Symptoms of osteoarthritis include pain, stiffness, tenderness, loss of flexibility and bone spurs. The condition is said to effect around 8.5 million people in the UK.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that develops when bone mineral density and bone mass decreases, or when the quality or structure of bone changes.
This can lead to a decrease in bone strength that can increase the risk of fractures (broken bones).
Strong bones contain a dense framework of protein strands coated with calcium.
This support system thins with age, lack of exercise and low intake of calcium and vitamin D, among other reasons.
Low bone density also increases fracture risk.
In a new study, researchers from Pennsylvania State University found that daily prune consumption preserved bone mineral density (BMD) at the hip and protected against increased fracture risk in postmenopausal women.
The study findings were presented at the World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases – the leading clinical conference on bone, joint, and muscle health.
BMD is known to decrease rapidly after menopause and women over the age of 50 are more likely to experience hip fractures, which commonly lead to hospitalisation, diminished quality of life, loss of independence and shortened life span.
This research is the first to demonstrate a favourable effect of prune consumption on BMD at the hip and points to prunes as a food-based therapeutic option for protecting bone health.
Other foods to help reduce osteoarthritis include:
- Oily fish
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Green tea