Dietary dried plum increases bone mass in adult and aged male mice.
Bone is progressively lost with advancing age. Therapies are limited and the only effective proanabolic regimen presently available to restore bone is intermittent treatment with teriparatide (parathyroid hormone 1-34). Recent evidence suggests that dietary supplementation with dried plum (DP) can prevent bone loss due to estrogen deficiency. To determine whether dietary DP supplementation can prevent the loss of bone with aging and whether bone that has already been lost can be restored, adult (6 mo) and old (18 mo) male mice were fed a normal diet or isoenergetic, isonitrogenous diets supplemented with DP (0, 15, and 25% DP by weight) for 6 mo. MicroCT analysis and bone histomorphometry were used to assess bone volume, structure, and metabolic activity before, during, and after dietary supplementation. Mice fed the 0% DP diet (control diet) lost bone, whereas both adult and old mice fed the 25% DP-supplemented diet gained bone. Adult but not old mice fed the 15% diet also gained bone. Cancellous bone volume in mice receiving 25% DP exceeded baseline levels by 40-50%. Trabecular structure varied with diet and age and responses in old mice were generally blunted. Trabecular, but not cortical, mineral density varied with age and measures of bone anabolic activity were lower in aged mice. Our findings suggest that DP contains proanabolic factors that can dramatically increase bone volume and restore bone that has already been lost due to aging. In turn, DP may provide effective prophylactic and therapeutic agents for the treatment of osteoporosis.