HCP & Nutritionist
Further Proof that Prunes support Bowel Health
A new UK scientific study by researchers at King’s College London – the renowned centre of excellence for nutrition and digestive health – demonstrates encouraging results to further enhance the existing EU authorised health claim for prunes (prunes contribute to normal bowel function when 100g are consumed daily), implying that eating a natural dried fruit could potentially go a long [...]
A new UK scientific study by researchers at King’s College London – the renowned centre of excellence for nutrition and digestive health – demonstrates encouraging results to further enhance the existing EU authorised health claim for prunes (prunes contribute to normal bowel function when 100g are consumed daily), implying that eating a natural dried fruit could potentially go a long way to reducing the nation’s growing laxative bill. At a time when NHS finances are stretched it would appear that addressing the reliance on over-the-counter medication by encouraging a balanced diet with sufficient fibre represents an efficacious and cost effective solution.
The independent research published online (this month) in the journal ‘Clinical Nutrition’ was undertaken by Professor Kevin Whelan of King’s College London, with colleagues from Queen Mary University of London and the University of Aberdeen and was funded by the California Prune Board. The latest findings clearly demonstrate the efficacy of eating prunes at a lower consumption rate of 80g, as opposed to the higher amount of 100g recorded in previous studies. Eating less prunes to achieve the same desired effect may appeal to those who were concerned at the requirement to eat 100g of prunes as per the original EFSA health claim.
This controlled trial is the first to take the EU health claim data further by following the stringent research requirements defined by EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) and measuring the impact on bowel function using objective measures of demonstrated importance to gut health (stool weight, transit time) as opposed to previous studies which relied on self-reporting mechanisms.
The research, based on a group of healthy adults with low fibre intakes and infrequent bowel movements (3-6 stools per week) showed that stool weight and frequency significantly increased in the sample consuming both 80g or 120g prunes and water, when compared with the sample only adding water to their daily diet. Low stool weight and delayed transit time are risk factors for diseases such as colorectal cancer, haemorrhoids and constipation and increasing fibre intake is the recommended route to reduce the risk of developing these problems. Current intakes of fibre in the UK are 18 g/day, which is in sharp contrast to the recommended 30 g/day but simply eating prunes can dramatically increase fibre intake (by 29% if 80 g of prunes are eaten daily; by 44% if 120 g of prunes are eating daily).
Once again, the study dismisses the myth that adding prunes to the diet causes weight to increase, reinforcing the results of a previous trial undertaken by the University of Liverpool in 2014. The paper also highlights how adults following a prune rich diet may show an increase in levels of bifidobacteria (a potentially health-enhancing bacteria that prebiotics are designed to increase). In fact, the researchers observed that the increase of bifidobacteria was in the same order of magnitude as that observed in some studies investigating the prebiotic effects of inulin and fructo-oligosaccharides and so recommended further research.
Commenting on the findings, Esther Ritson-Elliott, European Marketing Director of the California Prune Board says, “The California Prune Board, representing the world’s premium quality prunes, has a long history of investing in cutting edge research to underpin the exceptional health and nutritional credentials of California prunes. This study is not simply a repeat of previous similar scientific investigations, but instead represents a brand-new UK research initiative that patently reinforces and adds significant weight to the existing EU health claim. In fact, we may now consider applying for the EU health claim to be adapted in line with these latest findings. Although there are daily sensationalised reports claiming new ‘gut health’ breakthroughs, this published paper research has used robust, objective outcome measures to confirm the long-held view that eating a diet rich in California prunes offers clear and tangible benefits in terms of improving normal bowel function.”
 Lever E, Scott M, Louis P, Emery P, Whelan K, The effect of prunes on stool output, gut transit time and gastrointestinal microbiota: A randomised controlled trial, Clinical Nutrition (2018), http://www.clinicalnutritionjournal.com/article/S0261-5614(18)30003-7/fulltext?rss=yes
 According to NHS England over a 10-year period (2006 – 2016) laxative spend in the UK has increased by 61.2%. In 2016 the NHS spent £92.8 million on laxatives, equivalent to over £250,000 daily. The NHS states that ‘most people should get all the nutrients they need by having a varied and balanced diet’ yet people use supplements, including a wide variety of over the counter treatments to help them ‘go’ to the toilet. Yet lifestyle changes (diet, fluid intake and exercise) can often prevent the need for laxatives and are recommended as the first line option by the NHS.
