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New Study Indicates High Prune Diet Prevents Bone Loss After Traumatic Injury

As part of the California Prune industry’s long-time commitment to world-class nutrition research, a new, peer-reviewed animal study shows a diet high in California Prunes completely prevents bone loss associated with spinal cord injury (SCI), while also restoring a fraction of the bone lost after SCI.

Individuals who suffer spinal cord injury (SCI) are prone to extremely rapid bone loss. This leads to a significant increase in the risk of fractures, osteoporosis, and overall mortality. Results of this New animal study conducted by San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Orthopedic Surgery show California Prunes may be able to help.

“Healthy bones come from the right exercise and diet,” says Leslie Bonci, registered dietitian and consultant for the California Prune Board. “California Prunes are particularly rich in bone-building minerals. Not only does the fruit provide boron and manganese, but also Vitamin K — another nutrient that is fundamental for bone mineralization.”

The study finds Prunes, in their Dried Plum version, mitigates Spinal Cord Injury-induced Bone Loss in Mice, was published in the Journal of the Orthopedic Research Society. The research was led by Halloran and Xuhui Liu, M.D., San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, UCSF. In a serving of California Prunes, you can find potassium, Vitamin K, manganese, boron, and fiber.

The researchers conducted two separate experiments. In a prevention experiment, they looked at dietary supplementation with dried plum for mitigating the loss of bone induced by SCI. Then, in a recovery experiment, they examined if a dried plum diet could restore bone lost after SCI.

“We are seeing an exciting ‘prune effect’ on bones,” said Bernard Halloran, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, University of California – San Francisco (UCSF). “In a variety of unique research scenarios, prunes are consistently associated with a favorable bone response.”

The new study findings build on a growing body of research that shows a link between positive bone health response and California Prunes in post-menopausal women, along with research that shows a similar favorable bone response among those exposed to radiation – such as astronauts in space.

Additional nutrition research studies are now underway adding to the investment in scientifically-sound evidence about the health benefits of prunes. The research pipeline includes the largest clinical trial ever undertaken by the California Prune industry that is looking at how California Prunes influence the microbiota and inflammation reduction, as well as a first-of-its-kind study that is evaluating the impact of California Prunes on the bone health of men. More studies are examining how California Prunes effect the fracture-healing process and the fruit’s impact on the bone health of younger women who are taking oral contraceptives.

ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA PRUNE BOARD

Created in 1952, The California Prune Board aims to amplify the premium positioning and top-of-mind awareness of California Prunes through advertising, public relations, promotion, nutrition research, crop management and sustainability research, and issues management. The California Prune Board represents approximately 800 prune growers and 28 prune, juice, and ingredient handlers under the authority of the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture.

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