Cherries do more than fill a tasty pie! A new study reports that consumption of Montmorency tart cherries caused changes in uric acid metabolism, which can have an impact on joint pain. A second study also found increases in antioxidant anthocyanin compounds in the bloodstream after consuming tart cherries. High levels of uric acid are linked to gout, a form of arthritis that can cause severe attacks of intense pain and swelling (inflammation) in various joints.
In the study, one- and two-ounce doses of Montmorency tart cherry juice concentrate (equivalent to 90-180 whole cherries) were given twice daily. The results showed that for both doses, the Montmorency tart cherry juice reduced blood levels of uric acid and C-reactive protein, a measure of inflammation. In a separate study found that consumption of 45 or 90 Montmorency cherries (equivalent to ½-1 ounce of juice concentrate) increased antioxidant capacity in the blood and that protective capacity remained elevated for 12 hours after consumption.