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Cherries and Gout Pain

Updated on March 17, 2010

Cherries have long been a favorite remedy for gout pain. There are a number of reasons for this. This hubpage will deal with three of them.

1. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a great remedy in the fight against this disease. Studies show that vitamin C used consistently can reduce uric acid levels, the main reason for gout, by up to fifty percent. That is quite significant. Cherries are filled with vitamin C as well as most fruits. According to wikipedia, cherries contain 7mg of vitamin C per serving and account for 12% of your daily allowance of this powerful vitamin.

So not only can you reduce your gout pain by lowering your uric acid level content, you can also help prevent future gout attacks. Other potent vitamin C fruits would be avocados (17% daily allowance), grapes (18%), and pomegranate (10%).

2. Anthocyanins

Anthocyanins are found in many fruits, especailly darker colored fruits such as cherries and grapes. These compounds are found in the skin of the fruit. The darker the color the higher the amount.

So what do these compounds have to do with gout. In 1999, a study (-Wang, H. et al. 1999 Anti-oxidant and Anti-inflammatory Activities of Anthocyanins and their Alglycon, Cyanid, from Tart Cherries. Journal of Natural Products 62(2): 294-296.) showed that twenty five milligrams of anthocyanins enabled the body to stop the enzymes that cause swelling in your tissues.

This is important because when uric acid crystals settle in your joints, they cause damage to your tissues and your body responds to the damage by swelling. Most people think of swelling as a bad thing and while it usually is, it is one of the ways the body tries to heal itself. Unfortunately, this swelling causes intense pain and anthocyanins can help with that. Darker varieties of cherries can contain anywhere from eighty to three hundred milligrams of anthocyanins per serving, so it would be wise to take advantage of their potential relief of your gout pain.

3. Potassium

Cherries contain potassium. This is important because potassium, which is an important electrolyte in the body helps your body excrete excessive amounts of uric acid from your system. This potent electrolyte helps provide fluid balance and proper kidney function. Potassium helps gout by turning the hard painful crystals into a liquid form that your kidneys can process in order to eliminate it during urination.

Cherries contain a moderate amount of potassium. Other potassium foods to consider would be bananas, cantaloupe, and tomatoes. These three foods would be classified as being fairly high in potassium.

There are other benefits to using cherries and gout remedies similar to cherries, but these are the main ones. The great part of using cherries for this disease is that they contain several different way to attack this problem. Whether you use cherry juice, dried cherries, tart cherries, or just plain regular cherries for gout pain relief, you will get these great benefits to help you either reduce the current pain you feel or help you reduce the likelihood or severity of future attacks.

Dried Cherries for Gout

Does it matter whether you use dried cherries for gout versus fresh cherries or cherry juice for gout?  No. Not really.  There is not much difference.  Dried cherries have close to the same nutritional content as fresh ones.  Use what you can.  Depending on the season you may not be able to get fresh cherries. 

One thing to note is if cherries are not in season, as they sit on the shelf their nutritional value drops much more quickly than dried cherries or cherry juice.  In fact, freeze dried cherries nutrional value stays the same as fresh cherries according to some studies for a very long time.  Eat what you can and hopefully you will see the benefits in a month or two once your body builds up the benefits. 

Cherries for Gout Comments/Questions

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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from North America

      A friend has drunk cherry juice for gout and other pain and his condition has cleared away completely.

    • Lgali profile image

      Lgali 8 years ago

      very useful info good article

    • tbfrascone profile image
      Author

      tbfrascone 8 years ago from Michigan

      @Lgali-thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked the info.

      @Patty-Cherry juice is a lifesaver in my book. I used to suffer terrible gout pain at least once a month. I had to strictly watch what I ate. I was even on prescription drugs.

      Since I started drinking cherry juice and it started building up in my system, I haven't had a severe attack in over two years.

