Osteoporosis is often thought of as a disease that only affects women. Yet, according to statistics from the Royal Osteoporosis Society, one in five men over 50 will suffer from fractures as a result of osteoporosis.
Now the California Prune Board (CPB) is using Men’s Health Week (12th to 18th June 2023) to tackle unhelpful stereotypes by highlighting how maintaining healthy bones should be high on the agenda for men too.
CPB dietitian and nutritionist Dr Annamaria Acquaviva explained: "Whether you’re male or female, it's never too early to think about bone health. The majority of bone mass is acquired by age 18 in girls, and age 20 in boys, with bone development reaching maximum aged 30.”
Getting vitamin D from the sun and eating a balanced diet can play a role in building healthy bones
Despite this, simple lifestyle and diet changes can be made at any age to improve skeletal health and maintain normal bones. Reducing or cutting out risk factors like alcohol and smoking is key while staying active and eating well are also important. Vitamins and minerals essential to bone health include vitamin K, manganese, vitamin D, calcium, and potassium.
Dr Annamaria Acquaviva added: “Getting vitamin D from the sun and eating a balanced diet can play a role in building healthy bones, including fruit and vegetables, dairy, and proteins like oily fish and poultry. California Prunes contain a range of nutrients such as vitamin K, manganese, potassium, boron, and copper as well as fibre. Eating a handful of prunes a day can maintain normal bones as well as the digestive system and the immune system, with a recent study pointing to the promising effect prunes can have on men’s bone health.”
The study by Hooshmand, et al., reported that eating prunes daily has a protective effect on bone health in men over 50. It is one of more than 50 published studies that demonstrate the nutritional benefits of prunes on bone health, gut health and satiety.
In 2022, California Prunes were awarded “Bone Health Approved” status by the Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS); the first natural food to have been given this accreditation by the UK charity.