Q. I have heard that sour cherry juice can ward off gout attacks and help relieve arthritis pain. I cannot tolerate drugs like ibuprofen because of a sensitive stomach. When I asked my pharmacist about non-drug options he was clueless. Have you ever heard of cherries against pain?
A. Some data suggest that sweet cherries have anti-inflammatory activity that might be helpful against both gout and arthritic conditions (Journal of Nutrition; June, 2003 and April, 2006).
Both sweet and sour cherries block an enzyme (COX 2) that is active in inflammation (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Feb. 2009). One reader reported:
“I have used tart cherry juice for over one year now and I am PAIN FREE! I had a hip replaced and then pain started flaring up in the other one. I also have moderate arthritis in my knees, which would throb at night. I took tart cherry juice every morning and saw results after the third week.”