Prunes for Osteoporosis

Prunes for Osteoporosis
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Vegetables and fruit, such as dried plums, may help build stronger bones.

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We are in an epidemic of osteoporosis. Ten million Americans have it, and one in three older women will get it. We urgently need public health strategies to maintain bone health, and prevent osteoporosis. Might fruits and vegetables be the unexpected natural answer to the question of osteoporosis prevention?

Evidence from a variety of studies strongly points to a positive link between fruit and vegetable consumption, and indexes of bone health, such as bone mineral density. And, the size of the effect in the older women is impressive: doubling the fruit intake is associated with a 5% higher spine mineralization. And, the same relationship with young women, too. And, eating lots of fruit in childhood may protect bones throughout life—something that was not found for milk intake, as I’ve explored before.

Bone health isn’t just about calcium; there are several key nutrients in vegetables, fruits, and beans associated with better bone mineral density. But, does that translate into lower hip fracture risk? The Singapore Chinese Health Study found that a diet rich in plant-based foods, namely vegetables, fruits, and beans, such as soy, may indeed reduce the risk of hip fracture—but why?

The underlying mechanism in postmenopausal osteoporosis is an imbalance between bone cessation and bone formation, and oxidative stress may play a role in this balance. There are two types of bone cells: the bone-forming osteoblasts, and the bone-dismantling osteoclasts. Osteoblasts are continually laying down new bone, while osteoclasts chisel away old bone—and they use free radicals as the molecular chisel to chip away our bone.

Too many free radicals in our system, though, may lead to excessive bone breakdown. Antioxidant defenses appear markedly decreased in osteoporotic women. Elderly osteoporotic women were found to have consistently lower levels of all natural antioxidants tested. Because excessive free radicals may contribute to bone loss, it’s important to elucidate the potential role antioxidant-rich fruits play in mitigating the bone loss that leads to the development of osteoporosis. The thought is that fruits upregulate the bone building cells, and downregulate the bone-eating cells, tipping the balance towards greater bone mass.

So, let’s put a fruit to the test. Which one are we going to pick? Dried plums were chosen, because they have among the highest antioxidant ranking among commonly consumed fruits and vegetables—and because the researchers scored a grant from the California Dried Plum Board.

When you think of prunes, you think of bowels, not bones. But over a decade ago, researchers at Oklahoma State tried giving a dozen prunes a day to a group of postmenopausal women, using a dozen dried apple rings as a control. After three months, only the subjects who consumed the prunes had significant elevations in an enzyme marker of bone formation, although prunes didn’t seem to affect markers of bone breakdown. So, prunes may help more with building bones than preventing bone loss. Though, the reverse was found with almonds; so, maybe a little prune-almond trail mix is in order.

With this bump in bone formation indices, one might expect, with this improvement, that if they did a longer study, one would actually see an impact on bone mineral density. And nine years later, just such a study was done. Twelve months on dried plums versus apples, and both dried fruit regimens appeared to have bone-protective effects—though the prunes seemed to work better in the arm bone and spine.

So, the dried plum marketing board wants everyone to know that dried plums are “the most effective fruit in both preventing and reversing bone loss.” But only two fruits have ever been tested—plums and apples.

But if this does pan out for other plants, a “fruit and vegetables” approach may provide a very sensible (and natural) alternative therapy for osteoporosis treatment, one that is likely to have numerous additional health-related benefits. All we have to do is convince people to actually do it.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to bykst via Pixabay.

We are in an epidemic of osteoporosis. Ten million Americans have it, and one in three older women will get it. We urgently need public health strategies to maintain bone health, and prevent osteoporosis. Might fruits and vegetables be the unexpected natural answer to the question of osteoporosis prevention?

Evidence from a variety of studies strongly points to a positive link between fruit and vegetable consumption, and indexes of bone health, such as bone mineral density. And, the size of the effect in the older women is impressive: doubling the fruit intake is associated with a 5% higher spine mineralization. And, the same relationship with young women, too. And, eating lots of fruit in childhood may protect bones throughout life—something that was not found for milk intake, as I’ve explored before.

Bone health isn’t just about calcium; there are several key nutrients in vegetables, fruits, and beans associated with better bone mineral density. But, does that translate into lower hip fracture risk? The Singapore Chinese Health Study found that a diet rich in plant-based foods, namely vegetables, fruits, and beans, such as soy, may indeed reduce the risk of hip fracture—but why?

The underlying mechanism in postmenopausal osteoporosis is an imbalance between bone cessation and bone formation, and oxidative stress may play a role in this balance. There are two types of bone cells: the bone-forming osteoblasts, and the bone-dismantling osteoclasts. Osteoblasts are continually laying down new bone, while osteoclasts chisel away old bone—and they use free radicals as the molecular chisel to chip away our bone.

Too many free radicals in our system, though, may lead to excessive bone breakdown. Antioxidant defenses appear markedly decreased in osteoporotic women. Elderly osteoporotic women were found to have consistently lower levels of all natural antioxidants tested. Because excessive free radicals may contribute to bone loss, it’s important to elucidate the potential role antioxidant-rich fruits play in mitigating the bone loss that leads to the development of osteoporosis. The thought is that fruits upregulate the bone building cells, and downregulate the bone-eating cells, tipping the balance towards greater bone mass.

So, let’s put a fruit to the test. Which one are we going to pick? Dried plums were chosen, because they have among the highest antioxidant ranking among commonly consumed fruits and vegetables—and because the researchers scored a grant from the California Dried Plum Board.

When you think of prunes, you think of bowels, not bones. But over a decade ago, researchers at Oklahoma State tried giving a dozen prunes a day to a group of postmenopausal women, using a dozen dried apple rings as a control. After three months, only the subjects who consumed the prunes had significant elevations in an enzyme marker of bone formation, although prunes didn’t seem to affect markers of bone breakdown. So, prunes may help more with building bones than preventing bone loss. Though, the reverse was found with almonds; so, maybe a little prune-almond trail mix is in order.

With this bump in bone formation indices, one might expect, with this improvement, that if they did a longer study, one would actually see an impact on bone mineral density. And nine years later, just such a study was done. Twelve months on dried plums versus apples, and both dried fruit regimens appeared to have bone-protective effects—though the prunes seemed to work better in the arm bone and spine.

So, the dried plum marketing board wants everyone to know that dried plums are “the most effective fruit in both preventing and reversing bone loss.” But only two fruits have ever been tested—plums and apples.

But if this does pan out for other plants, a “fruit and vegetables” approach may provide a very sensible (and natural) alternative therapy for osteoporosis treatment, one that is likely to have numerous additional health-related benefits. All we have to do is convince people to actually do it.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to bykst via Pixabay.

Doctor's Note

Here’s the almond video I talked about: Almonds for Osteoporosis.

What was that about milk not helping? Check out Is Milk Good for Our Bones?.

Other bone health videos include:

What else can prunes do? See Prunes vs. Metamucil vs. Vegan Diet.

Apple rings have their own benefits. See Dried Apples vs. Cholesterol for more.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

174 responses to “Prunes for Osteoporosis

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  1. Yep, that’s all we have to do. Not sure if we’ll ever “overpower” the counter-intelligence (corporate greed and inhumanity). I thought that telling folks I lost 30# without exercise or products or calorie restriction would stir some interest. But not. Well sometimes a stranger is interested and I fill them in, but I’d LOVE for my friends and family to begin to understand how they’re shortening their own lives and mobilities…

    1. Re: I thought that telling folks I lost 30# without exercise or products or calorie restriction would stir some interest.

      Common knowledge is always that you count the calories from your food intake and doing the corresponding amount of exercise to burn those calories. That is wrong. Personally, I eat more calories than I burn through exercise but I lost weight instead.

      And so all the advices for people to lose weight by calorie restriction and over exercise don’t stick very long and people are back on their weight again after losing initially.

      The body works in a magic way. Somehow the fiber from whole foods are able to burn off those calories. I am not an expert but potassium is perhaps the fuel.

