The pain of gout can be debilitating, but one of the means to prevent a future gout flare up may be as close as the produce section—cherries.
- Learn more: An Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Arthritis
Anecdotal evidence indicates cherries can help
Those who deal with gout—and even their physicians and rheumatologists—have long shared anecdotal evidence that cherries and cherry juice extract can help prevent gout episodes.
In an interview with Rheumatology News, one physician reports advising her patients to consume a tablespoon of tart cherry juice twice daily. In her retrospective study, she saw a 50% reduction of gout attacks in most of her patients who took it.1
Benefits of cherries and cherry juice
A few smaller and older clinical studies were inconclusive about the benefits of cherries. However, one study shows reliable results that consuming cherries and/or cherry juice provides a clear advantage in preventing episodes of gout.
This study surveyed hundreds of people with gout and asked them about their experiences during the two days leading up to a gout attack, plus a few normal two-day periods as a control.
Researchers found that those who took cherry juice extract during the two-day period had a 45% lower risk for a gout attack compared with those who had no cherry intake. Also, those who consumed up to 3 servings of cherries over the two-day period had a 35% decreased risk. One serving equaled ½ cup or 10 to 12 cherries.2
Further research is still needed to confirm the benefit of cherries or cherry juice. However, there are no known side effects to consuming cherries or cherry juice extract, so it shouldn't hurt those with gout to add cherries to their diet.
Talk with your doctor
Ask your doctor or rheumatologist if cherries are a good idea for you. There are also other proven food and drink choices you can make to prevent future gout attacks.
- "Gout Treatment Pipeline Includes Cherry Juice." Rheumatology News. October 2010, pp. 34-5.
- "Cherry Consumption and the Risk of Recurrent Gout Attacks." Arthritis & Rheumatology. Dec 2012; 64(12): 4004–4011.