Dried plums improve indices of bone formation in postmenopausal women

J Womens Health Gend Based Med. 2002 Jan-Feb;11(1):61-8. doi: 10.1089/152460902753473471.


Menopause drastically increases the risk of osteoporosis. Aside from drug therapy, lifestyle and nutritional factors play an important role in the maintenance of skeletal health. Our recent findings suggest that dried plums, a rich source of phenolic and flavonoid compounds, are highly effective in modulating bone mass in an ovarian hormone-deficient rat model of osteoporosis. The objective of this study was to examine whether the addition of dried plums to the diets of postmenopausal women positively influences markers of bone turnover. Fifty-eight postmenopausal women not on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) were randomly assigned to consume either 100 g dried plums or 75 g dried apples daily for 3 months. Both dried fruit regimens provided similar amount of calories, fat, carbohydrate, and fiber. Serum and urinary biochemical markers of bone status were assessed before and after treatment. In comparison with corresponding baseline values, only dried plums significantly increased serum levels of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BSAP) activity. Higher levels of both serum IGF-I and BSAP are associated with greater rates of bone formation. Serum and urinary markers of bone resorption, however, were not affected by either dietary regimen. The results of this study suggest that dried plums may exert positive effects on bone in postmenopausal women. Longer duration studies are needed to confirm the beneficial effects of dried plum on bone mineral density (BMD) and the skeletal health of postmenopausal women.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase / blood
  • Anthropometry
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Bone Resorption / metabolism
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteogenesis / drug effects*
  • Osteogenesis / physiology
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology*
  • Postmenopause / drug effects*
  • Postmenopause / metabolism
  • Prunus*
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / metabolism
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vagina / drug effects


  • Biomarkers
  • Plant Preparations
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Alkaline Phosphatase