Cherry juiceIn my last blog post, I talked about insomnia and cherries. This is also a solution for gout, a type of arthritis that can cause painful swelling of the foot and big toe. Gout occurs when too much uric acid builds up in the blood, a condition known as hyperuricemia. Excess uric acid can form needle-like crystals that collect in the joints, most commonly the big toe. My friends with the ailment tell me that their doctors recommend cherry juice.

A new drug, febuxostat, is the first new gout medication in 40 years. However, like all prescriptions, there are possible side effects.

Cherry juice is an anti-inflammatory. According to http://www.joint-pain.com/cherry-juice-gout.html, “…cherries have been shown to lower levels of uric acid in the blood, which is one of the most common causes of gout pain. A study at the University of California Davis showed that consuming a serving of cherries daily significantly lowered the blood uric acid levels of women by as much as 15 percent, and while the participants in the study were given fresh cherries to eat, a serving of dried cherries or cherry juice can have just as significant an impact.

“The secret to the benefits of cherry juice is a compound called anthocyanins, which are the pigments that give cherries their bright red color and are also believed to be the key to helping the body relieve inflammation.”

According to Monica Nelson, “A published paper in Michigan State University states that anthocyanins are at least 10 times more effective in cherries than in the most common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, aspirin.

“In essence, this natural compound relieves pain and helps patients by combating inflammation and reducing tissue tearing. Finding and using a natural shield against gout is very important to patients because it helps take away the dangers of prolonged drug use.”

Men between the ages of 40 and 50 are about twice as likely as women to experience gout. It used to be called the disease of kings because of dining in excess, but it no longer is limited to the rich. With our diets high in saturated fats, including red meat, gout is definitely on the rise.

Unlike medication, there are no side effects to eating cherries or drinking cherry juice. Drinking the juice or eating about 20 cherries every day is an excellent preventive.

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