 Harrold J, Hughes G, Boyland E, Williams N, McGill R, Blundell J, Finlayson G, Higgs J, Harland J, Halford J (2014) Dried fruit (prune) consumption does not undermine active weight management or produce adverse gastrointestinal effects. As presented at The European Congress on Obesity by The European Association for the Study of Obesity, 2014: http://bit.ly/1EYFlyI
Lisa Allen / email@example.com / 01227 700 175 / 07530 060800
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Notes to editors:
The California Prune Board, under the authority of the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture represents the entire 800 prune plums growers and 29 prune packers of California, which is the largest producer of prunes in the world, growing prunes known to be of the best quality due to the regions’ rigorous harvesting techniques and quality control assessments. The premium produce is supplied to 72 countries worldwide and the region contributes 43% of the world’s prune supplies
and 99% of the United States’ prune supplies. The California Prune Board is responsible for the marketing of California prunes and has been actively promoting its ‘designer’ prunes to consumer and trade customers in the UK and Europe since 1986.
Follow the California Prune Board on: www.californiaprunes.co.uk
Travel Survival Pack – Get Your Copy Here
Travelling can play havoc with even the best of healthy eating and weight management routines, and it’s often your gut that is the first to notice – whether it’s a long car, coach/train journey, or short or long haul flying. Download our handy travel survival pack, full of tips and advice on how to make your travel more enjoyable!
Travelling can play havoc with even the best of healthy eating and weight management routines, and it’s often your gut that is the first to notice – whether it’s a long car, coach/train journey, or short or long haul flying.
Download our handy travel survival pack, full of tips and advice on how to make your travel more enjoyable!
Bursary Award Opportunity for Dietitians from Poland to attend EFAD 2017 in Rotterdam
California Prune Board Bursary Award Opportunity for Dietitians from Poland to attend EFAD 2017 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands – 29-30/09/2017 The 10th EFAD theme is ‘The Future is Now’ and the California Prune Board (CPB) have sponsored 5 free places at this prestigious event in the Dietetic calendar to encourage Polish Dietitians to join the growing network of European Dietitians [...]
California Prune Board Bursary Award Opportunity for Dietitians from Poland to attend EFAD 2017 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands – 29-30/09/2017
The 10th EFAD theme is ‘The Future is Now’ and the California Prune Board (CPB) have sponsored 5 free places at this prestigious event in the Dietetic calendar to encourage Polish Dietitians to join the growing network of European Dietitians who are breaking new ground, setting plans for the future of the profession and sharing the most up to date research news.
All you need do is either submit an abstract for EFAD (deadline 14th August); or write in no more than 300 words how you would benefit from attending EFAD and what you would do following the event to utilise the information you learn during the 2 day conference programme.
Offers are open to university graduates and students of Nutrition & Dietetics that meet the following criteria:
• University graduates and students of Masters or Bachelor Nutrition & Dietetics courses – (Dietetyka/Żywienie Człowieka); and
• Member or student member of Polish Association of Dietitians (Polskie Stowarzyszenie Dietetyków) or Polish Society of Dietetics (Polskie Towarzystwo Dietetyki)
Applicants are required to provide details of their qualifications and memberships along with their entry. All entries will be judged by qualified dietitians from EFAD, Poland and CPB. The judge’s decision will be final. By applying for this award, you agree to the terms and conditions as outlined here.
Please submit your applications via email to: CPB@foodtofit.com
If you have submitted an abstract for EFAD, but have not yet heard if it has been accepted, please provide us with your EFAD abstract application and details of its progress in the system. (Please note that the organisers of this bursary award have no connection with the EFAD abstract submission process).
Successful applicants will be notified by email and will then receive instructions on how to apply for their EFAD place. Please note if you have already prepaid for your registration or flights to attend you can still win a free place. In this case your registration would be reimbursed by EFAD and the CPB will reimburse your flight following attendance at the event.
Successful applicants will make their own travel plans to attend the EFAD conference and can submit an expenses claim form, which must be accompanied by all receipts after the event, directly to the CALIFORNIA PRUNE BOARD (EUROPE). All administrative details will be supplied to successful applicants.
With only 5 places available, do not delay – deadline for applications 1st September. All applications will be judged on their merits and according to earlier application date.
We look forward to welcoming you to EFAD.