Scientific Studies

Nut and Dried Fruit Research Database

Nutrition and osteoporosis prevention for the orthopaedic surgeon.

Authors: Higgs, J., Derbyshire, E., & Styles, K. Journal: EFORT Open Rev. Year: 2017 Pages: 300-308. Volume: 2(6)
Fruits: Prunes
Subject: Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a prevalent and debilitating condition with no signs of subsiding. Rising numbers of people consuming nutrient-poor diets coupled with ageing populations and sedentary lifestyles appear to be the main drivers behind this. While the nutrients calcium and vitamin D have received most attention, there is growing evidence that wholefoods and other micronutrients have roles to play in primary and potentially secondary osteoporosis prevention. Until recently, calcium and vitamin D were regarded as the main nutrients essential to bone health but now there are emerging roles for iron, copper and selenium, among others. Fruit and vegetables are still not being eaten in adequate amounts and yet contain micronutrients and phytochemicals useful for bone remodelling (bone formation and resorption) and are essential for reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. There is emerging evidence that dried fruits, such as prunes, provide significant amounts of vitamin K, manganese, boron, copper and potassium which could help to support bone health. Just 50 g of prunes daily have been found to reduce bone resorption after six months when eaten by osteopaenic, postmenopausal women. Dairy foods have an important role in bone health. Carbonated drinks should not replace milk in the diet. A balanced diet containing food groups and nutrients needed for bone health across the whole lifecycle may help to prevent osteoporosis. Greater efforts are needed to employ preventative strategies which involve dietary and physical activity modifications, if the current situation is to improve.

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