      1. You present an interesting thought. So, are you saying, that you can actually consume more calories than you burn off through exercise and still LOSE weight because the vegetables and fruits that you are eating have a lot of fiber and other “stuff” in them that somehow makes you lose weight despite the higher amount of calories that you consumed??? This is an interesting thought.

        1. Well I cannot vow for any scientific fact with this because I only have a few data points with myself and my family and friends, but we eat freely healthy foods and none of us is overweight. Myself, I lost my “spare tire” around my belly which I cannot get rid of a while ago until after I ate more healthy. To satisfy Dr Greger daily dozen, you already eat “a lot”, at least a lot more than what I used to eat and now I lost weight instead of gaining weight. I eat more than what is required in the daily dozen.

          So if I add up all the calories I consume as foods and subtract the calorie I burn through exercise then there is a big imbalance and I should gain weight but I lost weight instead. In reality, the body does not work as a simple calorie counter. So my intuition tells me that:

          – If you don’t eat enough, your body will store fat for reserve instead of burning them
          – Plant foods not only provide the nutrients and probiotics to digest the foods, but they also provide the fuel in term of potassium to burn them.

          http://www.weightloss.com.au/diet/diet-articles/potassium-and-weight-loss.html

          http://blog.iamgary.com/how-can-i-get-enough-potassium/

          1. Hi Jimmy,
            I am new to this website. I am very interested in how you changed your diet to lose weight naturally. I am female, 54 years of age, very healthy except for a little belly fat last 6 pounds please reply
            thanks,
            amy

        2. I would say that. It happened that way for me, I think. I can’t know for sure though because I never counted calories at all. Just intuition after decades of counting calories and knowing how many are in specific foods. I went from 165 to 97 pounds never cutting amounts of food, never being hungry and not exercising much at all.

      2. Yes. I think that it is not so much the calories we consume as the net calories we absorb, that affects weight most. Processing foods makes it easier for the body to extract calories from food.

        1. Mona, I take back on my comment on potassium having to do something with fuel to burn the calories. That is not very scientific :) But potassium in the electrolyte that fuels our cells and muscles in the body and without it, our muscles become weak and we are less active and also we need the muscles to burn energy/calories. I leave it to the experts to explain the role of potassium in a more scientific way.

          But if you look at weight loss web sites these days, they often talk about getting the right nutrition for weight loss, and it’s not an endorsement to eat more but to eat enough to get the proper nutrients. And once you are healthy, the metabolism of your body helps you burn calories even during your sleep. So the theory that you have to starve and to restrict calorie or to over exercise in order to lose weight is gone.

          In general, the so called RDA for potassium is 4800 mg per day and I like to extend it to 10,000. But I don’t want to concentrate too much on how to get to 10,000 or what to eat to get to 10,000. I would rather concentrate on getting the proper nutrition without worrying about calorie counting or now potassium counting. So you can start out with Dr Greger Daily Dozen and even do better than it. I follow the Daily Dozen to get at least all 12 categories of foods, and then for each category, I will do better than what is required. Then when I feel hungry, I will pick a food in the Daily Dozen and eat freely without worrying about calorie restriction and so on and amazingly I lose weight.

          So here are a few web sites to help convincing you and others about this weight loss eat-all-you-want method :)

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2298515/Slim-sleep-It-sounds-good-true-But-revolutionary-diet-devised-leading-U-S-doctor-really-CAN-shift-pounds-overnight.html

          http://www.weightlossforall.com/potassium-rich-food.htm

          http://nutritionfacts.org/video/98-of-american-diets-potassium-deficient/

        2. Here is the so-called Nutritarian diet from Dr Fuhrman.

          https://www.drfuhrman.com/learn/the-nutritarian-diet

          Keywords:

          – No more calorie counting

          – No more feeling hungry between meals

          https://www.drfuhrman.com/learn/the-nutritarian-diet/lose-weight

          Lose Weight Achieve sustainable weight loss while enjoying delicious and nourishing foods.

          Conventional diets force you to count calories and live in a constant state of deprivation. That’s why the Nutritarian diet is a game-changer: it’s the only diet designed to help you lose weight as you eat larger quantities of nutrient-dense, plant-rich (and delicious) foods. You’ll not only feel satisfied – you’ll also feel more invigorated as the weight drops off, your overall health improves and your energy levels increase.

          In another word, eat all you want but with healthy foods :)

      3. RE: “I eat more calories than I burn through exercise but I lost weight instead.”

        That’s simply because roughly 50% of one’s caloric needs are consumed simply by the basal metabolic rate; the energy required to maintain body functions at complete rest. Counting only the calories expended during whatever exercise you do grossly under estimates the total calories you actually burn and require. In other words, the body is not working in a “magic way” as you say, it’s burning off a lot of calories you did not count (the basal metabolic rate) simply to maintain organ functions when at complete rest.

        http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/metabolism/art-20046508?pg=1

        http://www.bmrcalculator.org/

    2. I’m always amazed that if you give the body what it was meant to consume, it will self-regulate. Imagine if we had to walk around day to day trying to micromanage our metabolism with our conscious minds. But this is precisely what dieters try to do!

      1. I agree completely. Also folks think they need to micromanage their nutrients with supplements. No way do we have the knowledge or ability to do this better than just eating healthy food and letting the body do its thing.

    3. I enjoyed the article on drued prunes as I have osteoporosis and am looking for something that will help. You never said how much a person was eating per day. Please post if you know

      1. Hi Charlotte Powell,

        I am a volunteer for Dr. Greger. Thank you so much for your question.

        The amount of dried prunes that the participants ate in the study Dr. Greger referred to in the video was 100 grams, or a bout 1/4 cup.

        I hope this helps to answer your question!

  2. Wade, I think we all have that problem. The people we’re closest to, or at least the next tier of friends and relatives, don’t credit us with much credibility.

  3. Nice! Raises lots of wonderful questions. Which nuts or foods protect the best against bone loss? Is there an even bigger effect if animal products are eliminated? Maybe researchers from a health organization will do a meta-analysis of diets and osteoporosis sufferers. No matter, I’m sticking with my organic WFPB vegan diet. I figure I can’t be too far off. ;-)

    1. Me too. WFPB vegan. And no sweeteners, whatsoever, even stevia, because the tongue, connected neurologically with the brain, recognizes the sweet taste and sends a cascade of transmissions to activate dopamine, which keeps you addicted, looking for the next sweet fix. All sweeteners are addictive, just like sugar. They have to be bright-lined, i.e. eliminated, for good. Then watch the weight come off, and stay off.
      Joseph in Missoula

        1. Me neither. I’m 76, 5′ 9.7″, 144 pounds, and workout 4 days/week, two of them at the gym with free weights. Strong and healthy as can be.
          Check out brightlineeating.com. Dr. Susan Thompson is a super hero. Get her weekly vlogs. Tons of neuroscience on the psychology of eating, and what goes on in the brain and why otherwise strong people can’t lose weight and keep it off long-term. Basically, their brains have been hijacked by frankenfood. She shows what needs to be done to re-wire the brain and get back in control.
          Joseph in Missoula

    1. Rachel: If you are looking for the research cited in the video, click the ‘Sources Cited’ button to the right of the video. Then look in the area directly below the video. NutritionFacts lists all of the cited sources and includes links to the actual papers when such is available.

  4. I’m not sure that reducing the functioning of osteoclasts (through diet) as a means of “preventing bone loss” is the right way to think about it. By breaking down old bone, osteoclasts make way for new (young) bone to replace it. To my knowledge, bones do not become weak or brittle by the function of osteoclasts. They become weak and brittle as a function of age. Keeping bones young requires both “out with the old” and “in with the new.”

    1. Thanks Steve,
      I have heard that phosphorus is important too. Any other heavy hitters that we should know about, relatively more prominent among the 19?
      Thanks,
      John S

      1. Yes, phosphorus is “important” as a constituent of hydroxyapatite, the calcium phosphate crystal that makes up much of the mineral structure of bones. The concept of “heavy hitters” or “which ones are important” is a concept I would discard. They are all important. That’s why good bones come from a good diet, not a supplement.

