Can Prunes Improve Bone Health? What Does Science Have to Say?

Are prunes more than just a sweet treat? This article delves into the scientific exploration of prunes and their potential role in enhancing bone health.

Prunes, the dried version of plums, are often recognized for their digestive benefits. However, recent scientific inquiries have shifted the spotlight to their potential role in bone health. This article explores the depth of research conducted in this area, aiming to unravel the connection between prunes and bone strength, particularly in the context of conditions like osteoporosis.

The Nutritional Composition of Prunes

Prunes are not just a source of dietary fiber; they are also rich in essential nutrients that play a crucial role in bone health. They contain vitamins such as vitamin K, which is vital for bone mineralization, and minerals like potassium, which helps maintain bone density. Additionally, prunes are a source of boron, a trace mineral that has been linked to bone strength.

Prunes and Bone Density: The Research

Several studies have focused on the impact of prunes on bone density, especially in postmenopausal women, who are at a higher risk of osteoporosis. Research suggests that regular consumption of prunes may not only prevent bone loss but also potentially reverse it. This is attributed to the fruit's ability to influence bone metabolism positively.

The antioxidants present in prunes, particularly phenolic compounds, are believed to play a significant role in bone health. These compounds can reduce oxidative stress, which is a contributing factor to bone loss. By combating oxidative damage, prunes may offer a protective effect on bones.

Clinical trials have been pivotal in understanding the impact of prunes on bone health. Studies involving postmenopausal women1, who consumed prunes daily for several months, showed promising results in terms of improved bone mineral density and other bone health biomarkers.

Understanding how prunes benefit bone health involves delving into the cellular level. Research indicates2 that prunes may enhance bone formation and inhibit bone resorption, the process by which bones are broken down. This dual action is key to their potential effectiveness in improving bone health.

Prunes vs. Traditional Bone Health Supplements

While traditional supplements for bone health, such as calcium and vitamin D, are well-established, prunes offer a natural alternative. Their multifaceted nutritional profile provides a holistic approach to bone health, which is not just limited to bone density but also encompasses overall bone quality.

Integrating prunes into the diet can be a simple yet effective strategy for bone health. Whether consumed as a snack or incorporated into meals, prunes can be a delicious way to support bone strength. However, it's important to balance their intake with other bone-healthy nutrients.

Prunes: A Part of Holistic Bone Health Management

While the existing research on prunes and bone health is promising, it's crucial to acknowledge the limitations. Most studies have focused on specific populations, such as postmenopausal women, and there is a need for more diverse research. Future studies should aim to understand the impact of prunes on different age groups, genders, and ethnicities.

It's important to note that while prunes can be beneficial for bone health, they should be part of a comprehensive approach that includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, and lifestyle modifications. Bone health is multifaceted, and a single food item, even one as nutritious as prunes, cannot be the sole solution.


The exploration of prunes as a natural contributor to bone health represents an exciting development in nutritional science. With their rich nutrient profile and potential to positively impact bone density and quality, prunes could be a valuable addition to a bone-healthy diet. However, further research is needed to fully understand their role and efficacy.


1. De Souza MJ, Strock NCA, Williams NI, Lee H, Koltun KJ, Rogers C, Ferruzzi MG, Nakatsu CH, Weaver C. Prunes preserve hip bone mineral density in a 12-month randomized controlled trial in postmenopausal women: the Prune Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2022 Oct 6;116(4):897-910. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqac189. PMID: 35798020. [PubMed]

2. Damani JJ, De Souza MJ, VanEvery HL, Strock NCA, Rogers CJ. The Role of Prunes in Modulating Inflammatory Pathways to Improve Bone Health in Postmenopausal Women. Adv Nutr. 2022 Oct 2;13(5):1476-1492. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmab162. PMID: 34978320; PMCID: PMC9526830. [PubMed]

Send us a question:

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, we encourage you to reach out. Click the link below to get in touch, and we promise to respond promptly. Let's start a conversation! Send us a question

Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You can read more about that here: Disclaimers.