We’ve known for some time that eating tart cherries can help reduce the severity and duration of a gout attack – they have anti-inflammatory effects that seem to do the trick. Now a study from Boston University reveals that patients diagnosed with the disease who regularly consumed a half cup of cherries over a two day period (an average of 10-12) were 35 percent less likely to suffer a gout attack compared to those who didn’t eat cherries.
The study also found that eating cherries in combination with standard medication to reduce the uric acid crystallization in joints that underlies attacks of gout reduced flare-ups by 75 percent. A total of 633 gout patients, 78 percent of them men, participated in the study. This was the first investigation aimed at determining whether eating cherries could help prevent attacks of gout.
Researchers reported that gout flare-ups continued to decline as cherry consumption increased up to three servings over two days. Eating more than this amount of cherries didn’t appear to have further benefits. More studies are needed to confirm these encouraging findings. In the meantime, the researchers advised that gout patients continue to take their medication, with or without cherries.