        Here is the master list of nutrients essential for healthy bones.
        Minerals: calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, zinc, manganese, molybdenum, fluoride, silica, boron
        Vitamins: A, B6, folate, B12, C, D, K
        Essential fatty acids: EPA, GLA
        Adequate amounts of protein
        Adequate amounts of exercise

        1. Awesome info Steve,
          We have a lot of very educated people on this site who can help us understand fairly complicated ideas, even if, like me, we haven’t completed a lot of difficult science classes in college.
          John S

    2. Hi Steve. Bone is an interesting tissue and just so happens to be the most dynamic tissue in the body. If we are bedridden or a couch potato calcium move from the bone into the bloodstream. If we are are physically active the calcium move back into bone. Add fruits and vegetables and it appears to be a win-win according to the research.

  5. Interesting. First time I learn that free radical has a role in bone loss. The common knowledge has been calcium and vitamin D.

    Speaking of dried plum, I did try doing my own by dehydrating my fresh plum but it took too much time and so now I buy my dried plum from Costco. I hope that it is OK.

  6. am I the only ones who’s bothered by the fact that the study was done with a single dried Apple ring vs an entire dried plum? or did I misunderstand?

    1. I am also confused about the benefits between fresh and dried plum / apple / any fruit? in an earlier video, Dr Greger said that dried plum is the best against colon cancer? Is it the same for Osteoporosis too? Do we need to eat dried or fresh fruit is OK?

      1. I think it’s partly a matter of nutrient density. It’s easier to eat 10 dried prunes or a number of dried apple rings than to eat 10 plums or a whole bunch of apples.

        1. Your Q is still a good one tho. Maybe the dried fruit was tried mainly to take participants’ convenience into account.

        2. I have no problem eating a lot of fresh fruits and so nutrient density is not a benefit for me :) Nevertheless I read somewhere that dried fruit while losing Vitamin C, has certain of its antioxidants enhanced and this is where the real benefit is. One has to be careful with commercial dried fruits because most of them contain added sugar and sulfur, or they squeeze out all the juice to make juice and wine and only leave the skin (but perhaps the skin in more nutritious than the juice and so it’s a non problem). Anyway, I usually dehydrate and make my own dried fruit. Lately, I bought the Costco dried plum because of Dr Greger video that dried plum somehow prevents colon cancer (but it has to be plum and not prune, dried vs fresh). Anyhow, fresh plum is expensive and it takes time to dehydrate it and so I buy it dried. It says 15 g of sugar per serving and that’s pretty high and I hope it’s all natural sugar and not added.

          Now with regard to this video, Prunes for Osteoporosis, it says prune this time. Does it have to be prune and not plum and no other fruit, and does it have to be fresh or dried or there is no difference?

          1. It appears as if it is the antioxidant content. It would make sense that dried fruit would be used to concentrate the amount of antioxidants. Eating the same amount of fresh may not be as well tolerated (too filling possibly)? Another interesting follow up to this study would be looking at real prune juice as an even more concentrated form of antioxidant.

            1. Certain juice retains their nutrients. I know that tart cherry juice works because I take it for the melatonin for ease of sleep and it works. I don’t have gout but I read that it works to fix gout also. Cranberry juice works for urinary infection. Prune juice works to fix constipation. I don’t know if the antioxidant is still retained. I read that orange juice and apple juice lost their nutrients whether it’s true or not, I don’t know.

              1. I think it’s all about the skin. Phytonutrients, which contain all sorts of anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, concentrate in the skin and outer layers of plants. That makes sense–The plant produces them to protect against its own enemies.

                If the juice is made with skins and pith, then it will likely be higher in phytonutrients than a similar juice made without the outer layers of the plant.

                Maybe the difference between dried plums and dried apples is that each dried plum contains a lot of skin.

                1. Although I like dried fruit and can go through a bag easily in one day :), I try to limit the consumption due to sugar. But my point is even when you consume just a few dried fruits per day, from the readings, it seems that they bring some benefits that you don’t get from eating a couple of fresh fruits. I cannot find real research about it but it seems that drying may enhance some nutrients. Just like cooking tomatoes will enhance the lycopene. Dr Greger said above and in an earlier video specifically about dried plum and prune. I wonder if I eat the equivalent of fresh prune and plum with skin, will I get the same benefits? I would like him to clarify this point because I can eat dried or fresh fruits equally fine.

                  Fruit juice is probably done with skin and pith inside because it takes time to remove them. But it seems that some fruit juice may contain nutrients that are unstable over time or heat, such as orange juice with Vitamin C. But the main beneficial nutrients in tomato, cranberry, tart cherry, etc. are stable with time and so it’s OK to drink the commercial juice. I would like Dr Greger to talk about which commercial juice to consume and which one not to.

  7. I know this is somewhat off topic, but I’m wondering about a different bone problem, spinal stenosis, in which the spinal cord channel narrows, causing pain and mobility problems. I know a few people who have this condition. Is this a problem with too much bone, so to speak? And does anyone know if any studies have looked into whether diet can help prevent or mitigate it?

    1. Hi Maureen spinal stenosis has more to do with aging. It isn’t impossible for young people to have a narrower canal but generally less common. I have never seen any research that connects stenosis with diet.

  8. I changed to a plant-based whole foods way of eating about five years ago – adjusting it better and better the more I have learned. I was diagnosed with osteoporosis and had been on fosamax for years – longer than even recommended. My doctor agreed to take me off (couple years ago) and despite lab tests still confirming osteoporosis, he has not stated I should return to the drugs. I’m thrilled about that but I don’t seem to be able to improve my status with a plant-based, whole foods diet. I make my own food – not processed, no “fake” meat foods. I eat berries, beans, grains, greens daily. I don’t know how long I can keep my doctor agreeing to keep me off the medications – of course I’d refuse them – but I like it better when we are working together. We still argue about statins but I win. I’ll certainly start adding prunes but I’m wondering if there is hope of improvement and perhaps the medication has permanently damaged my bones. [By the way, Dr. Greger – thank you for the Q&As – I love my Instant Pot, too.]

    1. Brenda, your diet is good, but you need weight-bearing exercise too to reverse osteoporosis. You could try carrying a heavy back-pack when out walking or when working in the kitchen preparing your dinner.

      1. I have small weights in two of my offices that I am using for my arms during down time. I do pushups off the wall – not strong enough for the floor as yet. I also do pushups on the arms of chairs. I’ve done this a couple years. Given my heart, not sure I could walk and carry any additional weight yet – I was moving cinder blocks last night from the basement to the garden and that took forever!

        1. I would highly suggest investing in a personal trainer to set up a workout program to help you rebuild your bone mass. What you’re describing is not going to do what you are wanting it to do. Bone mass increases when the muscles attached to those bones actively pull on them. This means that you need to use muscles that are surrounding the bones of greatest concern- your lower back, hips, and wrists. Doing arm exercises is great and will likely help your wrists, but it’s not going to do anything to improve your bone mass in your spine or hips. To do this, you’ll need to find exercises that you can safely do like modified squats, lunges, back extensions, leg raises, etc that target those muscles. It’s also very important that everything that you do is challenging to you and that you continue to advance in intensity. If the exercises and weights are not challenging enough, they will not pull on the bones enough to exert the stress required for your bones to respond. I’m a personal trainer myself and I would highly suggest that you find someone with experience working with seniors and/or those with chronic disease. They can help you find exercises that are safe for you, help you with form form, and help you with advancing your program from week to week to get the best results. Bone mass WILL increase with exercise but you have to do the right things at the right intensity.

          1. Thank you, Rebecca. No way could I afford a personal trainer but I will investigate and research to add these types of activities. I appreciate the time you’ve taken to explain this to me.

