One of my readers alerted me to a study that I found very interesting and wanted to share with you. What made this research interesting is the fact that it apparently contradicted one piece of the Strong Bones Forever program and so I wanted to clear up some of the controversy.
The fascinating study, performed at Oklahoma State University, evaluated prunes as a tool for helping to prevent osteoporosis. That’s right….prunes!
In the study, the researchers gave 58 women 12 prunes daily and after 3 months tested the blood levels of certain markers of bone repair and growth. Compared to women who did not supplement with the prunes, the prune eaters enjoyed higher blood levels of growth factors and enzymes that are known to indicate improved bone repair.
Now the controversy…in the free report that comes along with the eBook Strong Bones Forever, prunes are listed as an “acidic food”. As a matter of fact, they are listed as having a grade of “D” in the list of acid/base foods. So how can they be good for the bones?
First, it is important to realize that no process of the body exists in a vacuum. What I mean by this, as it pertains to bone health, is you can’t always look at one characteristic of a food and assess its benefit or harm to the body. In the situation with prunes, prunes are a dried fruit which concentrates the sugars and could potentially increase the acidic ash of the food after it is metabolized. So, when you evaluate prunes for its pH impact on the body it may grade a “D”, however, when you look at other compounds you may see something completely different.
So what is so special about prunes? Why might they be a friend to the bones?
Prunes contain a number of compounds that may have a positive impact on the bones. If we consider 12 prunes daily to be one serving then you receive a daily dose of boron (2-3 mg) which plays a very important role in bone density. In addition, there are certain phenolic antioxidants that may short circuit free radicals that may attack the bones. Finally, 12 prunes daily contain a whopping 745 mg of potassium which is one of the body’s first lines of defense against acid buildup.
Overall, the prune may have a slightly acidic effect on the body. This negative effect may be completely negated by other factors. With all that said, I doubt that 12 prunes daily would be sufficient to reverse osteoporosis, although it may be one more step in the right direction.
Remember, osteoporosis is a complex condition that requires a multi-faceted approach in order to make progress in reversing it. Prunes certainly do not do harm, and may in fact provide nutrients that work to improve bone repair. Because of this study I am going to move prunes from a grade of “D” to a grade of “B” on the list. If more research confirms this finding then I may further increase its rating to an “A”. The study was small and only evaluated blood tests, this type of research is far from conclusive but it does give me confidence that prunes are not an enemy to bone development.
For more information about the electronic book, Strong Bones Forever, visit www.strongbonesforever.com where you can purchase and download the book.