By Joe and Teresa Graedon
Q: I have heard that sour cherry juice can ward off gout attacks and help relieve arthritis pain. I cannot tolerate drugs such as ibuprofen. Have you ever heard of cherries against pain?
A: Some data suggest that sweet cherries have anti-inflammatory activity that might be helpful against gout and arthritic conditions (Journal of Nutrition; June 2003 and April 2006).
Sweet and sour cherries block an enzyme (Cox-2) that is active in inflammation (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Feb. 25, 2009). One reader reported, “I have used tart cherry juice for over one year now, and I am pain-free! I had a hip replaced, and then pain started flaring up in the other one. I also have moderate arthritis in my knees, which would throb at night. I took tart cherry juice every morning and saw results after the third week.”
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist and Teresa Graedon is an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.