Category Archives: Plum

Dried Plum Prevents Bone Loss in Mice


Dietary supplementation with dried plum prevents ovariectomy-induced bone loss while modulating the immune response in C57BL/6J mice.

This study was designed to investigate the effects of dried plum on the changes in bone metabolism and the immune response associated with ovarian hormone deficiency. Adult female C57BL/6J mice were either sham-operated (Sham) and fed AIN-93 diet (control) or ovariectomized (OVX) and fed a control diet with 0%, 5%, 15% or 25% dried plum (w/w), corresponding to control, low- (LDP), medium- (MDP) and high (HDP)-dose dried plum. Four weeks of HDP supplementation prevented the decrease in spine bone mineral density and content induced by OVX. The OVX compromise in trabecular bone of the vertebra and proximal tibia was prevented by the higher doses of dried plum, and in the vertebra these effects resulted in greater (P<.05) bone strength and stiffness. In the bone marrow, OVX suppressed granulocyte and committed monocyte populations and increased the lymphoblast population, but the MDP and HDP restored these myeloid and lymphoid populations to the level of the Sham. Dried plum also suppressed lymphocyte tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α production ex vivo by splenocytes, in response to concanavalin (Con) A stimulation. These data indicate that dried plum’s positive effects on bone structural and biomechanical properties coincide with the restoration of certain bone marrow myeloid and lymphoid populations, and suppressed splenocyte activation occurring with ovarian hormone deficiency.

Rendina E, Lim YF, Marlow D, Wang Y…
J. Nutr. Biochem. Jan 2012
PMID: 21414765

Dried Plum May Be Anabolic for Bone


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.

Halloran BP, Wronski TJ, VonHerzen DC, Chu V…
J. Nutr. Oct 2010
PMID: 20739449 | Free Full Text

Dried Plum vs. Dried Apple


Comparative effects of dried plum and dried apple on bone in postmenopausal women.

Aside from existing drug therapies, certain lifestyle and nutritional factors are known to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Among the nutritional factors, dried plum or prunes (Prunus domestica L.) is the most effective fruit in both preventing and reversing bone loss. The objective of the present study was to examine the extent to which dried plum reverses bone loss in osteopenic postmenopausal women. We recruited 236 women, 1-10 years postmenopausal, not on hormone replacement therapy or any other prescribed medication known to influence bone metabolism. Qualified participants (n 160) were randomly assigned to one of the two treatment groups: dried plum (100 g/d) or dried apple (comparative control). Participants received 500 mg Ca plus 400 IU (10 μg) 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 were collected at baseline, 3, 6 and 12 months to assess bone biomarkers. Physical activity recall and 1-week FFQ 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 in comparison with dried apple. In comparison with 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 findings of the present study confirmed the ability of dried plum in improving BMD in postmenopausal women in part due to suppressing the rate of bone turnover.

Hooshmand S, Chai SC, Saadat RL, Payton ME…
Br. J. Nutr. Sep 2011
PMID: 21736808

Review: Phytonutrients


Phytonutrients for bone health during ageing.

Osteoporosis is a skeletal disease characterized by a decrease in bone mass and bone quality that predispose an individual to an increased risk of fragility fractures. Evidence demonstrating a positive link between certain dietary patterns (e.g. Mediterranean diet or high consumption of fruits and vegetables) and bone health highlights an opportunity to investigate their potential to protect against the deterioration of bone tissue during ageing. While the list of these phytonutrients is extensive, this review summarizes evidence on some which are commonly consumed and have gained increasing attention over recent years, including lycopene and various polyphenols (e.g. polyphenols from tea, grape seed, citrus fruit, olive and dried plum). Evidence to define a clear link between these phytonutrients and bone health is currently insufficient to generate precise dietary recommendations, owing to mixed findings or a scarcity in clinical data. Moreover, their consumption typically occurs within the context of a diet consisting of a mix of phytonutrients and other nutrients rather than in isolation. Future clinical trials that can apply a robust set of outcome measurements, including the determinants of bone strength, such as bone quantity (i.e. bone mineral density) and bone quality (i.e. bone turnover and bone microarchitecture), will help to provide a more comprehensive outlook on how bone responds to these various phytonutrients. Moreover, future trials that combine these phytonutrients with established bone nutrients (i.e. calcium and vitamin D) are needed to determine whether combined strategies can produce more robust effects on skeletal health.

Sacco SM, Horcajada MN, Offord E
Br J Clin Pharmacol Mar 2013
PMID: 23384080

Review: Fruits and Phytochemicals


Fruits and dietary phytochemicals in bone protection.

