Dried plums (prunes) for osteoporosis! Are you kidding?

November 09, 2010 2 min read

Dried plums (prunes) for osteoporosis! Are you kidding?

Yep, that old prune just got dressed up – dried plums (DP). The DP industry is trying very hard to change the image of the shriveled up prune. One thing is for sure, dried plums are a superstar food and it now appears that they may be able to reverse some cases of osteoporosis.

Before we all get too excited, these studies have mostly been tested on rats, but they are impressive and do show an increase in bone density. The following study was published in the Ageing Research Review – April 2009.

A 3-month clinical trial indicated that the consumption of dried plums daily by postmenopausal women significantly increased serum markers of bone formation. While this is exciting news, we will have to wait for a human study to actually demonstrate an increase in bone density.

How many prunes do you have to chow down? The 3-month study used 100 grams of prunes and when I weighed them out, 100 g = 12 or so prunes.

Yes, there could be a down side (loose stools), so start slowly and remember that this is just a preliminary dosage. On the up side, many of my patients also suffer from constipation and this certainly may help.

Here’s another way to dress up those prunes- last night I made an easy and fantastic compote that I want to share with you.

1 cup dried (organic) apricots, cut in half
2 cups prunes (oops, dried plums), cut in half
1 apple chopped into small, bite-sized pieces
3” cinnamon stick
Juice of one lemon
5 cups water

Directions: Boil water – add apricots and cinnamon, simmer 5 minutes. Add the rest and let sit until room temp. DONE – enjoy! Refrigerate.

If you are interested in the entire abstract of the study I mentioned on dried plums, it is available on PubMed, just search for the title below:

Aging Research Review April 2009
Viewpoint: dried plum, an emerging functional food that may effectively improve bone health.

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