Blackcurrants Could be Important in the Fight Against Osteoporosis, Especially for Post-Menopausal Women.

“Our findings demonstrated that blackcurrant anthocyanins are effective in ameliorating bone loss caused by ovarian hormone deficiency.” This is the conclusion of research teams at the University of Connecticut, USA’s, Department of Nutrition Sciences, and Center on Aging.

Worldwide one woman in three over the age of 50 will experience bone fractures due to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is where there is a loss of bony tissue resulting in fragile and porous bones: such fragile bones are more susceptible to fracture. The loss is due to a type of bone cell known as an osteo-clast. This cell secretes acid and collagenase that “melts” surrounding bone tissue, releasing minerals and especially calcium back to the blood. This is a normal process essential for healthy skeletal development and bone repair. But that process can get out of balance; and especially in the elderly and in post-menopausal women, for reasons not fully understood.

Scientists have known from many studies that fruits and vegetables can influence positive bone density but didn’t know why. It was believed that a type of plant molecule called an anthocyanin might help. Anthocyanins are very rich in blackcurrants and especially in NZ-grown blackcurrants.

Last year, a group of scientists at the University of Connecticut, USA, carried out a series of tests using mice that had had their ovaries removed. The mice were given a New Zealand blackcurrant extract supplied as 1% of their diet. The research resulted in the following conclusion: “Our findings demonstrated that blackcurrant anthocyanins are effective in ameliorating bone loss caused by ovarian hormone deficiency.”

The research team will now investigate the major bioactive component in blackcurrant anthocyanins, the lowest effective dose, and the underlying explanation as to how and why the blackcurrants work.

The research was published in the Journal of Medicinal Food ( J Med Food 19 (4) 2016, 390-397) : Full article here and Powerpoint research summary here.

The Sujon berryfruit Company provides this important information to its readers as a service to keep you up-to-date with the exciting global research based on New Zealand blackcurrants. We believe our frozen blackcurrants and our blackcurrant powder have been proven to be nutritionally valuable for a variety of reasons and can be a part of a sound and balanced diet. But if you have any concerns about your own bone health and especially any osteoporosis issues, you should discuss with your medical professional and not rely on this research alone, which is still in progress.

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