Comparative Effects of Dried Plum and Dried Apple on Bone in Postmenopausal Women

JOURNAL: British Journal of Nutrition 2011;106:923:-930.

AUTHORS: Hooshmand S, Chai SC, Saadat RL, Payton ME, Brummel-Smith K and Arjmandi BH.

This study examined the extent to which dried plum reverses bone loss in osteopenic postmenopausal women. Participants were 1-10 years postmenopausal and not on hormone replacement therapy or other prescribed medication known to influence bone metabolism. Qualified participants (n 160) were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups: dried plum (100g/d) or dried apple (comparative control). Participants also received 500 mg calcium and 400 IU vitamin D daily. Bone mineral density (BMD) of lumbar spine, forearm, hip and whole body was assessed at baseline and at the end of the study using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Blood samples collected at baseline, 3,6, and 12 months assessed bone biomarkers. Physical activity recall and 1-week-food frequency questionnaires were obtained at baseline, 3,6, and 12 months to examine physical activity and dietary confounders as potential covariates.

Dried plum significantly increased BMD of ulna and spine compared to dried apple. Compared to corresponding baseline values, only dried plum significantly decreased serum levels of bone turnover markers including bone-specific alkaline phosphatase and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase-5b. The authors maintain that the findings confirmed the ability of dried plum to improve BMD in postmenopausal women in part due to suppressing the rate of bone turnover.