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Montmorency Tart Cherries May Lower Incidence of Upper Respiratory Infections in Marathon Runners

Previous research has found that heavy exertion, such as running a marathon, may increase respiratory mucosal inflammation and the risk of upper respiratory tract symptoms. A recent study suggests that Montmorency tart cherry juice may help lower the incidence of upper respiratory tract symptoms that occur after a marathon.

Participants in the study included 20 marathon runners who were randomly assigned to drink 572 ml per day of a tart cherry-apple juice drink containing 30 mL of tarty cherry concentrate (the equivalent of about 90 whole Montmorency tart cherries and approximately 80 mL of anthocyanins) or a placebo for five days before running a marathon. They also drank their beverages on the day of the race and for 48 hours after the race.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found that the cherry group had significantly lower levels of CRP, which is a marker of inflammation. They also had no upper respiratory tract symptoms, while 50% of the placebo group had upper respiratory tract symptoms one to two days after the race. There was no change in cortisol or mucosal immunity between the two groups.

Researchers from Middlesex University, St. Mary’s University College, Ipro Interactive Ltd, Kingston University, and Northumbria University in the UK as well as Lenox Hill Hospital in New York and North West University in South Africa conducted the study. It was published on May 11, 2015, in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

Previous studies suggest that Montmorency tart cherry juice may reduce osteoarthritis pain, inflammation, and the risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and diabetes. Be sure the tart cherry extract you consume is tested for potency.

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