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Effects of Short-Term Dried Plum (Prune) Intake on Markers of Bone Resorption and Vascular Function in Healthy Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Crossover Trial

Al-Dashti, Yousef A., Holt, Roberta R., Carson, John G., Keen, Carl L., Hackman, Robert M.
Journal of medicinal food 2019 v.22 no.10 pp. 982-992
animal models, blood serum, bone health, bone resorption, cardiovascular diseases, cross-over studies, experimental design, lipid metabolism, osteoporosis, oxidants, postmenopause, prunes, women
Osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease are global health burdens, with postmenopausal women being at great risk. Dried plums/prunes (DPs) have been reported to provide bone health benefits in animal models, which is consistent with in vitro models. Data from human studies suggest that DP intake can enhance lipid metabolism, anti-inflammatory, and oxidant defense systems, which can impact cardiovascular health. We tested the hypothesis that short-term consumption of low and reasonable levels of DPs augments bone resorption and vascular function. Twenty-seven healthy, postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to consume six DPs (∼42 g) or two DPs (∼14 g) per day for 2 weeks, then a 2-week washout period and then crossed over. Serum C-telopeptide, beta-crosslinked (CTX) was used as a measure of bone resorption. Peripheral artery tonometry (PAT) was used to assess microvascular function. The pattern of changes in CTX in the second 2-week period (no change or decline) differed significantly from the pattern in the first 2 weeks (increases in both groups; F = 9.26, P = .006), suggesting a trend in CTX reduction (i.e., a decrease in bone resorption) in those consuming six DPs per day in the second phase. No effects on vascular function were noted. A significant interaction was observed for the augmentation index, a measure of arterial stiffness, between treatment and years after menopause (P = .045). The results suggest a potentially favorable impact of DPs on bone health when assessed with a short-term, crossover study design in postmenopausal women. Given the novel assessments used in this study, follow-up studies are warranted.