Researchers investigating the health benefits of eating prunes share the “fruits of their labor” at world-renowned scientific meetings and conferences in 2022 to spread the word that prunes are good for bone health and much more. Here’s a rundown of who’s talking, where, when, and what they’re saying about the wonders of prunes:

Virtual World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis, and Musculoskeletal Diseases

Who: Mary Jane De Souza, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University

When: March 26, 2022

What: This congress is known as the world’s leading clinical conference on bone, joint, and muscle health. We were thrilled when the abstract of principal investigator Dr. De Souza, was selected out of 1200 submissions to be presented at this event. Dr. De Souza revealed the results of the largest clinical trial to date investigating the “prune effect” on bone health. More than 200 postmenopausal women participated in this trial and were randomly assigned to consume either 100 grams, 50 grams, or 0 grams (control group) of prunes every day for a full year. Drum roll please…  the daily dose of 50 grams of prunes (5-6 prunes) prevented bone loss at the hip and protected these women from an increased fracture risk compared to the control group whose bone mineral density (BMD) at the hip decreased and their fracture risk increased. Dr. De Souza’s research is the first to demonstrate this favorable effect on BMD at the hip – the site of most concern for aging men and women as hip fractures commonly lead to hospitalization, diminished quality of life, and loss of independence. This marks the first time that Dr. De Souza shared the outcomes of this important clinical trial with the scientific community and the world.

Experimental Biology 2022, Philadelphia, PA

Who: Janhavi J. Damani, MS under the tutelage of Dr. De Souza, and Connie Rogers, Ph.D., MPH, Pennsylvania State University

When: April 2-5, 2022

What: As the first author of the abstract A Randomized Controlled Trial of Dietary Supplementation with Prunes (Dried Plums) on Inflammatory Markers in Postmenopausal Women Ph.D. candidate Damani dug deeper into the prune-bone connection coming out of Dr. De Souza’s clinical trial and reported that daily prune consumption reduced inflammatory mediators thought to contribute to bone loss and osteoporosis.

California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Conference, Oakland, CA

Who: Shirin Hooshmand, RD, Ph.D., San Diego State University and Andrea N. Giancoli, MPH, RD, California Prune Board

When: April 22, 2022

What: I was honored to be a co-presenter with Dr. Hooshmand, a fellow dietitian, whose research on the health benefits of prunes spans more than a decade. Dr. Hooshmand expertly conveyed a comprehensive overview of the scientific evidence to date supporting the role of prunes in bone health and the nutrients and polyphenols in prunes suspected of playing a role. I followed Dr. Hooshmand’s presentation touching on additional research into the health outcomes of California Prune consumption (e.g., improving risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as raising HDL in postmenopausal women). I concluded with some insight into the California Prune industry and challenged the audience to rethink their perception of this premium fruit that pairs well with both sweet and savory foods. Click here for the full presentation.

Nutrition 2022 Live Online hosted by the American Society for Nutrition

Who: Mary Jane De Souza, Ph.D. and Ph.D. candidate Janhavi J. Damani, MS, Pennsylvania State University

Amy Mullins, MS, RD, and Lauren Ormsbee, MS under the tutelage of Bahram Arjmandi, Ph.D., RD, Florida State University

When: June 14-16, 2022

What: Prunes will be well represented at this virtual conference with a total of four research abstracts reporting on the health effects of prune consumption.

  • De Souza will once again present her research of the “prune effect” on bone health in postmenopausal women, this time with a twist. She’ll discuss the results of her investigation into whether daily prune consumption impacted body composition, particularly fat mass, in these women. We’ll let you know in the next newsletter the results of this investigation so stay tuned.
  • We’ll learn more about the prune effect on inflammation and bone health when Ph.D. candidate Damani presents the abstract The Effect of 12-month Prune (Dried Plum) Supplementation on Pro-Inflammatory Cytokine Secretion in Postmenopausal Women.
  • Ongoing research led by Dr. Arjmandi (another fellow dietitian) investigating the “prune effect” on risk factors for cardiovascular disease will be introduced by Amy Mullins presenting the abstract Study Protocol: Effects of Daily Prune Consumption on Lipid Profile, Inflammation, and Oxidative Stress
  • Finally, Lauren Ormsbee with Dr. Arjmandi’s team will provide conference attendees with a glimpse into a second study currently underway at Florida State University with the abstract Study Protocol: Effect of Prune on Fracture Healing in Men and Women with a Wrist Fracture.