Cherries, Gout and Uric Acid

Gout and Cherries

How cherries have proven to lower uric acid for gout sufferers

I love cherries, it is one of my favorite fruits, I can have an entire bowl of them and I usually have to control my portions cause sometimes I can’t seem to stop and not because I have gout; but for my passionate desire and deep love of cherries! Thank God they are actually good for us gout sufferers! So what is so special about this fruit? Cherry nutritional facts and health benefits point to the fact that the cherry is very high in vitamins both C and A. All cherries contain Vitamin C and fiber. Studies show that consistent intake of Vitamin C can help reduce uric acid levels by up to 50 percent, and control inflammation of gout-ravaged joints, which is a primary cause of severe gout pain.

The cherry is also a very low calorie fruit, only 63 calories for 100g, pigment rich food that have powerful anti-oxidant properties and anti-inflammatory agents helping reduce heart disease risk. In addition, cherries help the human body to fight against cancers, aging, jet lag and neurological diseases and can even calm down the nervous system which helps relieve neurosis, insomnia, headache conditions even depression. Furthermore, they don’t only help us gout sufferers but can help people with fibromyalgia, a painful muscle condition and sports injuries.

What is the correlation between cherries and gout?

Now to the evidence that it helps us gout sufferers, the first study on cherries for gout appeared in medical literature in 1950 (Texas Reports on Biology and Medicine). A study published in 2003 in the Journal of Nutrition found that among 10 healthy women eating two servings of Bing cherries, uric acid fell by 15%.  A Journal of Nutrition study from 2006 found that 18 healthy adults who ate 280 grams of Bing cherries each day for a month had a significant reduction in blood levels of substances associated with inflammation and immune cell activity. A Journal Arthritis & Rheumatism study of 633 patients with confirmed gout and followed for 1 year, found that patients with gout who consumed cherries (1/2 cup serving or the equivalent of 10-12 cherries) or cherry based extract for 2 days were less likely of a subsequent gout attack by 35%. Those patients who ate more cherries, up to three servings in two days, had an even lower, 50 percent reduction in risk. Even more, the risk for gout attacks was decreased by nearly 75% when cherry intake was combined with allopurinol use.

 

Tart Cherry Extract for Gout

How does a gout sufferer consume cherries?

Eating cherries in their many forms and varieties, like canned, frozen, raw, cooked, tart, pill, sweet and black are thought of been beneficial to treat gout. Consuming dried cherries, fresh or juiced are all good. Eating about 25 cherries are ten times stronger than aspirin and other ordinary pain-relievers. But if you get a gout attack or flare up, how many cherries should you eat? Some suggest that 30 to 40 every 4 hours is advisable during a gout attack and the same amount daily for prevention reasons; or simply eat minimum a cup of fresh or dried cherries after each meal, which is very effective for the pain treatment. About 20 cherries equal 25 milligrams of anthocyanins, the daily dose that should be taken, either in juice or eating the fruit for preventative measures. You can even drink a cup of cherry juice, black cherry juice or tart cherry juice twice a day or 2 tablespoons of concentrated cherry powder with one cup of water.

You can easily find cherry juice in your local health food store or online. It might seem strange that cherries would lower your risk of gout, as this condition is often associated with sugar, fructose and fruit juice consumption. But you only need to eat a small amount of cherries to get the benefit, meaning the sugar contribution is small. 10 sweet cherries or 1 cup of sour cherries contain about 4 grams of fructose, 25 cherries would put you at 10 grams of fructose. Berries, apples, pineapple, oranges, bananas and grapes have way more sugar per 100g than cherries. You would need to eat more than 60 cherries to put you over the limit where the fructose of the cherry might start affecting you negatively and produce higher uric acid levels. I think eating 12 to 25 cherries daily is ideal. Limiting fructose/sugar in your diet is one of the most important parts of managing and preventing gout attacks.

If you have gout, it’s imperative to restrict your fructose/sugar intake to below 25 grams a day, including from fruit, as fructose/sugar drives up uric acid levels in your body. Remember treatments vary according to different people; you should adjust the dose accordingly. For example, regular cherry concentrate is very sweet and thick. One tablespoon equals to about 45 to 60 cherries. On a side note, whenever looking for cherry-based products it would be better if made of tart cherries, because they are the ones more effective among all other cherries to fight arthritis, working better in the prevention and treatment of this painful condition, by reducing the levels of uric acid and breaking up the crystals that are responsible for the joint pain. Generally, tart cherries have been found to have higher concentrations of phenolics and anthocyanins than sweet cherries. Tart cherries are also slightly lower in sugar.

There you have it folks, make sure to add the cherry in your daily diet in whatever form and/or method you prefer, it is a must for the gout sufferer. Until next time!

Posted by Spiro Koulouris

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54 Comments

  • Buck

    Reply Reply October 2, 2017

    Thanks for your site Spiro. Good to read the comments.

