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article imageEating cherries may protect against gout attacks

By Tim Sandle     Oct 2, 2012 in Health
Boston - A U.S. study suggests that eating cherries could have a beneficial impact for sufferers of gout. The research was undertaken in Boston.
According to ABC News, research undertaken at Boston University has assessed the effects of increasing the intake of cherries and cherry extract among 633 gout patients. The patients were examined over a one-year period.
The study found that people who consumed cherries over a two-day period showed a 35 percent lower risk of gout attacks compared to those who did not. When cherry intake was combined with the uric-acid reducing drug allopurinol, the reduction in gout attacks lowered by 75 percent. There is a limit to the intake. The Daily Mail reports that Eating more than three servings of cherries had no further benefit.
Gout is an inflammatory arthritis triggered by a crystallization of uric acid within the joints, but scientists have shown that cherry products can reduce pain due to their urate-lowering effects and anti-inflammatory properties.
Although cherries appear to have a beneficial effect, the reason behind cherries' gout-fighting powers is not fully understood. It has been speculated that the effects are due to vitamin C content of the fruit or in relation to the anti-inflammatory effect of their high antioxidant content.
Dr Yuqing Zhang, professor of medicine and public health at Boston University is quoted on the Science Blog, as saying: "Our findings indicate that consuming cherries or cherry extract lowers the risk of gout attack. The gout flare risk continued to decrease with increasing cherry consumption, up to three servings over two days."
The research has been published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism.
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