Osteoporosis is a disease of bone characterized by loss of bone matrix and deterioration of bone microstructure that leads to an increased risk of fracture. Cross-sectional studies have shown a positive association between higher fruit intake and higher bone mineral density. In this review, we evaluated animal and cellular studies of dried plum and citrus and berry fruits and bioactive compounds including lycopene, phenolics, favonoids, resveratrol, phloridzin, and pectin derived from tomato, grapes, apples, and citrus fruits. In addition, human studies of dried plum and lycopene were reviewed. Animal studies strongly suggest that commonly consumed antioxidant-rich fruits have a pronounced effect on bone, as shown by higher bone mass, trabecular bone volume, number, and thickness, and lower trabecular separation through enhancing bone formation and suppressing bone resorption, resulting in greater bone strength. Such osteoprotective effects seem to be mediated via antioxidant or anti-inflammatory pathways and their downstream signaling mechanisms, leading to osteoblast mineralization and osteoclast inactivation. In future studies, randomized controlled trials are warranted to extend the bone-protective activity of fruits and their bioactive compounds. Mechanistic studies are needed to differentiate the roles of phytochemicals and other constitutes in bone protection offered by the fruits. Advanced imaging technology will determine the effective doses of phytochemicals and their metabolites in improving bone mass, microarchitecture integrity, and bone strength, which is a critical step in translating the benefits of fruit consumption on osteoporosis into clinical data.

Shen CL, von Bergen V, Chyu MC, Jenkins MR…
Nutr Res Dec 2012
PMID: 23244535

Plum Extract in Fetal and Newborn Mice


Effects of plum extract on skeletal system of fetal and newborn mice.

Objective: To evaluate the effects of Prunus domestica L. extracts on fetuses and neonatal skeletal systems. Materials and Methods: A total of 32 pregnant mice (Mus musculus) received vehicle and plum hydroalcoholic extract at gestational days 1-18 and during the entire gestational period as well as 10 days postpartum, respectively. A total of 30 nonpregnant mice were fed plum hydroalcoholic extract and plum juice extract for 30 days. Bone calcium content and serum concentrations of calcium, magnesium and alkaline phosphatase were measured. The skeletal systems of their fetuses and neonates were stained with Alcian blue and alizarin red S and the length of femur, tibia, and their ossification center were measured. Results: Crown-rump length of the newborn mice from mothers treated with plum extract (4.61 ± 0.25 mm) was higher compared to the control group (4.48 ± 0.31 mm, p = 0.001), and the femur osteogenesis index of newborn mice from mothers treated with plum extract was also higher (0.87 ± 0.09) compared to the control group (0.81 ± 0.06, p = 0.007). Conclusion: The findings showed that pregnant mice treated with plum extract had fetuses and newborn mice with higher osteogenesis index than those of the controls.

Monsefi M, Parvin F, Farzaneh M
Med Princ Pract 2013
PMID: 23406627

Review: Dried Plum


Viewpoint: dried plum, an emerging functional food that may effectively improve bone health.

Osteoporosis is a debilitating disorder that affects both female and male, albeit to a greater extent in women than men. As the demographic shift to a more aged population continues, a growing number of men and women will be afflicted with osteoporosis and a search for potential non-pharmacological alternative therapies for osteoporosis is of prime interest. Aside from existing drug therapies, certain lifestyle and nutritional factors are known to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Among nutritional factors, recent observations suggest that dried plum, or prunes (Prunus domestica L.) is the most effective fruit in both preventing and reversing bone loss. Animal studies and a 3-month clinical trial conducted in our laboratories have shown that dried plum has positive effects on bone indices. The animal data indicate that dried plum not only protects against but more importantly reverses bone loss in two separate models of osteopenia. Our initial animal study indicated that dried plum prevented the ovariectomy-induced reduction in bone mineral density (BMD) of the femur and lumbar vertebra. In another study, to mimic established osteoporosis, rats were ovariectomized and allowed to lose bone before the initiation of treatment. Dried plum as low as 5% (w/w) restored BMD to the level of intact rats. More importantly, dried plum reversed the loss of trabecular architectural properties such as trabecular number and connectivity density, and trabecular separation. We have also shown the effectiveness of dried plum in reversal of bone loss due to skeletal unloading. Analysis of BMD and trabecular bone structure by microcomputed tomography (microCT) revealed that dried plum enhanced bone recovery during reambulation following skeletal unloading and had comparable effects to parathyroid hormone. In addition to the animal studies, our 3-month clinical trial indicated that the consumption of dried plum daily by postmenopausal women significantly increased serum markers of bone formation, total alkaline phosphatase, bone-specific alkaline phosphatase and insulin-like growth factor-I by 12, 6, and 17%, respectively. This review summarizes the findings of studies published to date which examine the beneficial effects of dried plum on bone in both female and male animal models of osteoporosis as well as the only published clinical study.

Hooshmand S, Arjmandi BH
Ageing Res. Rev. Apr 2009
PMID: 19274852

Dried Plum, FOS, and Soy


Addition of fructooligosaccharides and dried plum to soy-based diets reverses bone loss in the ovariectomized rat.