    So I have been getting ready to go walk over a new hunting club. Everything pointed to this past weekend. Everything ready. Then BAM…the dreaded gout! Now I am lame in my right foot. Dang!

    In my case a couple of Cokes will give me gout. However…this time it was Norvasc..a high blood pressure pill. I changed to it from a long time run with another brand that was starting to make me sleepy and weak. With Norvasc I felt GREAT…until my right foot swelled and it went into gout over the weekend. Today is the worst.

    I have had it before but this time is different. It’s in my ankle and my tendon down there is sore. After taking your advice I hobbled into Walmart before daylight (instead of the woods) for my dosing of tart cherry juice. I imbibed a couple of glasses straight off. We shall see.

    In the past when I had an episode coming on I’d take an expensive Colcrys (colchicine) pill. Now I can’t because I’m on Simvastin for cholesterol. Darn!

    So I’m depending on that juice effect my friend. Let us see.

    Again, super thanks for your timely info! Big time. Ouch!

    –Buck

  • Robert

    Reply Reply August 10, 2017

    When you eliminate fruit from your diet what do you replace it with?

  • Renee

    Reply Reply July 3, 2017

    Can I take the tart cherry capsules in addition to eating 20 bing cherries a day? Thanks!

  • Amelia Soares

    Reply Reply June 17, 2017

    Hi,
    my mother is on Warfarin (blood thinner medication), is it safe to take cherry suplements along with it?

    Thank you,
    Amelia

  • James

    Reply Reply June 2, 2017

    Hi,I ate many fresh cherries yesterday but my ache in the knee seems more severe. Can it eat cherries during an attack?

    • Hi James!

      Yes cherries won’t worsen your inflammation, it must be something else that is causing it.

  • Diane

    Reply Reply May 20, 2017

    Hi,
    I bought some black cherry concentrate in hopes that it will help prevent my gout attacks…or at least make them less severe. How many mg do I need to take to equal a good serving of cherries? Do you think tart cherry juice is better than black cherry capsules?

    • Hi Diane!

      Best to take tart cherry capsules and skip the sugar intake. I don’t drink any juice whatsoever for that simple reason.

    • Vera

      Reply Reply September 24, 2017

      I don’t think the cherry juice works immediately in respond to Dianne’s comment. Just like medicine it takes a while to be in your system to work.

  • baa

    Reply Reply May 2, 2017

    Drink and eat cherries, juice (I found Northland cranberry worked better- so I mixed with cherry juice). The thing that really helped was drinking dandelion root tea twice a day—-

  • Ayesha

    Reply Reply April 11, 2017

    My mother suffers high uric acid.Is cherry usefull to reduce high uric acid?

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply April 11, 2017

      Yes it is according to research, see studies in article.

    • Shirley

      Reply Reply April 21, 2017

      How about drinking more water? My brother has been stricken with gout since after landing in the hospital with kidney failure, largely because he was drinking hardly any water due to prostate problems. Wanted to suppress urination. Bad idea! He had lots of crystals in his urine when catheter was inserted. Aren’t those the same crystals causing problems in feet and joints?

  • Overseas

    Reply Reply December 25, 2016

    It seems from studies that sweet cherries are more effective than tart ones.
    “Regular red sweet bing cherries were shown to have a greater anti-inflammatory activity than tart cherries, which makes sense, since we think it may be the anthocyanin phytonutrients in cherries, and there’s lots more in sweet red cherries than in tart, and nearly none in yellow Rainier cherries.”

    Source – http://nutritionfacts.org/video/anti-inflammatory-life-is-a-bowl-of-cherries

    And more on cherries & gout – http://nutritionfacts.org/video/gout-treatment-with-a-cherry-on-top/

  • Hue

    Reply Reply December 5, 2016

    The past two days have just been horrible for me. I had my first case of gout in January of 2015. Since then I’ve only had one painful incident earlier this year where I was limping for about a week but I didn’t have that burning and drilling pain feeling.

    However, 4 days ago I was limping and for the past two nights I’ve suffered for 8 hours or more a day of the burning pain. It comes and will literally force me to stop doing anything while I can’t help but cry out in pain. Then it’ll subside only to come right back in a few seconds. I’ve found that if I lie down or prop my foot up it gets much worse. If I sit down it is almost manageable.

    I can’t find any podiatrist around me that are able to just let me in and talk to me about this on short notice. I was wondering if there was anything I should be doing to lower the pain? My friends have gotten me black cherry juice, almonds, and salad. My meals the last four days have been a handful of almonds with salad. For the salad it’s just romaine lettuce with some pieces of carrots and I top it with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper. Other than that I’ve been doing water by the gallons (4 days and 2 gallons are gone). Any help would be appreciated.

  • Abdul Waheed

    Reply Reply November 21, 2016

    Yes, Cherry worked like medicine for me.
    My does is 7+7+7 cherries per day.

