From “Is Four Too Many? Are Three Not Enough?” Research: Prunes are really really good for you – for your bones, actually. Apparently, in older folks, they suppress the rate at which bone breaks down, which is good news for people concerned with osteoporosis. And of course, ahem, there is that…other…digestive…effect, too. “Arjmandi and a group of researchers from Florida State and Oklahoma State University tested two groups of postmenopausal women. Over a 12-month period, the first group, consisting of 55 women, was instructed to consume 100 grams of dried plums (about 10 prunes) each day, while the second — a comparative control group of 45 women — was told to consume 100 grams of dried apples. All of the study’s participants also received daily doses of calcium (500 milligrams) and vitamin D (400 international units).
The group that consumed dried plums had significantly higher bone mineral density in the ulna (one of two long bones in the forearm) and spine, in comparison with the group that ate dried apples. This, according to Arjmandi, was due in part to the ability of dried plums to suppress the rate of bone resorption, or the breakdown of bone, which tends to exceed the rate of new bone growth as people age.” Prunes
Fish Oil is great stuff, too in terms of its connection with maintaining brain volume. This seems to work only for people who are still cognitively ok and who are negative for genetic Alzheimer’s risk factor. “Daiello reports that compared to non-users, use of fish oil supplements was associated with better cognitive functioning during the study. However, this association was significant only in those individuals who had a normal baseline cognitive function and in individuals who tested negative for a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease known as APOE4…Daiello says, “In the imaging analyses for the entire study population, we found a significant positive association between fish oil supplement use and average brain volumes in two critical areas utilized in memory and thinking (cerebral cortex and hippocampus), as well as smaller brain ventricular volumes compared to non-users at any given time in the study. In other words, fish oil use was associated with less brain shrinkage in patients taking these supplements during the ADNI study compared to those who didn’t report using them.” Considering the other benefits attributed to the ingestion of fish oil in such areas as cardiac disease, this is just one more reason to swallow it down. Fish Oil and Cognitive Function Read the rest of this entry →