A pair of new studies presented as abstracts today at the American Society of Nutrition (ASN) annual meeting report that daily prune consumption has promising effects on several biomarkers related to cardiovascular health. Conducted in postmenopausal women and men 55 years and older, the studies reveal:
- In men, long-term prune consumption improved HDL cholesterol and the total cholesterol to HDL ratio, while decreasing oxidative stress and the inflammatory biomarker C-reactive protein (CRP).
- In older women, long-term prune consumption had no negative effect on various metabolic measures related to heart disease risk including total cholesterol, total triglycerides, fasting glucose, and insulin levels.
The results of both studies were presented at the ASN annual flagship meeting in Boston, MA. The ASN convenes researchers, practitioners, global and public health professionals, policymakers and advocacy leaders, industry, media, and other related professionals to advance nutrition science and its practical application.
"Currently, there are a limited number of randomized controlled trials conducted in aging men and women that explore the relationship between prune consumption and cardiovascular-related blood biomarkers," said Mary Jane De Souza, PhD, FACSM, FANK, Distinguished Professor, Pennsylvania State University, and principal investigator of the postmenopausal women study. "We want to advance the research on this topic area to better understand how prune consumption relates to cardiometabolic health outcomes, especially in the aging population that often experiences an elevated risk for cardiovascular disease."
Cardiovascular diseases are among the leading causes of death in the United States and risk factors include high cholesterol levels, diabetes, obesity, and aging. One of the primary dietary recommendations to lower cardiovascular disease risk is to consume a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.3 As a whole fruit with no added sugars, prune consumption may support healthy dietary patterns and promote better outcomes related to cardiovascular health.
It is exciting to see research on prune consumption and cardiovascular health expand. While all fruits and vegetables provide essential nutrients, prunes make for an easy, convenient and versatile snack or recipe ingredient that is accessible year-round and can help support consumers' cardiovascular health goals."
Andrea N. Giancoli, MPH, RDN, Nutrition Advisor, California Prune Board
These two studies represent the latest additions of research on prune consumption and human health. Previous research has shown that daily prune consumption can help support gut health, bone health, and weight management.