Mary Jane De Souza, PhD, Pennsylvania State University Principal Investigator
Connie Weaver, PhD, Purdue University Co-Principal Investigator
Report to the International Prune Association October 2020 by Donn Zea, Executive Director, California Prune Board
The project now has a total completion rate of about 90%. The last participants to complete the study, including final determination of bone mineral density, will occur by the end of February 2021.
In-person restrictions and the institution’s protocol due to COVID19 delayed some measurements but the investigators maintained continual e-mail and phone communication with participants, so they remained committed to the study.
The investigators have been entering unblinded data into the vast database system in real time so that preliminary information may be forthcoming spring 2021. However, the results cannot be released until published. In the interim, the investigators are preparing a manuscript that describes the research design so that can be referenced in subsequent papers.
In addition, a case study presented at the 2019 meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research is being prepared for submission to Bone Reports. This case study described the results of an osteopenic woman initially assigned to the control group who, after completion of the study, on her own volition began eating approximately 6 prunes daily (in addition to calcium and vitamin D3 which were part of the initial study protocol). The participant enrolled in a different study that used the same measurement of bone mineral density (DXA). Results of that measurement indicated a marked improvement in BMD at the spine (+7.8%) compared to the previous scan one year prior and recovered BMD to within 0.5% of baseline values.
Thus, we remain encouraged and are anxiously awaiting the results from the total study.