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Montmorency Tart Cherry Juice May Help Improve Gut Microbiome

An increasing amount of research suggests that gut microbiome composition affects many other systems in our bodies.  A recent study suggests that drinking tart cherry juice may improve gut health by altering the gut microbiome.


The study had two parts: in vitro and in vivo. In the in vitro study, researchers used concentrated Montmorency tart cherry juice and apricot cultivars as a control. They applied both to incubations that mimicked gastric, intestine, and colon conditions and that were inoculated with enrichment cultures from a human stool sample. The researchers conducted DNA extraction and sequencing in order to gauge how the extracts affected the gut microbiota. Tart cherries were found to induce a large increase of Bacteriodes.


There were nine healthy participants for the in vivo study. In order to participate, they must not have ingested any antibiotics for 12 weeks before the study and could not consume any during the intervention period. All the participants completed a food frequency questionnaire at the beginning of the study in order to give the researchers an overview of their dietary habits.


All of the participants drank 8 oz of Montmorency tart cherry juice daily for five days. They also provided a stool sample before and after the intervention. The researchers noted a positive alteration in the gut microbiome at the conclusion of the study, as measured by an increase in Bacteroides and Bifidobacterium.


Researchers from the University of Arkansas led the study. It was published in the September 2018 issue of The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.


The best way to consume tart cherries is in a juice but be sure the tart cherry juice you consume is tested for potency and hasn’t been watered down.

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