Nutrition is an important determinant of bone health and attainment of peak bone mass. Diets containing dried plum (DP) have been shown to increase bone volume and strength. These effects may be linked to the immune system and DP-specific polyphenols. To better understand these relationships, we studied DP in skeletally mature (6-month-old) and growing (1- and 2-month-old) C57Bl/6 male mice. In adult mice, DP rapidly (<2 weeks) increased bone volume (+32%) and trabecular thickness (+24%). These changes were associated with decreased osteoclast surface (Oc.S/BS) and decreased serum CTX, a marker of bone resorption. The reduction in Oc.S/BS was associated with a reduction in the osteoclast precursor pool. Osteoblast surface (Ob.S/BS) and bone formation rate were also decreased suggesting that the gain in bone in adult mice is a consequence of diminished bone resorption and formation, but resorption is reduced more than formation. The effects of DP on bone were accompanied by a decline in interleukins, TNF and MCP-1, suggesting that DP is acting in part through the immune system to suppress inflammatory activity and reduce the size of the osteoclast precursor pool. Feeding DP was accompanied by an increase in plasma phenolics, some of which have been shown to stimulate bone accrual. In growing and young adult mice DP at levels as low as 5% of diet (w/w) increased bone volume. At higher levels (DP 25%), bone volume was increased by as much as 94%. These data demonstrate that DP feeding dramatically increases peak bone mass during growth.
Keywords: Bone; Nutrition; Osteoblast; Osteoclast; Peak bone mass; Plum.
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