        2. Brenda: I think Rebecca’s reply is very helpful.
          .
          I’ll also mention that Dr. Klapper recommends getting a weighted vest that is adjustable. He suggests starting out with no weights or one pound just to get used to it. Then slowly work your way up to at least 10 pounds. And then walking around or doing housework with those 10 or more pounds. I can’t remember how long he said to walk with it each day, but you get the idea that it will *eventually* (as you build up to such a level safely) take more than a few minutes of light weights to make a difference.
          .
          Good for you for moving those cinder blocks! It doesn’t matter how long it took. What matters is that you did it. Go you!!
          .
          I also wanted to say that even if a diet change is not enough to reverse osteoporosis by itself, you are on the best diet you could be for supporting your bones and their eventual healing. If you haven’t yet read the following book, I highly recommend it: “Building Bone Vitality: A Revolutionary Diet Plan to Prevent Bone Loss and Reverse Osteoporosis–Without Dairy Foods, Calcium, Estrogen, or Drugs” https://www.amazon.com/Building-Bone-Vitality-Revolutionary-Osteoporosis–Without/dp/0071600191/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1469050470&sr=1-1&keywords=building+bone+vitality I think the book will help you feel comfortable with your diet choices and may even give you a few ideas. It also has a chapter on exercise.

          Good luck!

            1. ;-) tee, hee.
              .
              I know you are just having fun, but I also wanted to comment, because I think you raise an important topic. I heard a talk from Dr. Klapper about bones not too long ago. He talked about people who are overweight who think that they are protected from having bone issues. To paraphrase to the best of my memory, Klapper said that sure, there is some protection and osteoporosis is going to hit the 98 pound woman before it hits the “naturally vested”? (my funny term based on your comment) person.
              .
              However, with a bad diet and poor exercise, even an overweight person can get osteoporosis. *Please* understand that I am not saying you personally are overweight, eat a bad diet and do not exercise enough. I’m just trying to make a point for anyone else reading this. The point is that there are foods we can consume and substances we expose ourselves to which are bone stealers. Conversely there are foods we can consume and specific exercises we can engage in that are bone enhancers. If someone leads the prior life, their overweight condition may not protect them from dealing with the same debilitating condition that our hypothetical skinny, under-exercised woman is more likely to face.

              .
              Just saying. :-)

          1. Thank you, Thea – your words are encouraging as always. I have no intention of changing how I eat other than new research with better results. I am sold this is what is best. I’ll check the library for the book.

            1. Also, if you have medical insurance, your doctor could write a prescription for some physical therapy that would give you at least some “personal trainer” start — that would be covered by the insurance, or if you have no insurance, possibly by indigent care. Once after a fracture I had no insurance and the hospital physical therapy department gave me a long series of physical therapy sessions at no cost.

          2. I’ve looked into weighted vests, but hate the idea of having to wear one forever. The sites I looked at about these warned that if you stop wearing it, your bones just start getting weaker again. For some reason I don’t mind the idea of doing regular muscle-building exercises with which you need to keep progressing, but I do mind the idea of wearing a weighted vest forever and ever. Just a quirk maybe.

            1. Catherine Morgan: re: “hate the idea of having to wear one forever” I don’t understand this. The point is to wear a weighted vest for your daily walk. You are not expected to wear it all day while you are awake. Using a weighted vest is like lifting weights but combined with a walk. Wearing a weighted vest *is* “muscle-building exercises”, which you do not mind doing. re: “…if you stop wearing it, your bones just start getting weaker again.” That would be true of any weight bearing exercise.

              Put another way: Healthy bones requires ongoing weight bearing exercise of some form or another. If a weighted vest does not appeal to you, no problem. But there is no reason to treat a weighted vest any differently than any other weights or weighted exercise. For me, a weighted vest is relatively fun and easy and I get to go on a walk while I help my bones.

            2. I’m certainly not an expert, but I think many times things like the warning that if you stop the vests the osteoporosis will come back are being said to people on the SAD. My guess is that it was diet that caused the osteoporosis in the first place and a WFPB diet would keep it in check without the vest, just continued walking, after you reverse it with the vest.

          1. WFPBRunner – I was very consistent last year walking six to seven days a week but took on a second job where I now work seven days a week. Not an excuse. I need to get back to walking. I actually went for a walk when there was a fire alarm at work yesterday and I just stayed out a while. I need to make the time to do it again.

    2. Have you added weight resistance training to your efforts to fight off osteoporosis? Most battles against any kind of health issue requires multiple regimens: Nutrition, Exercise, Spirituality, Avoiding pollution, Positive Affirmations, Avoiding toxic individuals, and so on.

      1. I know there is boron in flax seed and I add that to my morning steel cut oats. I’m always leery of loading up heavy on one element and throwing off the balance of other things. What whole foods could I eat that might up my boron intake?

    3. I believe, in my soul opinion, that the active ingredient of fosamax is Phosphorus. Pumpkin seeds and dark cola contain Phosphorous. Slightly less than half of the bone is made of Phosphorus. Phosphorus is very important for health. Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in the human body. Many people believe that that means it is impossible to get a deficit. However, with how much food is soaked to get rid of Phosphorus, it is possible deficiencies are common, in my opinion. Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in the human body and is abundant in bones. Perhaps phosphorus is a component of bone building. Bones are made of calcium, phosphorus, strontium, and other trace elements. Dr. Greger says bones reform. Perhaps it is hard to make bones with a Phosphorus deficit. “Although typical adult diets contain abundant phosphorus, 10% to 15% of older women have intakes of less than 70% of the recommended daily allowance.” Mayo Clin Proc. 2004 Jan;79(1):91-7.
      Phosphorus nutrition and the treatment of osteoporosis. by Heaney RP1. I do not believe we know if Phosphorus can help osteoporosis.

      1. Phosphorus (PO4) is important for health, but too much can predispose one to cardiovascular disease, bone disease and kidney disease. The SAD is abundant in phosphorus and many processed foods have phosphorus additives. I work with patients who have kidney disease. Hyperphosphatemia is a BIG problem with these patients. However, there is growing evidence that too much PO4 or imbalance of calcium to PO4 intake is of concern. The most bioavailable source of PO4 is inorganic sources (added to processed foods), followed by animal foods, and least bioavailable is plant sources of PO4. It appears that in comparison with western diets, a plant based diet allows the body to regulate the uptake of PO4 and maintains the calcium/PO4 balance much better.

        http://advances.nutrition.org/content/5/1/98.full
        http://cjasn.asnjournals.org/content/5/3/519.full
        http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/7/11/5492/pdf
        http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/99/2/247.full?sid=c65759ab-d4e7-48b2-b0b1-3d22868fd175
        http://advances.nutrition.org/content/5/1/104.full
        http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/112/17/2627.full

        1. I personally think a Phosphorus deficiency is the cause of ADHD and cancer. Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in the body. Doesn’t that mean it is essential? Is it possible that too much Phosphorus in the blood is a sign it’s leaking from the cells? Isn’t it possible that Phosphorus is leeched from food by soaking?

      1. WFPBRunner: Wow. Triple up-vote for you! (if I could). I finally got around to actually reading the article you linked to. It really changed some of my understanding about how bones are built. So fascinating. And so much to still figure out.

        OK. I just jumped three times. Only 37 more times to go this week–if I have bones like a mouse. :-)

        1. I find this information/research so interesting. We have become so inactive in our lives. Weight bearing exercises have to be included. Along with our fruits and veggies. And as a therapist I am always trying to figure out how to make it as easy as possible to exercise. How easy is that. Right? Let’s all just rope!!!

      2. Here’s a fun idea: Every time you get to a curb when you are out and about walking, don’t step off the curb. Jump off. :-) Fun way to integrate jumping into one’s life???

