WHAT DO GOUT AND CHERRY JUICE HAVE IN COMMON?

Nov 9th, 2011 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: For Senior Women

Arthritic Gout Treatment

I was talking with a friend recently about gout.  She was hospitalized for the health problem in both feet, and had to take antibiotics because her feet and ankles swelled so much that her skin developed lesions.  The treatment for gout left her with considerable less muscle strength than she previously had, and she is now walking with a cane and her mobility is impaired.  Not a good trade-off, you say?

Naomi Schlesinger M.D. is an expert on gout; she is Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, NJ.  She agrees that the cause of gout is high uric acid in the blood.  The kidneys aren’t working well enough to get rid of it, so it (in a nutshell) creates gout.  Experts have said for years that diet alone cannot ‘cure’ gout, but poor diet probably can trigger a gout attack.  So is there anything out there that can ‘help’ (not cure) reduce gout attacks?

Dr Schlesinger conducted a study with other researchers that revealed seniors who drank a tablespoon of tart (bright red) cherry juice concentrate twice a day for four months reduced the number of gout attacks by half.  In addition, a third of the participants in the study were gout-free.  That’s pretty amazing!

Effects of Tart Cherry Juice

We’ve known for years that tart cherry juice (not the sweet stuff that comes from black cherries and bing cherries) is high in antioxidants. Runners drink tart, bright-red cherry juice to reduce muscle soreness.  It has natural anti-inflammatory action, so it makes sense that it could help reduce (not cure!) arthritic gout.

So what kind of cherries are we talking about?  They are bright red and are sometimes described as ‘sour’.  The ones found most commonly on the Internet are Montmorency cherries.  They can be purchased as concentrated juice, in tablets or dried fruit. Do a search for ‘bright red tart cherries’ in your favorite search engine, and you will find a gazillion pages.  As always, be sure to talk with your primary care physician before making any changes in your diet if you have gout.

 

 

 



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