  • Luis

    Reply Reply November 13, 2016

    Somewhat confused regarding cherries. Have been buying tart cherry juice concentrate yet concerned about its fructose content. What is the fructose content of cherry pills?

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply November 14, 2016

      Hi Luis!

      It depends each supplement is different but I’ll tell you that it is much lower so you are better off anyway.

  • P Phan

    Reply Reply July 26, 2016

    Hello Spiro, when will you have your product back on amazon? it seems to be out of stock and no expected time for restocking?

  • Michael Edwards

    Reply Reply July 12, 2016

    Been looking at taking cherry extract pills to control my gout. Is there some kind of formula for how many milligrams to take?
    thank you

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply July 12, 2016

      Hi Michael!

      Not really. But you can take anywhere between 500 mg to 1500 mg daily.

  • San

    Reply Reply June 3, 2016

    I’ve got this gout for more than 10 years and I’ve had it now and then. Now I’m 2 weeks pregnant and I’m in pain because of this attack which started last night. Does anybody know any medications which relieves pain and is safe for pregnancy?

  • Larry

    Reply Reply February 23, 2016

    Start taking alfalfa pills, my father had gout really bad and he took alfalfa pills for 5-10 years and it has disappeared? I just got my first bout of gout just over a year ago and it was caused by eating too many tomatoes, so I do not eat tomatoes and I have not had any issues. I have started taking alfalfa pills on a regular basis.

  • molly

    Reply Reply February 19, 2016

    Thank you for this article. Gout is so terrible. My left foot, big toe would be red and swollen for 2 weeks (I’ve never had it for longer than that) and immediately when I feel the pain coming, I drink lots of water and cherry juice. Cherry juice/cherries does wonders. =)

  • Donna

    Reply Reply February 9, 2016

    I suffered with my first gout attack for 19 days now. At first I had a muscle spasm in my right foot. Within hours the horrifying pain started. I eventually went to the emergency room I was give steroids and morphine. An x ray revealed gout.The pain was so bad I began to get nausea. I was sent home with pain meds which didn’t help. I’ve started drinking pure black cherry juice. I pray that it works.

  • George M

    Reply Reply January 7, 2016

    This is my first encounter with that horrible nasty Gout. I have been a fairly active person all my life, 3 Masters World Games, Marathon and all other miles, now past 14 years a Yoga practitioner with daily visit to Gym. This terrible ‘thing’ hit me around 3am when I felt a ‘twitch’ in my right big toe. Needless to say it was something far more serious than a twitch and now 5–YES five weeks later (what was Christmas 2015?) and I am still staring at a swollen Red big toe and part of foot. I have been on Ibuprofen for first 2-3 days then Doctor started me on an inflammatory 50mg 3 times a day, then week later upped it to 500mg… still did NOT work, so I got Steroids for 5 days –1 per day plus a 20 day prescription of antibiotics… 1 day left, finished all others. I don’t drink beer or ‘hard’ liquor but we do like wine with our evening meal, very little meat as we are mostly no-meat eaters. I cut back on the wine to less than glass a day, drinking huge amounts of water compared to my very little, tart concentrated Cherry Juice and a specific Yoga practice. I gather my younger brother had an encounter/bout with this nasty Gout as well. Now my Dr. has prescribed an X-ray just to be sure there is no fracture in toe… I doubt that very much. No more chems for me he said BUT this is becoming quite unbearable and I did raise the matter of permanent damage but he seems not concerned sensing the foot is improving. He said no to Allopurinol as that was ‘for long term use and for those who have recurring bouts’. I CANNOT stand this much longer ! ANY Suggestions

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply January 7, 2016

      It’s too early in your diagnosis to really say much, your doctor should guide you on how serious this bout with gout really is. I can’t believe that you say that for the pain you took steroids, antibiotics and no relief. Did he prescribe you Colchicine? Colchicine works very fast, within days you have pain relief.

    • Maurice S

      Reply Reply February 9, 2016

      I also had a bad bout with gout this month. I got a prescription for Methylprednisolone. It is a card of pills. The first day you take 6 pill and the next day 5 and the next day 4 and so on for six days. The first card helped a lot but needed to get a second prescription and now the pain and most of the swelling is gone. I’m also drinking the cherry juice two times a day. I like my beer but stopped drinking it.

    • Bob Sanderson

      Reply Reply July 7, 2016

      50Mg Indomethicin capsules 3 X per day……gone in a couple of days.

  • Leon White

    Reply Reply January 5, 2016

    2 tablespoons of cherry powder concentrated is equivalent to how much cherry juice concentrated? I find this article very informative. I will share it with others. Thank you.

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply January 6, 2016

      It depends on how many milligrams the extract is, better to compare that way.

  • Thomas

    Reply Reply February 7, 2015

    Thanks for the info on Cherry Juice and Gout!

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