    4. Brenda, I am not a doctor nor an expert but I think there are a number of factors that can cause osteoporosis: 1) lack of exercise in particular moderate weight lifting like people had pointed out, 2) lack of calcium (easy to get through diet), 3) low level of Vitamin D and K2, B12 and magnesium (harder to get through food / sun and you may need to take a supplement). In general, a person may eat well and healthy but depending on the types of foods, or the degree of absorption, one can still get osteoporosis if something is lacking. Even something as remotely connected such as probiotics can cause osteoporosis because of inflammation in the gut. It’s a complex issue :) But you are doing the right thing by staying away from drugs as much as possible because of the side effects.

      https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130214194138.htm

      Drugs to prevent bone loss in osteoporosis patients are already in wide use, but over the long term they can disrupt the natural remodeling of bone tissue and could potentially have negative side effects that include unusual bone fractures and joint and muscle pain.

      “People tend to think of osteoporosis as just affecting postmenopausal women, but what they don’t realize is that it can occur with other conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and Type 1 diabetes,” she said. “You don’t want to put your child on medications that reduce bone remodeling for the rest of their life, so something natural could be useful for long-term treatment of bone loss that begins at childhood.”

  9. I had heard in the past that the lone author of the studies about prune benefits and osteoporosis is paid by the prune board. Would that raise alarm bells and caution for you?

    1. It is always a good idea to look at the source of funding for any study. I’d think if a study funded by the manufacturer gave poor results it would never get published – just buried. So it isn’t an automatic dismissal – you need to evaluate how the study was conducted to make sure it isn’t twisting the results to a favorable outcome but in reality not saying anything of value. That is why we have Dr. Greger and his team. They are the experts in how studies are conducted. They can interpret the results – and frequently do when stories hit the news about something that seemingly contradicts what has already been reported.

    2. Susan Jerkins: If you watch the video, you will see that Dr. Greger disclosed that the study got a grant from the prune people.

      Note: Dr. Greger looks at funding sources first, before reviewing a study, so that he can be sure to evaluate the study with conflicts of interest in mind. And you can see that Dr. Greger pointed out the silliness of at least one of the conclusions of the study. That does not mean that we can’t also learn *something* from the study, which is what I think the video is about.

        1. Susan Jerkins: Interesting. Is that documented somewhere or just a rumor?

          Discussion: I’m not sure what the difference would be in terms of conflict of interest. Either way, the researcher is getting money from the organization. I’m not saying there is or is not a difference. I haven’t given it any thought before this. Do you feel that there is a difference?

          To answer your question: I’m not sure that the distinction would lead anyone to review the studies any differently. If a person is paid to do a study or paid with a salary, it is a conflict that must be taken into account when reviewing the study design, results, and claims. Are you saying that you think the results are more likely to be a lie/not true data?

          In an ideal world, the results would be confirmed by others. I haven’t looked the the sources that Dr. Greger cited above to see if there are any outside confirmations or not.

        2. Valid points. And Dr Greger alludes to the funding and the fact that only prunes and apples studied. So conclusion-eat your fruits and veggies.

          1. I’d like to see more of the author’s studies that compared prunes with raisins and other fruits. He alludes to these but I wonder if they were with human beings or earlier studies he did with rats or with some other lab technique.

    3. I think if we just eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, drink clean water, and practice weight resistance training then our bone health will improve. Sure…throw in a couple of prunes, but I am not going to stake my claim as prunes being the gold standard for fighting off osteoporosis. It is a broad approach of taking in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, maintaining a sound mind, and exercising.

  10. As I recall, a study done in Florida did compare 10 prunes a day with raisins (don’t remember the quantity) and, I think, with fewer prunes than 10. I may remember this all wrong. Will see if I saved a trail to the study.

  11. Ah — same doctor who did the Oklahoma study followed up in Florida. One article I just skimmed lightly includes a warning about cancer — perhaps the ongoing idea that antioxidants can help cancer cells more than normal cells? Something Dr. Greger has probably answered here somewhere.

    1. We shouldn’t think of the polyphenols (like the purple anthocyanins in plum skins) as in vivo direct antioxidants, as they aren’t absorbed well enough to effect the redox tone in our cells (which is largely determined by enzymes and the endogenous antioxidant glutathione) or serum (where vitamin C and uric acid dominate). Instead, they appear to function in part by modulating the gut microbiota and permeability to endotoxins, and in part by the absorbed fraction increasing endogenous antioxidant activity while suppressing inflammatory signalling and subsequent oxidative bursts. ORAC values are a useful proxy for polyphenol content, but the USDA’s caveat on their use is completely on point.

      1. Darryl, re: the studies you mention Do any of the studies look at how direct or indirect anti-oxidants work in combination with each other? The human trials have looked at supplements of single compounds, correct?

      2. Re: polyphenols Are you saying that those important microbial metabolites get into the blood? Do they just seep through the intestinal lining? They get transformed into disease -fighting fatty acids like butyrate, right?

        1. I was introduced to the idea that microbial metabolites of polyphenols are the effective compounds for systemic benefits by >this paper.Common catabolites benzoate, protocatechuate and phenylacetate are well absorbed in the colon, and excreted in urine in feeding trials. A positive here is that the actual polyphenol source may not matter much compared to aggregate intake, as our cells only see a more limited set of breakdown products. A negative is that this pathway makes studies where plant extracts are dripped on cells more irrelevant.

          The main dietary precursor to short chain fatty acids isn’t polyphenols, but the microbiota available carbohydrates like FODMAPs and resistant starch.

  12. I read somewhere that prunes work by increasing IGF-1. That could have the effect of increasing your cancer risk, too, but that doesn’t seem to have been studied in connection with the prune solution for bone health. How would you know that you’re not increasing your cancer risk by eating prunes often? Can IGF-1 be tested reliably so you know where you stand with it, and are there known target levels for that in the body?

    1. One study found that prunes, when when replacing up to 25% of diets of castrated rats, increased IGF-I by 9 to 15%. The same doses reduced expression of an inflammation-responsive mediator of bone resorption (RANKL) by up to 90%, and its ratio an opposing factor (OPG) by about 40% (much like the osteoporosis drug Prolia). Other studies have found similar effects in ovarectomied rats and in vitro.

      IGF-I indeed promotes cell growth (including that of cancer cells), but reducing inflammatory mediators might be expected to limit tumor angiogenesis while a reduced RANKL/OPG ratio is the target of cancer therapies that reduce metastases to bone. No study has looked specifically at prune intake and cancer risk or progression, but I’d expect one would be highly positive, as each daily serving of fruit (generally) is associated with between a 5 and 46% reduced risk, depending on cancer type.

  13. It may be the boron. We already know that boron is good for the bones, as the body requires boron for proper metabolism and utilization of various bone-building factors. There are 27 mg/kg of boron per fresh weight in prunes (the most of any food) and 25 mg/kg in raisins. So raisins may have effects similar to prunes. Interestingly, almonds contain 23 mg/kg of boron; peanuts 18 mg/kg and hazelnuts 16 mg/kg. Dates contain 9.2 mg/kg. Everything else pales by comparison.

    1. The author of the study said he’d tried raisins and it was prunes that had a positive effect. I have never seen all the detailed study that included raisins and other fruits tho. If you have too many variables, I think about one out of twenty will probably be statistically significant just by chance. So it needs further probing.

  14. Now this is going to sound funny but I am totally serious. For the SAD diet prunes are recommended to make one “regular.” That is something I need no help with whatsoever. So if I add a few a day is that going to create a problem? Isn’t it possible to get too much fiber????

    1. I think it’s only possible to get too much fiber if one consumes fiber supplements. If you’re sticking with whole foods, you should be fine.

    2. It can cause some problems if we do not drink enough water. However, as Kim says, any problems are usually found with supplements rather than whole foods.

    3. It’s not the fiber but prune has the laxative effect. You don’t get much fiber from the amount of prunes you consume. You can get more fiber from eating other vegetables but it does not have the same laxative effect as prune.

      Now I think you can only “output” what you put in but you are not eating much more fiber with a few prunes per day. And for the laxative effect of prune, it’s a non event if you are already “regular”.

