The Short-Term Effect of Prunes in Improving Bone in Men

JOURNAL: Nutrients 2022, 14, 276.

AUTHORS: George, K.S.; Munoz, J.; Ormsbee, L.T.; Akhavan, N.S.; Foley, E.M.; Siebert, S.C.; Kim, J.-S.; Hickner, R.C.; Arjmandi, B.H.

Osteoporosis is a major health concern in aging populations, where 54% of the U.S. population aged 50 and older have low bone mineral density (BMD). Increases in inflammation and oxidative stress play a major role in the development of osteoporosis. Men are at a greater risk of mortality due to osteoporosis-related fractures. Our earlier findings in rodent male and female models of osteoporosis, as well as postmenopausal women strongly suggest the efficacy of prunes (dried plum) in reducing inflammation and preventing/reversing bone loss. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of two doses of prunes, daily, on biomarkers of inflammation and bone metabolism in men with some degree of bone loss (BMD; t-score between _0.1 and _2.5 SD), for three months. Thirty-five men between the ages of 55 and 80 years were randomized into one of three groups: 100 g prunes, 50 g prunes, or control. Consumption of 100 g prunes led to a significant decrease in serum osteocalcin (p < 0.001). Consumption of 50 g prunes led to significant decreases in serum osteoprotegerin (OPG) (p = 0.003) and serum osteocalcin (p = 0.040), and an increase in the OPG:RANKL ratio (p = 0.041). Regular consumption of either 100 g or 50 g prunes for three months may positively affect bone turnover.