Cherries May Reduce Gout Attacks

October 1, 2012

A study on 633 human subjects with gout.

Eating up to three daily servings of cherries may reduce gout attacks, according to new research on hundreds of gout sufferers published in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Gout is an inflammatory form of arthritis caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood, and previous research suggests that cherries could help lower uric acid levels and inflammation.

Researchers led by Yuqing Zhang of the Boston University School of Medicine recruited 633 adults with gout and followed them online for one year while documenting personal medication use, and cherry consumption during two-day periods leading up to gout attacks.

Participants who consumed cherries or cherry extract during those two-day periods had a 35% lower risk of gout attack than those with no cherry intake. When cherry intake was combined with the use of Allopurinol (a drug for uric acid management), the effect was far greater than that experienced without cherry or drug intake: a risk reduction of 75%.

Cherry intake appeared to reduce gout flares in just one serving (about 10 to 12 cherries) and the benefit was observed with up to three servings. Further intake showed no apparent added benefit.