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Does Eating Dried Plumbs have a Bone-Protective Effect?

Eating dried plumbs (prunes) seems to have a positive effect on bone health. A new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in July 2014 examines why dried plumbs may be healthy for bones and in general.

San Diego State University and Florida State University researchers analyzed a year-long study published in 2011, which looked at 160 osteopenic, postmenopausal women. These women were randomly assigned to eat either 100 grams dried plums (about 10 dried plums) daily or 75 grams dried apple daily. Each woman in the study also took 500 milligrams of calcium plus 400 international units of vitamin D daily. The researchers of this earlier study reported the group that ate plums had notably higher bone mineral density compared with the women who ate apples.

Eating dried plums may suppress the rate bone breakdown (or bone resorption), which tends to exceed the rate of new bone growth as people age, according to authors of the new study.

“Nature has created dried plums to be unique in nutrient composition. They really are the whole package,” says study author Bahram H. Arjmandi, PhD, RD. “Research suggests that dried plums may actually help to regenerate bone in people who have experienced bone loss. This is a serious issue for men and women alike, and dried plums continue to show promising results in the prevention and reversal of bone loss.”

Animal studies measuring effects of dried plumbs on bone mineral density also support dried plums’ positive effect on bone mineral density and markers of bone turnover.

Other health benefits of dried plumbs, according to research studied cited by the California Dried Plum Board (yes, this board did help to fund this research and provided plumbs), include:

•Dried plums help manage weight by making people who eat them feel fuller.

•Dried plums reduce the bad, or LDL, cholesterol in animals and human studies.

•These prunes promote digestive health, as a natural constipation treatment.

•And they are considered a low-glycemic index (GI) food, which means they do not cause big rises and falls in blood glucose levels and insulin after a meal.

Physical therapists are the exercise and fitness experts. Along with a good diet to promote bone health, physical therapists help people improve balance, strength (including weight bearing), posture and fitness. This overall approach helps people of all ages prevent falls, maintain healthy bones and prevent osteopenia and osteoporosis. For more information about what physical therapy can do for your bone health, contact A Physical Therapist, Inc.

A Physical Therapist, Inc., is a one-on-one physical therapy clinic in Delray Beach, Fla., and Harrisburg, Penn. For patients in Palm Beach County, A Physical Therapist, Inc., is easily accessible from Boca Raton or Boynton Beach. For patients in Dauphin County, A Physical Therapist, Inc., is easily accessible from Hershey and Marysville.

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