The Effect of Two Doses of Dried Plum on Bone Density and Bone Biomarkers in Osteopenic Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized, Controlled Trial

JOURNAL: Osteoporosis International, published online February 22, 2016.

AUTHORS: Hooshmand S, Kern M, Metti D, Shamloufard P, Chai SC, Johnson SA, Payton ME, and Arjmandi BH.

Building on their previous research that demonstrated the ability of 100 g of dried plums/prunes to help prevent bone loss in older, osteopenic postmenopausal women, the investigators examined the possible dose-dependent effects in 48 osteopenic postmenopausal women (65-79 y). The three treatment groups included a control, 50 g dried plums or 100 g dried plums for 6 months. Total body, hip, and lumbar bone mineral density (BMD) were measured at baseline and 6 months using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Bone biomarkers measured at baseline, 3 and 6 months included bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP), tartrate-resistant acid phosphastase (TRAP-5b, a marker of bone resorption), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), and sclerostin. In addition, osteoprotegerin (OPG)), receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL), calcium, phosphorous, and vitamin D were measured at baseline and 6 months.
According to the results, both doses of dried plums prevented the loss of total body BMD compared to the control (P<0.05). TRAP-5b decreased at 3 months and was sustained at 6 months for both 50 g and 100 g doses. There were no significant changes in BAP for either dose of dried plum groups, although the BAP/TRAP-5b ratio was significantly (p<0.05) greater at 6 months in both dried plum groups whereas there were no changes in the control group.

The results suggest that a lower dose (50 g) of dried plums may be as effective as 100 g in preventing bone loss in older, osteopenic postmenopausal women. The investigators suggest that this may be due in part to the ability of dried plums to prevent bone resorption.