Cherries Shown to Lower Instances of Gout
A recent study suggests that consuming cherries or cherry extract may reduce gout flare ups by 35%.
Additionally, consuming cherries in combination with taking allopurinol may reduce flare ups by up to 75%. Allopurinol is a drug that lowers uric acid levels and is commonly used to treat gout.
Participants in the study included 633 individuals with gout and an average age of 54. 78% of them were male. The researchers notated when their gout started, what risk factors they had, what medications they were taking, whether or not they consumed cherries in any form and how long they had done so.
They found that 35% ate fresh cherries, 2% took cherry extract, and 5% consumed both.
Over the course of one year, 1,247 gout attacks were recorded, 92% occurring in the joint at the base of the big toe. The researchers compared cherry consumption with gout attack incidence.
They found that when participants consumed half a cup of cherries daily over a two day period, flare ups were reduced by 35%. Participants who consumed the cherries and took allopurinol saw flare ups reduced by 75%.
The study was published in the December 2012 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism. It was conducted by researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine and the University of Sydney.
Previous studies have linked cherries to anti-inflammatory benefits, reduced pain from arthritis and reduced risk of heart disease.