|Author: ||B.J. Smith|
|Keywords: ||osteoporosis, antioxidants, inflammation, osteoclastogenesis, osteopenia, prunes, Prunus domestica L.|
Alterations in oxidative status and inflammatory mediators have been recognized for their central role in the pathophysiology of osteoporosis.
Fruits and vegetables provide dietary sources of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that may counter these effects.
Dried plums, an excellent source of polyphenols, have been shown to prevent and reverse bone loss in animal models of osteoporosis.
The capacity of dried plums to reverse bone loss is rather unique and results from increases in indicators of bone formation (i.e., insulin-like growth factor, IGF-I and alkaline phosphatase, ALP), and inhibition of markers of bone resorption (i.e., urinary deoxypyridinoline cross-links). Dried plum and its polyphenols down-regulate bone resorption by suppressing nuclear receptor activator for NF-κB ligand (RANKL) signaling by osteoblasts, which in turn suppresses osteoclast differentiation and activity.
The polyphenols have also been shown to increase osteoblast activity and function under normal and inflammatory conditions in vitro, which was associated with up-regulation of key transcription factors involved in osteoblast differentiation (i.e., Osterix and Runx2), the growth factor IGF-I, and lysyl oxidase, which is involved in collagen crosslinking.
These data suggest the polyphenols are responsible to some extent for the anabolic and anti-resorptive effects of dried plum on bone, but do not eliminate the potential contribution of other bone modulating components (e.g., potassium and vitamin K). It remains to be determined whether dried plum affords unique biological activity or perhaps represents an “ideal combination” of components responsible for improving skeletal health.
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