      If I get lazy and don't drink any for a few days sometimes I get a small attack and then I go back to drinking the cherry juice and it goes away.

    • profile image

      newsworthy 7 years ago

      Perhaps cherries would be as effective for arthritis sufferers? With the swollen tisssue and all, it would make sense.

    • tbfrascone profile image
      Author

      tbfrascone 7 years ago from Michigan

      @newsworthy-I would think they would work well for arthrtitis. Gout is a form of arthritis. The postgrandlins (sp?) in the cherries help block the pain receptors, so I would imagine it would do the same thing in non gout arthritis. It certainly would be worth trying.

    • profile image

      newsworthy 7 years ago

      My mother's knee swells and at times, she swears the rain is coming, when the pain has her limping. Although cranberry juice is her berry of choice, I will share your suggestions with her about cherries. I am certain she will be willing to try it.

    • tbfrascone profile image
      Author

      tbfrascone 7 years ago from Michigan

      I recommend trying the concentrate. You can get it at most grocery stores. I usually put 2-3 oz. in a glass of water. It should last around a month and is more economical than regular cherry juice. That will give you a better idea if it will work for her since it will probably take 2-3 weeks for it to work into her system.

    • profile image

      charlotte chiropractor kinesiology 7 years ago

      Good article. Gout is a very painful condition.

    • advisor4qb profile image

      advisor4qb 7 years ago from On New Footing

      Cherries also neutralize uric acid, which can cause a breakdown of the immune system...

    • rosariomontenegro profile image

      rosariomontenegro 7 years ago from NEW YORK

      Glad to have found your hub, this is truly useful information, thank you.

    • tbfrascone profile image
      Author

      tbfrascone 7 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks for visiting rosario. I'm glad you found it helpful.

    • profile image

      George 7 years ago

      Cherry juice helped my walk again. I haven't had the gout in over 2 years. My doctor recently told me about a free tart cherry health from Traverse Bay Farms best of all it is free their website

    • tbfrascone profile image
      Author

      tbfrascone 7 years ago from Michigan

      George, I actually only live a little over an hour from Traverse Bay Farms. The Traverse City area has quite a few very high quality cherry farms.

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      Jules 7 years ago

      If you want a true blue product try www.brownwoodacres.com they have great cherry juice as well as the only cherry gelcap in the world that is not made from freeze dried cherries- it is made from a paste and they unlike other companies publics their Certificate of Analysis- unlike other companies that buy their freeze dried gelcaps and slap a label on it and sell it for profit- not because they believe in it

    • tbfrascone profile image
      Author

      tbfrascone 7 years ago from Michigan

      thanks for visiting Jules. Brownwood Acres is another good quality Michigan cherry producer. It is in Eastport by Torch Lake. I actually will be traveling past there next weekend when I go to Traverse City. I live roughly an hour or so from brownwood acres.

    • profile image

      aupry 6 years ago

      I find it interesting that you promote Traverse Bay Farms?

      have you ever called them and asked them why they have Wild Blueberry Concentrate and Pomegranate Concentrate on their website "coming soon" after 3 or 4 years this is getting ole d dont' you think?

    • tbfrascone profile image
      Author

      tbfrascone 6 years ago from Michigan

      @aupry-I'm sorry you are dissatisfied with Traverse Bay Farms, but I have not promoted them. George commented on a recommendation from his doctor. I simply stated I live an hour from the Traverse City area where they are located. I have never been to their website nor have I ever used their products.

      I'd be happy to tell you which cherry juice brands I have used. I personally use Friske Orchards®, although I have used Michelle's Miracle® and Brownwood Acres® in the past. I was satisfied with all three brands. I use Friske Orchards® because of it's convenience for me. They sell it in the produce department of my local grocery store so it's handy.

    • profile image

      F. Bates 6 years ago

      Thank You for adding this information.

      I just recently got a serve gout attack, and I will

      try the cherry juice. Once again thank you for adding this information.

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