Dietary bioactive components that play a role in improving skeletal health have received considerable attention in complementary and alternative medicine practices as a result of their increased efficacy to combat chronic diseases. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the additive or synergistic effects of dried plum and fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and to determine whether dried plum and FOS or their combination in a soy protein-based diet can restore bone mass in ovarian hormone deficient rats. For this purpose, 72 3-month-old female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into six groups (n = 12) and either ovariectomized (Ovx, five groups) or sham-operated (sham, one group). The rats were maintained on a semipurified standard diet for 45 days after surgery to establish bone loss. Thereafter, the rats were placed on one of the following dietary treatments for 60 days: casein-based diet (Sham and Ovx), soy-based diet (Ovx + soy) or soy-based diet with dried plum (Ovx + soy + plum), FOS (Ovx + soy + FOS) and combination of dried plum and FOS (Ovx + soy + plum + FOS). Soy protein in combination with the test compounds significantly improved whole-body bone mineral density (BMD). All test compounds in combination with soy protein significantly increased femoral BMD but the combination of soy protein, dried plum and FOS had the most pronounced effect in increasing lumbar BMD. Similarly, all of the test compounds increased ultimate load, indicating improved biomechanical properties. The positive effects of these test compounds on bone may be due to their ability to modulate bone resorption and formation, as shown by suppressed urinary deoxypyridinoline excretion and enhanced alkaline phosphatase activity.

Johnson CD, Lucas EA, Hooshmand S, Campbell S…
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2011
PMID: 18955356 | Free Full Text

FOS and Dried Plum


Combining fructooligosaccharide and dried plum has the greatest effect on restoring bone mineral density among select functional foods and bioactive compounds.

Functional foods and/or their bioactive compounds playing a role in improving skeletal health have received considerable attention. The objective of the present study was to determine the extent to which certain functional foods as (1) whole, e.g., dried plum (DP), figs, dates, raisin, and blueberry, (2) fractionated, e.g., DP puree, DP juice, and DP pulp/skin, or (3) isolated, e.g., DP polyphenols, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), and beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate, forms reverse bone loss in an ovariectomized (Ovx) rat model of osteoporosis. Additionally, some of these components were tested in reversal of bone loss in combination. For this purpose, 180 3-month-old female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 15 groups (n = 12) and either Ovx (14 groups) or sham-operated (Sham, one group). Rats were maintained on a semipurified standard diet for 45 days after surgery to establish bone loss. Thereafter, rats were placed on one of the following dietary treatments for 60 days: casein-based diet (Sham and Ovx). The remaining 13 Ovx groups were placed on various treatment diets. Results showed that diets supplemented with 5% FOS + 7.5% DP was most effective in reversing both right femur and fourth lumbar bone mineral density and fourth lumbar calcium loss while significantly decreasing trabecular separation. There were no significant effects of treatment on serum or urine measures of bone turnover. Although other treatments were good at altering some bone parameters, none had the success in altering several bone health indicators as the diets supplemented with 5% FOS + 7.5% DP. The findings of this study suggest the combination of 5% FOS + 7.5% DP is capable of reversing Ovx-induced bone loss.

Arjmandi BH, Johnson CD, Campbell SC, Hooshmand S…
J Med Food Apr 2010
PMID: 20132045

Dried Plum Decreases Osteoclast Activity


Dried plum polyphenols inhibit osteoclastogenesis by downregulating NFATc1 and inflammatory mediators.

Dried plums and their polyphenols have been shown to suppress bone resorption by downregulating receptor activator NF-kappaB ligand (RANKL). Due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of these compounds, this study was designed to investigate whether dried plum polyphenols exert additional, more direct effects on osteoclasts and their precursors. RAW 264.7 macrophages were used as a model to study osteoclast precursors and osteoclast differentiation and activity. Under inflammatory conditions induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS), polyphenols extracted from dried plum (10, 20, and 30 microg/mL) downregulated osteoclast precursor cyclooxygenase expression and nitric oxide (NO) by inhibiting inducible NO synthase. NO and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha were also suppressed in the presence of RANKL during osteoclastogenesis by the polyphenols. Increased TNF-alpha production in response to oxidative stress, but not LPS, was decreased over time. As expected, LPS and H2O2 significantly increased the number of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase-positive cells by 127% and 30%, respectively. Dried plum polyphenols decreased osteoclast differentiation under normal as well as inflammatory and oxidative stress conditions, coincident with the suppression of the transcription factor, nuclear factor for activated T cells (NFATcl). These inhibitory effects on osteoclastogenesis were confirmed in primary bone marrow cultures. Resorption pit formation was decreased to a similar extent as osteoclast differentiation, suggesting that dried plum polyphenols primarily affect osteoclast differentiation as opposed to activity. Our data demonstrate that dried plum polyphenols directly inhibit osteoclastogenesis, leading to a decrease in osteoclast activity, by downregulating NFATc1 and inflammatory mediators.

Bu SY, Lerner M, Stoecker BJ, Boldrin E…
Calcif. Tissue Int. Jun 2008
PMID: 18509698