Prunes (Alu Bukhara) may protect bone mass and reduce inflammation post-menopause
Currently, osteoporosis affects 1 in 5 adults aged 18-59 years in India, with the prevalence higher in women compared with men. The onset of osteoporosis occurs approximately 10-20 years earlier in Indians compared with Western populations, highlighting their increased risk for low bone mineral density (BMD). Among adults, nearly one out of two have osteopenia and one out of five have osteoporosis. Osteoporosis prevalence is higher in women and in the elderly. Nearly one out of three women in the postmenopausal age group have osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a bone mineral density of 2.5 standard deviations or more below the mean peak bone mass (average of young, healthy adults) as measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The term "established osteoporosis" includes the presence of a fragility fracture. It is a medical condition that affects the bones, causing them to become weak and fragile and more likely to break (fracture)
There is a certain imbalance between the old and new bones in this condition. Though Osteoporosis is more prevalent in elderly people, it is more common in women than men. The reason is that the hormone called estrogen is responsible for maintaining bone density in women. After menopause, estrogen levels drop considerably in women and thus decrease bone density as well. Over 25 million people in India are known to suffer from this condition and the sad part is there are no specific symptoms other than pain or disability for early detection of the condition.
Prunes (Alu- Bukhara) for Osteoporosis
For centuries, medicinal plants (i.e., herbal medicine) have been a part of cultural heritage. More than 35,000 plant species have been reported to be used in various human cultures around the world for medicinal purposes. Burkill, in his extensive compilation of economic products of the India and Malay peninsula, recorded not less than 1,300 plants, which were used in traditional medicine. In spite of the great advances observed in modern medicine in recent decades, plants still make an important contribution to health care. Nowadays, medicinal plants play a significant role as an alternative medicine due to the damaging effects of food processing, the environment, and the hazardous side effects of prolonged medications.
Dried plums, or prunes, contain many nutrients that can contribute to good health. Prunes are a good source of energy, and they don’t cause a rapid hike in blood sugar levels. Clinical research that looked at the impact of dried plums and/or plum extracts on bone health indicators tells that range of phenolics included in dried plums may contribute to the fruit's favourable benefits on bone health. According to animal and cell research, dried plums and/or their extracts promote bone formation and prevent bone resorption by influencing cell signaling pathways that regulate osteoblast and osteoclast development. These findings are consistent with clinical trials that demonstrate that dried plums may improve bone mineral density (BMD).
Dried prunes are high in the mineral boron, which helps create strong bones and muscles. It may also aid in the enhancement of mental clarity and physical coordination.
Prunes may be particularly useful in combating radiation-induced bone density loss. According to a 2016 animal study, dried plums and dried plum powder may minimize the impact of radiation on bone marrow, decreasing bone density loss and supporting bone health.
Researchers found Prunes may possibly be useful as an osteoporosis therapy and that dried plums may help reduce bone loss in postmenopausal people who are prone to osteoporosis.
It is also found that only 50 g (or five to six prunes) per day were required to show results
(Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.)
P. W. Woods, “Herbal healing,” Essence, vol. 30, pp. 42–46, 1999.
WHO, Drug Information. Herbal Medicines, vol. 16, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, 2002.
I. H. Burkill, A Dictionary of Economic Products of the Malay Peninsula, Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operative, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1966.