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.
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