If you are one of eight million American who have gout, forget about your ibuprofen and load your grocery cart with cherries. The latest study conducted by the Boston University researchers confirmed what many gout sufferers already knew: cherries are very good at preventing gout flare-ups.
Gout is a type of arthritis. It is a consequence of a build-up of uric acid in blood, which causes painful joint inflammation. Gout can be acute or chronic. Acute usually attacks only one joint, while chronic gout affects more than one and repeats occasionally.
While causes of gout are not clear, it is treated with anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen and pain killers. Unfortunately, they treat symptoms, not the disease.
The new study about the benefits of cherries for gout sufferers is not actually offering anything new. At least two other studies confirm findings of the Boston University scientists. Cherries not only reduce the inflammation, but lower the production of plasma urate (salt of uric acid), what makes them a powerful tool in the treatment of painful gout attacks.
Treating gout is not all cherries can do for you. Cherries are natural sources of melatonin, helping you relax and sleep better. Cherries are chock full of potassium, helping lower blood pressure. They contain a range of antioxidants, boosting your immune system. Those same antioxidants help soothe sore muscles after vigorous exercise, by going after exercise-induced free radicals. Sweet cherries are also a great source of vitamin C, beta carotene, anthocyanins and quercetin. Anthocyanin is believed to prevent genetic mutations which might lead to the development of cancer cells. It also activates a fat burning mechanism and prevents storage of fat, acting as a great tool to fight obesity.
While scientists suggest that gout sufferers add cherries to their diet, they warn against replacing standard gout treatment with cherries only, until there is more data on their efficiency. But, with cherries being so delicious and pills being generally toxic, who can blame gout sufferers for using what works, whether scientists confirm it or not.