Prunes might alter postmenopausal gut for bone health

Writing in the journalย Frontiers in Nutritionโ€‹, a team of U.S.-based university researchers conducted a post-hoc analysis of The Prune Study, a randomized controlled trial in postmenopausal women that found that 12 months of prune supplementation preserved total hip bone mineral density (BMD), with differential effects on phenolic metabolites, various inflammatory markers and the gut microbiome.

โ€œWe hypothesized that differences in the microbiomes of responders versus non-responders contributed to the improved total hip BMD in a subset of participants from this prune study,โ€ the researchers wrote.ย 

The follow-up investigation analyzed secondary outcome data for 52 women to identify the relationship between the gut microbiome, immune responses and bone protective effects of prunes observed.

Modulating postmenopausal bone lossโ€‹

While calcium and vitamin D supplementation is considered aย standard nutritional therapy for managing bone healthโ€‹, studies continue to explore other bioactive food components (including foods rich in polyphenols) forย protecting against bone lossโ€‹ย and the associated risks.ย 

“The exact mechanisms underlying the osteoprotective effects of phenolic-rich foods and supplements are largely unknown but are thought to be partly attributed to the ability of host and/or microbial phenolic metabolites to alter endogenous antioxidant capacity, to exert anti-inflammatory effects or to provide prebiotic-like modulation of the gut microbiome,โ€ the researchers wrote. โ€œThe gut microbiome is a likely modulator of the effects of diet on BMD.โ€

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