  15. It may be the iron. Iron is linked to osteoporosis, and BMD was shown to decline faster for postmenopausal women as iron accumulation increases http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4038444/. Many fruits and vegetables decrease iron uptake as compared with meat based diet, and some fruits and vegetables are actual chelating agents, meaning they bind the iron preventing it’s uptake. So it could very well be the iron. Cigarettes increase iron uptake http://journal.publications.chestnet.org/article.aspx?articleid=1046302 by adding about 4 mg per day and seem to also result in decrease BMD. And iron will also serve to increase free radical formation.

  16. Is there any info on ALMOND MILK? I have osteopenia, and my bone density has “significantly decreased” over the past 5 years while on a plant based diet. I have increased my almond milk consumption to a cup a day (along with the daily dozen). I’ll add some prunes, but I’d like to know if almond milk is a good substitute for almonds. Thanks!

    1. Store bought almond milk is mostly water with about 2% almonds per container. Even the almond milk I make at home, which has much more almonds involved in the final product, gets separated from it’s solids. So, I’m guessing that eating a handful of almonds would probably have a greater protective effect.

  17. “A high ratio of vegetable to animal protein consumption was found to be impressively associated with a virtual disappearance of bone fractures.” Frassetto, LA et.al. J. Gerontology M55 (2000) M585-M592
    A more accessible reference with graphics and related studies is “The China Study” by Cornell nutritional biochemist prof. T. Colin Campbell p. 255-256. From the graph at about a ratio of four vegetable protein to one animal protein fractures have disappeared.
    On a typical U.S. consumption of cheeseburgers, eggs, bacon, pizza, dairy, … with more animal protein than vegetable protein the incidence of fractures goes almost straight up.
    A Swedish report concluded the more milk women drank the worse the fractures and worse mortality. The study included 61,433 women over 20.1 years: “Milk intake and risk of mortality and fractures in women and men: cohort studies:” http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g6015
    Now some patients don’t change lifestyle witness smokers, but many of us do so the medical profession should give us that information. The drugs are a last resort if people won’t change life style. BTW, for us, the side effect of following this has been a lasting reduction in weight, no “necrosis” or “brittle bones” involved. I’m 81, I ski, fall, get up and go on. Recent X-ray of my wife’s lower spine and hip showed “satisfactory bone mineralization”.
    In addition to mostly a whole plant food diet my wife does eat two prunes a day.

    1. So one animal protein to 4 vegetable protein , that is one of the first times I have heard of a benefit from meat . Might explain a lot . I wonder what a plate of food would look like? Sure hope there are alternatives to that since myself am doing so good on WFPB diet.

    1. Thanks for your comment.

      Not sure about the specific relation of prune intake and bone strength but if you are referring to the study mentioned by Dr Greger, they used 100g of dried plums (not that all prunes are plums, but not all plums are prunes) which improved indices of bone formation. The other study also used 100g per day, which showed improvements in bone mineral density in post menopausal women.

      Hope this answer helps.

    2. Ten. When I tried this I had problems with gas so I split the ten between evening and morning. I am pretty sure I was eating some meat and processed foods tho too, so the gas might not be a problem on a whole plant food diet.

      1. There’s some other information — studies done in Japan and here — that make K2 worth researching at least occasionally, to see if the latest studies reinforce the Japanese ones — improved bone structure (documented in biopsies) and fewer fractures. Not every study supports this tho.

    1. George Reichel: I agree with Tom Goff that Dr. Mercola’s credibility is very low. I can understand why Dr. Mercola sounds like he knows a lot, but too often his information is not backed up by the science.
      .
      To directly address your K2 question, I have some information for you: Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina wrote a reference book called Becoming Vegan. They did extensive research into individual nutrients, including vitamin K. On page 119 of the Express Edition, the book says: “If you follow popular health gurus on the Internet, you may wonder if you need supplemental vitamin K2, since little of this form is present in a vegan diet. At this time, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that vegans need to worry about supplementing with Vitamin K2.”
      .
      That’s a trustworthy source. They make note that leafy green veggies are vitamin K superstars. And it is easy to get enough Vitamin K on a whole plant food diet. That seems to be all we need to worry about. There is no (credible) scientific evidence, at least by 2013 that says otherwise.
      .
      On page 119 is the text, “…intestinal bacteria synthesize forms of this vitamin known collectively as vitamin K2…” I interpret that to mean: It looks like our bodies make K2, as least in those people who have healthy guts. Perhaps rather than worrying about consuming K2, people should strive for the goal of consuming gut health promoting foods such as intact grains.
      .
      I found backup for my understanding of K2 from an article written by another well respected expert, Jack Norris RD: “Menaquin one (K2) is produced by a number of different bacteria species that typically live in the digestive tract of humans, and can be absorbed in the distal part of the small intestine. Unless someone has had significant antibiotic therapy, they should have plenty of such bacteria providing them with menaquinone.” Anyone concerned about vitamin K in any form, may want to check out this article: http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/vitamink (Thank you Darchite for bringing this to my attention!)
      .
      For anyone that missed it, Tom Goff replied to George in another post with a page link on some more technical information about K2. (Thank you Tom!). If you want the more technical details, check out this interesting page: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-K.

  18. Isn’t the calcium bone loss caused by your body’s reaction to the over ingestion of animal protein ? The resulting acidosis can only be neutralised by calcium ? A high magnesium diet (wfpb) is touted as a solution by some websites e.g. Ease magnesium ( transdural ) spray is another solution . Over 300 body processes require it. Most people are highly deficient in this mineral ?

  19. LOL I had the same thought but knew their intentions were good. I may have some wrist/ankle weights from long ago I could add after I get into a routine. I also thought about a local mall that is on the way to work as it is getting extremely hot and humid making exertion outside very difficult so the flat surface and air conditioning will help. Thanks again.

  20. Off topic, but I’m hoping the doctor can answer: I’ve looked through your videos and only see passing mention of histamines in food. Is histamine intolerance a legitimate health concern? If someone were to try limiting histamine in the diet (to see whether there’s an actual intolerance), which foods and beverages should be avoided? Thanks for considering my question!

    1. Thanks for your question Jessica.

      I have looked up into this subject and found one review that has provided useful information & I will quote it below to better understand the problem:

      1) “Histamine intolerance describes a state where the catabolic capacity for endogenously released or exogenously administered histamine is insufficient leading to histamine mediated adverse reactions. Specifically, the terms histamine intolerance or enteral histaminosis are used to explain a variety of symptoms that appear to be caused by dietary histamine upon ingestion of food with a high histamine content, such as fish, cheese, meat products, and alcoholic beverages”

      2) “Adequate diagnosis of histamine intolerance should start with carefully recording symptoms after food consumption, identification of causative food-stuffs and determination of their histamine content. This will also be useful to either exclude or identify causes other than histamine.”

      3) “The only effective therapy of confirmed histamine intolerance is avoidance of histamine containing food, which is difficult as the histamine content is usually not specified by producers and must be inferred from general recommendations”

      If we were to refer to its content in food, another review adds that “high concentrations of histamine are found mainly in products of microbial fermentation, such as aged cheese, sauerkraut, wine, and processed meat or in microbially spoiled food”. This publication talks about this condition in a lot of detail, so if you are interested in knowing more about it, I highly recommend you to read the link attached (here).

      Hope this answer helps.

      1. Thank you. I’d seen the second article you’d cited but not the first–thank you for quoting it in relevant part. I’m vegan but do eat fermented foods (tempeh, vinegar, miso, soy sauce, wine) at most meals. I’ll try reducing to see if there is an effect.

        Some articles talk about foods that can “liberate” dietary histamine, such as citrus. Have you seen a list that looks reputable? I’m wondering if I should try eliminating them as well.

        1. I’m glad it helped. I am not aware of citrus foods containing histamine but like you state, it is possible that they act as histamine liberators – that is if the information I found on this website is credible enough.

          Creating a food diary and noting which foods trigger your symptoms may be a first step – it’s best to follow the strategy illustrated on the photo I attached, as the guidelines for diagnosis are suggested by a reputable scientific publication.

  21. Hi, I would like to read more information on hypoglycemia and the best way to combat it. I tried searching for it on the site, but I unfortunately had no luck.

