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Consumption of Nopal Powder in Adult Women

Sánchez-Murillo ME1, Cruz-López EO2, Verde-Star MJ1, Rivas-Morales C1, Morales-Rubio ME1, Garza-Juárez AJ3, Llaca-Díaz JM4, Ibarra-Salas MJ2.

J Med Food. 2020 Mar 11. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2019.0244. [Epub ahead of print]

Osteoporosis is a chronic disease in adult women caused by menopause and some other factors, which entails deficiency of calcium in diet. Natural products are the best source of nutriments to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Nopal (Opuntia ficus-indica) is a plant characterized by its nutritional components and benefits to health. Its calcium content increases with maturation process that could be beneficial for consumers. Nopal powder (NP) was elaborated from nopal harvested within 16-24 weeks of maturation, and the nutritional content was determined. An experimental clinical trial was performed to evaluate the effect of NP. A total of 69 women between 40 and 60 years old participated in the study. During 24 weeks, experimental group (n = 56) consumed a daily dose of 5 g of NP and control group (n = 13) continue with habitual diet. Changes in bone mineral density (BMD), body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage and serum calcium were assessed. Between baseline and after 24 weeks of consumption, no significant changes were found in BMD P = .885 experimental group and P = .970 control group, BMI P = .865 experimental group and P = .984 control group, body fat P = .744 experimental group and P = .740 control group and serum calcium P = .282 experimental group and P = .959 control group. These results indicate that advanced maturation NP does not have influence in bone health, BMI, and body composition in adult women.