Over the decades, people have been turning to natural remedies such as tart cherry juice for pain relief – whether gout or arthritis or even muscle pain caused due to exercise. While most people consider this to be anecdotal or a mere figment of folklore, research conducted by scientists has shown that tart cherry juice has a rich supply of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that help with the pain, particularly gout. So how does tart cherry juice work? How much of it should you consume for the pain? Does this mean you don’t need to consult a doctor? Let us find out.
Tart Cherry Juice for Gout
Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that is caused when there is a deposition of uric acid in the blood. The uric acid gets deposited as crystals in the joints, leading to sudden inflammation and pain. The areas where gout commonly occurs are around the joints of the ankle, big toe, and knee. According to the Arthritis Foundation, approximately 6 million American men, as well as 2 million American women, suffer from this condition. Tart cherry juice is attributed to help reduce gout related pain.
According to a 2014 study in the Journal of Functional Foods, a team of British researchers stated that drinking Montmorency tart juice helped decline blood levels of gout-producing uric acid and raise certain anthocyanin compounds in the bloodstream. Anthocyanins are antioxidants that are not only responsible for the color in the fruit but also to reduce any kind of inflammation in the body, which is vital in the treatment of gout.
A study published by a team of researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine in the Arthritis and Rheumatology Journal noted that when 633 people were administered with cherries over a two-day period, there was nearly a 35% reduced risk of gout attacks compared with no intake. This goes to show that when cherries are consumed in any form, which is as a whole or as a tart cherry extract or supplement, there will be a reduction in gout pain.
How Much Of Tart Cherry Juice Should You Consume For Gout?
At a 2010 annual meeting of the European League Against Rheumatism, researchers at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, New Jersey, presented a retrospective study comprising 24 patients. As a part of the study, each of the patients was given a tablespoon of liquid tart cherry extract, which is equal to 45 to 60 cherries, twice daily over a period of four months. At the end of the period, it was noted that there was nearly a 50 percent fall in the occurrence of gout among these patients. However, more information is needed to ascertain the right time to consume tart cherry juice during the day or whether it is more helpful when had with or without the consumption of food.
Will Tart Cherry Juice Help Alone Or Should You Consult A Doctor?
If you have gout, it is always prudent and wise to visit a doctor. Your doctor will ask you questions about your lifestyle, food consumption, and symptoms to make the diagnosis. You will also be asked to go in for a blood test in order to ascertain the blood uric acid levels in your body. Once diagnosed, you could be asked to modify your diet, have medicines and use hot and cold compressions. If your doctor has asked you to strictly modify your diet, consuming tart cherry juice alone will not help relieve you of your symptoms. The ideal thing would be to consume tart cherry juice daily along with a treatment plan from your doctor. It will help to reduce the blood uric acid levels and inflammation in the joints.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Consuming Tart Cherry Juice?
Too much of anything is bad. Overconsumption of tart cherry juice could cause diarrhea because of the prevalence of high amounts of sorbitol — a type of sugar alcohol and excessive fiber. Moreover, if you are allergic to tart cherry juice, it would be advisable to consult a doctor first.