    1. Medscape is usually a reliable resource but it is very technical (because it is targeted at physicians).
      http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/122122-overview

      The UK NHS page goes to the opposite extreme but is a trusted resource
      http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Hypoglycaemia/Pages/Treatment.aspx

      However, the point to remember is that hypoglycaemia is a symptom not a disease. Ideally you and your licensed healthcare provider should treat/manage the disease rather than simply palliating symptoms.

      1. I am glad that we are reaching a higher level of analysis than the information presented in the “Nutrition Facts” video. Thanks

  22. be careful since the equivalent of 12
    teaspoons
    of sugar happens very quickly.
    For example:-

    A cup of “seedless prunes” has, in effect, 25 teaspoons of sugar
    • 1 cup of milk equals = 2 teaspoons of sugar
    • 1 cup of rice (cooked) equals = 9 teaspoons of sugar
    • 1 banana equals equals = 5 teaspoons of sugar
    • 1 baked potato equals = 7 teaspoons of sugar
    • 1 sweet potato = 8 teaspoons of sugar
    • 1 cup of strawberries equals = 2.5 teaspoons of sugar (low sugar)
    • 1/2grapefruit = 2 teaspoons of sugar
    – Coca cola (one can) – 8.25 teaspoons of sugar
    – Raisin Bran cereal – 7.75 teaspoons of sugar (per 100grams)
    – Grapes fruit – 4 teaspoons of sugar (per 100grams)
    – Tomatoes – 0.7 teaspoons of sugar (per 100grams)
    – 1 Muffin (one chocolate chip muffin) – 4.75 teaspoons of sugar
    – Special K cereal – 3 teaspoons of sugar (per 100grams)
    – Corn Flakes – 2.4 teaspoons of sugar (per 100grams)
    – Alpen cereal – 5.75 teaspoons of sugar (per 100grams)
    – Mangos fruit – 3.2 teaspoons of sugar (per 100grams)
    – A cup of “seedless prunes” has, in effect, 25 teaspoons of sugar !

    Scientists find in comparing the sugar levels in the blood after the
    consumption of a snickers bar that has 8.5 teaspoons of sugar the same
    as two bread slices ! . The sugar equivalent is of 1 large bagel a
    whopping 12 teaspoons of sugar !
    Lastly, it is worth noting that there are many breads that a single
    slice of which will raise your blood sugar more than a US Snickers bar
    (which has a GI of 68/97)…if the Glycemic Index can be believed.

    If you have diabetes or you’re over weight get this book called ; The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss Paperback – by
    Dr. Jason Fung check it out at ; http://www.amazon.com/Obesity-Code-Unlocking-Secrets-Weight/dp/1771641258/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1465113402&sr=8-1&keywords=Dr.+Jason+Fung

    1. Mikael George: You are confusing the “sugar” in whole foods (whole fruits and sweet potatoes) with added sugar or processed foods (like bread and Coke). The effect whole foods has on your body is completely different (healthy) compared to added sugar and processed foods (harmful effects). Want to understand the difference and see the science? Check out this NutritionFacts video: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/if-fructose-is-bad-what-about-fruit/

    2. The sugar in whole foods is not equivalent to the sugar in processed foods or even the sugars in juices with the fiber eliminated.

  23. My bone density improved 11% after consuming three prunes daily, going vegan, walking more, and checking Some supplements

    1. Jane, what supplements did you take? I recently added 3 prunes and 6 almonds daily, already walk 45-50 minutes a day, been vegan since 1990. What else can I do? THANKS!

  24. I guess we don’t know if fresh apples and plums will have the same effect, i.e., they have not been researched. Is there a reason why dried fruit might be better than fresh in this case?

    1. Dr. Greger mentions in this video that dried plums were chosen, because they scored a grant from the California Dried Plum Board. My guess, if other high antioxidant foods were tested neck to neck.. you would see similar benefit increase with higher antioxidant content.

  25. I have seen Dr Greger give talks on hid treadmill and I believe as does he that whole plant foods and exercise are both important particularly when staving off dementia and cardiovascular diseases. Besides, I find it fun to walk, bike, surf, play tennis at 67, especially with my wife. A few weights are in order as well. Elderly people also die and become disabled from weakness, falls, and poor endurance.

  26. I’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis for several years now. (age 64, tall, thin, female, Caucasian). Not taking Fosamax or other related meds as they scare me. Been vegan since 1990. Walk 45-50 minutes daily. We cook and eat whole foods at home for the most part. After this video I’m adding daily prunes and almonds to my diet, but what else can I do? I believe it was high doses of Prednisone about 12 years back (to save my eyesight from a deep cornea divot) that created my bone issue (60 mg daily for 4 months), but whatever it was, what can I do now to rebuild my bones? Thank you!

  27. Dr. Greger helped me cure my Asthma. I would not have found him if it was not for Google and You Tube. Thanks guys. In January this year I had terrible hip pain. I put this down to not foraging through the winter months. Usually, I forage in Spring and Summer. Herbalist Nicholas Culpeper’s book mentioned wild PLANTAIN. I made some Plantain Water, and drank four cups a day. And also placed the Plantain on my hip. In less than a week I could sit down, put my shoe on and walk with no pain. I am now waiting for Spring, because I have run out of plantain: http://butterflylullaby.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/nicholas-culpepper-hip-pain-cure.html

    I also cannot wait to use Japanese Knotweed (Resveratrol) studies prove it is good for bones:
    http://butterflylullaby.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/resveratrol-ban-japanese-knotweed-anti.html

    One thing I know for sure, and that is we all need to keep Health Diaries and share information. Why? Because as Dr. Greger states, Health Science can get lost down the rabbit hole. Herbalist Nicholas Culpeper is a prime example.

    http://butterflylullaby.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/health-diary-help-science-track-your.html

  28. Besides eating the foods mentioned(dried plums, etc.) in videos to build strong bones, is there a way to reverse osteoporosis naturally?

  29. Did I catch something in that report that said they ate 12 prunes a day? Wouldn’t that also be a lot of sugar? Prunes can have a laxative effect as well. I love one or two once in a while but if I have to eat 12, it’s going to be a problem to digest so many.

    I would like to know the # of prunes a day which yield bone protection. I’m due for my Dex scan appointment this month. The last scan showed a small increase in one hip and that is due to adding D3 and K2 to my diet, IMO

    1. Sandi,
      They are working on a follow up. They are not far enough along to show a change in DXA- but they said the blood work the looks promising with half the prunes. (But the DXA change can’t be proven)

  30. The figure you use for BMD change for prunes vs apples is misleading. You have’BMD change- and the number 1 is the result for prunes. I originally the DXA score changed by 1. But you left ‘ratio’ off your figure. BMD Change (ratio). In a nut shell- prunes increase BMD in the sound by about 1 %. Fosamax appears to increase BMD 8% in 3 years. I am not indicating Fosamax overall is the way to go- but to indicate that BMD change of prunes is equivalent is not accurate. I would appreciate more info on bones.

  31. Is there something about the drying process that is beneficial; all the tests were done with dried fruit. Would fresh prunes have the same results?

    1. Hi Heather! Yes, prunes have higher levels of sorbitol than plums. I would recommend checking out this article, which further explains the benefits of prunes!

  32. Dear Nutrition Facts Team,

    My sister in law suffers the seldom “Gorhams disease”. At the moment she has a hip fructure and hopes it is not the disease again. She is eating the standard American diet. A lot of meat, dairy and white flour products. Do you know anything about the disease and how diet can help the bone structure additional to the videos that are already uploaded? Thank you!

