Cherries - Natural Remedy for Gout
Cherries have been studied for their potential to help manage gout, a form of arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream.
Here's how cherries can be considered a natural treatment for gout:
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Cherries, particularly tart cherries, contain compounds like anthocyanins and flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a key component of gout, so reducing inflammation can help alleviate symptoms.
- Lower Uric Acid Levels: Studies suggest that cherries may help lower uric acid levels in the body. Uric acid is the substance that crystallizes and forms deposits in the joints of people with gout, causing pain and inflammation.
- Pain Relief: Cherries may provide pain relief for gout sufferers. They may help reduce the intensity and duration of gout attacks.
What is Gout?
Gout is a condition that causes sudden and excruciating pain, inflammation and swelling in of the foot, knee, ankle, hand and wrist – especially the big toe.
It is a common joint condition affecting one in 14 men and one in 35 women. In men, it can occur any time after puberty, whereas in women it is uncommon before the menopause.
Gout is caused by excess uric acid in the bloodstream. An overload of uric acid can cause it to form into microscopic, needle-like, urate crystals in the joints, causing inflammation and intense pain.
All of the cells in the human body, and many of the foods we eat, contain substances known as purines. As old cells are broken down, or as foods are digested, these purines are converted to uric acid, which is carried in the blood.
Most people with gout have high levels of uric acid in their blood because they do not pass enough in their urine, often due to inefficient kidney function. High levels of purines in the diet and certain medications like diuretics are also factors that increase the occurrence of gout.
Treatment options currently include keeping pressure off the affected joint, the use of ice packs during attacks, and taking anti-inflammatory drugs.
Provided by Nature, Backed by Science
Research studies show that consumption of Montmorency cherry juice can lower uric acid in the bloodstream. Lowering uric acid levels in the blood can prevent it forming crystals of urate that cause gout attacks.
Analysis of Montmorency cherries shows they contain significant levels of anthocyanins (far higher than other varieties of cherries and other fruit) which give the fruit its bright red colour. Scientists believe these compounds are behind the fruit’s uric acid lowering effects
Montmorency Tart Cherries contained the highest concentrations of Anthocyanins 1 and 2 which help block enzymes in the body called cyclooxygenase 1 and 2 (popularly known as COX1 and COX2). The COX inhibitory activities of anthocyanins is believed to be responsible for the anti-inflammatory actions which was similar to the actions of the NSAIDs ibuprofen and naproxen. Scientists believe these compounds are behind the fruit’s uric acid lowering effects.
Studies have also shown anthocyanins to possess anti-inflammatory properties. This may help reduce the inflammation and pain associated with acute gout attacks.
Therefore, individuals, with a susceptibility to gout, may be able to reduce uric acid levels and inflammation associated with gout attacks by including Montmorency cherries in their diet.
A study from Northumbria University found that after drinking Montmorency cherry concentrate, uric acid levels in the body significantly reduced in just a few hours.
In the single blind, two-phase study, healthy participants were invited to drink CherryActive Concentrate (100% Montmorency cherry concentrate) to test how it affected the levels of uric acid in their blood and urine. They drank either 30ml or 60ml of the concentrate mixed with 100ml of water. Blood and urine samples were taken at regular intervals following consumption of the concentrate.
Two hours after drinking the cherry concentrate, uric acid levels in urine had increased by around 250%, indicating that the body was quickly excreting uric acid. This was reflected in blood tests, with uric acid levels in blood decreasing by around 36% eight hours after drinking the concentrate.
The results also showed a reduction in an inflammation marker.
The findings also revealed that while the 60ml dose of cherry concentrate increased the volumes of anthocyanins within the blood, it brought no additional benefit in lowering uric acid or inflammation compared to the 30ml dose, demonstrating that only a small volume of the cherry concentrate was needed to bring about the beneficial effects.
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