Dried plum prevents bone loss in a male osteoporosis model via IGF-I and the RANK pathway

Bone. 2006 Dec;39(6):1331-42. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2006.05.024. Epub 2006 Aug 4.


Previously, dietary supplementation with dried plums, a rich source of polyphenolic compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, has been shown to improve bone density, microstructure and biomechanics in female animal models of osteopenia. We designed this study to determine the extent to which dried plum prevents skeletal deterioration in gonadal hormone deficient male animals and to begin to understand its mechanism of action. Sixty 6-month-old male Sprague-Dawley rats were either sham-operated (Sham = 1 group) or orchidectomized (ORX = 4 groups) and randomly assigned to dietary treatments: standard semi-purified diet (Control) with either LD = 5%, MD = 15%, or HD = 25% (w/w) dried plum for 90 days. At the end of the treatment period, both the MD and HD dried plum completely prevented the ORX-induced decrease in whole body, femur, and lumbar vertebra bone mineral density (BMD). Biomechanical testing indicated that the MD and HD of dried plum prevented the ORX-induced decrease in ultimate load of the cortical bone as well as the compressive force and stiffness of trabecular bone within the vertebrae. Analyses of trabecular microarchitecture of the distal femur metaphysis and vertebral body revealed that HD dried plum protected against the decrease in trabecular bone volume (BV/TV) induced by ORX. In the distal femur, all doses of dried plum improved trabecular number (TbN) and separation (TbSp) compared to the ORX-control group, while MD and HD dried plum prevented the ORX-induced changes in vertebral TbN and TbSp. At the end of the 90-day treatment, no remarkable changes in serum osteocalcin or alkaline phosphatase in any of the treatment groups were observed, while serum insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I was increased by dried plum. The ORX-induced increase in urinary deoxypyridinoline (DPD) excretion was completely prevented by all doses of dried plum coinciding with down-regulation of gene expression for receptor activator of NFkappa-B ligand (RANKL) and osteoprotegerin (OPG) in the bone. We conclude that dried plum prevents osteopenia in androgen deficient male rats, and these beneficial effects may be attributed in part to a decrease in osteoclastogenesis via down-regulation of RANKL and stimulation of bone formation mediated by IGF-I.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Base Sequence
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Bone Density
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / administration & dosage
  • Gene Expression
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Osteoporosis / genetics
  • Osteoporosis / metabolism*
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control*
  • Osteoprotegerin / genetics
  • Phenols / administration & dosage
  • Polyphenols
  • Prunus*
  • RANK Ligand / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor-kappa B / metabolism*


  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Osteoprotegerin
  • Phenols
  • Polyphenols
  • RANK Ligand
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor-kappa B
  • Tnfrsf11b protein, rat
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I