to Reduce Bone Loss and Fragility

Plate of prunes

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A popular staple since ancient times, prunes have long been esteemed for their culinary, nutritional and medicinal purposes, and a new review of research has found that they can also help counter the bone loss linked to fragility in postmenopausal women. After reviewing 28 studies, Penn State University researchers reported in the journal Advances in Nutrition that eating five to 10 prunes each day can help prevent or delay bone loss, lowering the risk of fractures. In one study, women that ate 100 grams of prunes (about 10) per day for one year experienced improved bone mineral density in their forearms and lower spines. In another study, eating five to 10 prunes a day for six months was shown to prevent bone density loss and decrease TRAP-5b, a bone-loss marker. The nutritional benefits of prunes, including minerals, vitamin K, phenolic compounds and dietary fiber, may reduce the inflammation and oxidative stress that contribute to bone loss, said the authors.

In a separate study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Harvard Medical School researchers that studied 1,700 older adults for 12 years found that those that ate a highly pro-inflammatory diet rich in simple carbohydrates and saturated fats were more than twice as likely to develop fragility—increasing the risk of falls, hospitalization and death—as those eating the least amount of those sweet, fatty foods.

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