  33. Hi I’m a RN health support volunteer. Sorry to hear about what your sister-in-law is going through. Please wish her all the best from us here at Nutritionfacts.org.
    Unfortunately, this disease is rare and not much is known about it.
    No matter what the disease though, we feel the evidence shows a whole food, plant based diet, puts the body in the optimal state to heal from whatever the stress or illness. I looked on pubmed.gov and I didn’t see any research that had been done on Gorham’s disease and nutrition so we certainly can’t make any guarantees, but the evidence shows a plant based diet is good for everyone.
    Plant based diets have been shown to help with bone health in general.
    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/long-term-vegan-bone-health/
    https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/bone-health/

    This is something Dr. McDougall, another plant based advocate and friend/mentor of Dr. Greger’s, has written more on. You might like some of his information:
    https://www.drmcdougall.com/pdf/Osteoporosis-A-Challenging-Second-Opinion.pdf
    https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2012nl/jan/fav5.htm

    All the best to you and your sister-in-law.
    NurseKelly

  34. So you want to get 600 mg of Calcium without eating 4-6 cups of cooked greens? Good news- there are lots of non-diary sources of calcium Check out these two videos to get you started on creative ways you can get the needed calcium:
    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/almonds-for-osteoporosis/
    https://www.nof.org/patients/treatment/calciumvitamin-d/a-guide-to-calcium-rich-foods/

    Are you willing to eat non cooked greens? Salads can be a great source of calcium with dark leafy greens like kale in that bowl. Add seeds and nuts and you’re well on your way to that calcium goal. Hope you discover with a little (or moderate!) effort you can get your calcium, even if you avoid those 4-6 cups of cooked greens.

    1. Thanks for the advice. Could you do me a favor and list what you eat in a day and how much calcium you get from each item-portion. On the surface it appears to me that it is very difficult to get 600 mg a day. I know this is asking a lot, but if you get your calcium from two or three sources, it seems doable. Thanks again.

  35. Bill- Sorry for the delayed response, but I’m first getting back from my weekly volunteer time and it’s taken me a while to do a diet recall using a few good tools I’ll share with you:
    https://www.vrg.org/nutrition/calcium.php/
    https://www.eatthismuch.com/food/
    https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/calcium_content_of_selected_foods/
    Any of the above will help you calculate calcium content of foods. and the first one gives great advice about obtaining required calcium and some sample menus.
    Because you gave me the challenge of calculating my own calcium intake, I tried to be honest and just add up what I usually eat. I was a little under the recommended 1200 (1076) so I was glad I did it.
    Since you asked (& I’m glad you did because it forced me to be more conscious of my calcium needs)—My daily intake includes 1/2 cup raw spinach every morning(50mc) , some green veggies (bok choy, broccoli,etc (100) oatmeal(big bowl) (300) 1 piece of bread (26) Green salad (2 cups) (50) Almond milk 2/3 cup (200) Snacks Almonds (1/4 c 100) 1 cup dehyrated kale (200) Fortified Cereal snack (100)= 1076 Total I now will start eating more prunes, Soy yogurt and or Tofu or I also like dehydrated chick peas, so will make up a batch of them!
    I also came across this example of calcium planning that I found reassuring: “• 4 ounces of tofu, 2 TBS of sesame seeds, 1.5 cups of steamed collard greens, and 4 ounces of scallops provide you with 1,100 milligrams of calcium, or 110% DV. At the same time, these four foods only use up 394 calories, or about 22% of an 1,800-calorie meal plan.”
    Getting that calcium in can be a challenge, I’m thinking, but it’s certainly do-able. Here’s to your efforts to do what I’ll be doing–be much more conscious of my calcium intake throughout the day! . I.

    1. Hi again.

      I have searched high and low at all the health food markets in Boulder, Colorado for Calcium set Tofu which is supposed to have around 20 percent Ca (from memory of Dr Greger’s link provided for “calcium set”) calcium compared to firm tofu at 8 to 10 % Ca .

      Any recommendations on where to find it?

  36. I am a 21year old Caucasian female. I have always had health issues and over 2 years ago was diagnosed with POTS.

    I had seen many doctors, specialists, and even took a week long trip to the Mayo Clinic. Nothing helped solve my medical issues until I started a plant based diet (Mcdougall diet) almost two years ago. More recently, I altered my plant based diet to be SOS free. I don’t take any medications or supplements besides a weekly dose of Methylcobalamin B-12. I also have had the Mirena IUD.

    Here is my issue: I took up interval running about a year and a half ago. In February I got injured somehow and was no longer able to run due to pain. My pain was dismissed by my doctor so I never investigated it further and took his advice to start physical therapy for a muscle tear. After 6 months of little improvement, I went to urgent care to ask for a X-ray. They found that I fractured my pelvis (pubic rami).

    This X-ray concerned the urgent care doctor. He said this type of break is strongly associated with eating disorders and began questioning my diet. I assured him this wasn’t the case. I don’t have a history or disordered eating and this diet has allowed me to finally live a healthy, normal life mostly free of doctors appointments which I haven’t really had before.

    He had my primary physician order a DEXA bone scan. I just got the results and they are not good. The findings are:

    The bone mineral density(BMD) of the lumbar spine from L1 through L4 is .676 gm/cm2 with a corresponding T score of -3.4.

    The bone mineral density of the left hip measures .685gm/cm2 with a corresponding T score of -2.1.

    The left femoral neck has a BMD score of .581gm/cm2 with a corresponding T score of -2.4.

    My primary is concerned. He told me to see an endocrinologist and to start taking vitamin D and calcium supplements.

    I have read/seen many of the lectures on osteoporosis and plant based diets and understand the material. However, I’m unsure of what my next step should be here as I’m already on a plant based diet. Is this a rare case where I should start taking vitamin D supplements?

    I feel very lost with this and have no idea what to do next. Any help or guidance you can provide me would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for your time,

    Sophie Dern

    1. Hi Sophie This is weird I have been told to take 1500 mg if a good Calcium supplement. Get New Chapter Bone Strength it has K2 which is like a traffic cop directing the Cal into the bone not the arteries. Any Cal that does not have K2 I would not recommend the Cal could end up clogging your arteries. Vit D I take 2000 mg every day an eat a good diet. My bone density was not even near yours so you might consider taking more. I hope this helps you.

    2. Sophie,

      I’m glad to hear that your diet change reduced your physician contact time (POTS) dramatically. Nice work !

      Regarding your reduced T scores. Please get your vitamin d levels checked asap as it may be significantly low. Remember that your wanting to get to levels between 40-60 ng/ml and not at the minimum 32 ng/ml.
      There has been a substantial amount of new published work on vitamin d.

      My take on the literature is that most of us need additional amounts of vitamin D due to a number of factors including less UV exposure (indoor living, sunscreens, etc.) aging where the conversion to vitamin d is reduced and the number of patients that have issues with their genetics (receptor expression) and taking the <a href="vitamin d correctly to actually get it absorbed.

      Consider following the vitamin d test with a vitamin K2 level test (https://www.gdx.net/product/vitamin-k-test-serum). The vitamin K2 testing is controversial so you may hear different opinions. Typically if you’re eating well your calcium intake should be adequate however, two other considerations should be addressed.

      Your magnesium levels (don’t use the serum test….. only the RBC serum test is accurate) and a digestive workup along with hormone testing (use salivary or urinary) may be helpful to evaluate and understand the right solution/s. The use of the Mirena IUD will impact a number of vitamins, focally B6 and host of others, especially over time. Your not taking supplements to address this well known set of issues should be a consideration. Obviously it too will have a hormonal impact.

      I appreciate your having gone through less than favorable medical situations with your POTS….. When you evaluated your adrenal system it’s critical to determine the proper cause of the problem. There is a good video training, intended for physicians, that would be an appropriate quick look at what you would need to evaluate to really appreciate what’s going on and resulting in your potentially lower than normal cortisol. You will want to look much further than exclusively focusing on the cortisol. Keep in mind that other factors, such as toxic metals and a host of other environmental inputs can also affect your adrenal function.

      So cast a wide net when doing your evaluation. Getting a handle on your functional status will give you direction towards changing the osteoporotic situation. Remember it will take many months and typically we only order a repeat T test in 24 month intervals and on the same machine for accuracy.

      Look forward to hearing you’ve changed your health to more dense bones.

      Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.Centerofhealth.com

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