Tart Cherry Is an Effective Gout Treatment

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Filed Under: Gout, Bone & Joint Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Learn why tart cherry is so effective for gout

What makes tart cherry extract such an effective nutrient for the relief of gout?

For one, tart cherries contain powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins, which give cherries their distinctive red color. Tart cherries are actually one of the richest sources of anthocyanins 1 and 2, which help block pro-inflammatory COX-1 and COX-2.

Cherries have traditionally been used to promote normal levels of uric acid and alleviate the pain associated with this condition.

The first known published study on cherries and gout dates back to 1950 in Texas Reports on Biology and Medicine. Dr. Ludwig W. Blau, the investigator, was himself affected by gout—so much so that he was confined to a wheelchair. After eating cherries, he noticed that his gout pain and swelling were considerably reduced. When he stopped eating cherries, his pain and swelling returned.

In a more recent 2003 study, 280 grams of cherries (about 45 cherries) was given to 10 healthy women. Blood uric acid levels decreased by 14% after five hours, and excretion of uric acid increased.

And in a 2011 study, 10 overweight and obese participants consumed 8 oz per day of either 100% tart cherry juice or a placebo for four weeks. Although participants had normal uric acid levels, seven participants displayed reduced serum uric acid levels after drinking tart cherry juice. The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), an indicator of chronic inflammation, was significantly lower with the tart cherry juice versus placebo.

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