It's long been known that cherries are effective in reducing gout pain. Yet, until now, no clinical studies have tested whether cherry consumption could lower risk of gout attacks.
A new study conducted by Boston University researchers, led by Yuqing Zhang, has found that eating cherries or cherry extract over a two-day period lowers the risk of gout attack by 35%. The risk of gout flares was 75% lower when cherry was consumed in addition to the uric-acid reducing drug, Allopurinol, adds the study.
Gout is a painful condition that occurs when uric acid builds up in blood and causes inflammation of the joints. It is estimated that about 8.3 million Americans suffer from gout. The findings were arrived at based on 633 gout patients who were recruited in the study and followed online for one year. The date of gout onset, symptoms, medications and risk factors, including cherry and cherry extract intake in the two days prior to the gout attack were documented. A cherry serving was one half cup or 10 to 12 cherries.
According to the researchers, the gout flare risk continued to decrease with increasing cherry consumption, up to three servings over two days. Though further cherry intake did not provide any additional benefit, the protective effect of cherry intake persisted after taking into account patients' sex, body mass (obesity), purine intake, along with use of alcohol, diuretics and anti-gout medications.
The study was published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology.
by RTT Staff Writer
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