by Marion Nestle
Jul 25 2022

Industry-funded study of the week: more prunes

Several people sent me this one:

Prunes preserve hip bone mineral density in a 12-month randomized controlled trial in postmenopausal women: the Prune Study.  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,  nqac189,

Conclusions: A 50g daily dose of prunes can prevent loss of total hip BMD [bone mineral density] in postmenopausal females after six months, which persisted for 12-months…we propose that the 50g dose represents a valuable non-pharmacological treatment strategy that can be used to preserve hip BMD in postmenopausal females and possibly reduce hip fracture risk

Sources of Support: California Prune Board (Award Number: 180215)

Acknowledgments: We thank the California Prune Board for the funding and prunes…The California Prune Board had no role in the data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of this study.

Comment: The California Prune Board did not have to have that kind of role to get the outcome it wanted.  Research on funding effects shows that industry influence is exerted primarily in the ways the research question is framed and the results interpreted.  It also shows that investigators hardly ever recognize how industry funding exerts influence.

Reference:  Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat.