Tart cherry extract relieves gout pain


Folk wisdom has long prescribed cherries and cherry juice to relieve gout, a painful inflammatory condition of the joints—most commonly the one at the base of the big toe.

Now, more and more scientific evidence is piling up to support this claim, most recently the report by a team of British researchers that concentrated Montmorency tart cherries might target its underlying causes.

Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood, which leads to inflammation. The research team measured uric acid activity and levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation, in 12 volunteers who were given either 30 mL or 60 mL of the concentrated cherries. Both doses of cherry concentrate had the same effect: two hours after drinking the concentrate, the uric acid levels in their urine had increased by 250 percent—suggesting the body was excreting the acid—while the levels in blood samples fell by 36 percent. C-reactive protein levels were decreased by 29%.

The Montmorency cherry is a sour cherry popular in cherry pies and preserves, in addition to the more recent attention to its health benefits.(Source: Journal of Functional Foods, 2014; 11: 82-90. DOI: 10.1016/j.jff.2014.09.004)

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