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Cherries for Gout Supported by Science

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Q. I have been battling gout for the past five weeks and was on indomethacin, ibuprofen and a low purine diet. The attacks kept moving around from joint to joint, and the ordeal has been extremely painful.

I heard that tart cherries might help, so I bought tart cherry juice and a big bottle of tart cherry concentrate from the health food store.

The pain is 80 percent gone in just 48 hours! I drank 24 to 32 ounces of the juice each day and supplemented it with 2 to 4 tablespoons of tart cherry concentrate mixed with water. This is amazing, especially since I have stopped taking the medication.

A. Readers have been telling us for years that tart cherries help ease their gout attacks. The first study on cherries for gout appeared in the medical literature in 1950 (Texas Reports on Biology and Medicine).

Although many doctors have been skeptical about the benefits of cherries, a new year-long study of 633 volunteers with gout shows that flare-ups are 35 percent less likely when a person eats cherries (Arthritis & Rheumatism, online Sept. 28, 2012). Cherries in combination with the uric-acid-lowering drug allopurinol reduced the likelihood of an attack by 75 percent.

For more information about the benefits of cherries for controlling inflammation in gout and arthritis, along with other foods that can ease joint pain, we offer our book, Quick & Handy Home Remedies. Can you think of a better gift to give to someone with aches and pains or gout? This is a great time to start shopping for the holidays a bit early. Why not give the gift of good health naturally!

This just in from Sharon M (Oct. 30, 2012):

"I am so thankful to you! Your articles have taught me so much and have literally changed my life for the better! Pycnogenol for hot flashes and asthma is working beautifully and tart cherry for arthritis pain is amazing! I am making notes in your book I ordered from you of new things I am learning. It is an invaluable tool in natural healing. I wish you both the best and may God bless you richly! Love, Sharon M., reader and fan."

We are so grateful to Sharon and the thousands of other people who continue to support our work on the radio, in print and on this website.

Joe & Terry

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7 Comments

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My gout attacks never lasted more than two weeks. Yours lasted five. The fact that it subsided might be attributed to that time span. The attack possibly ran it's course. I still drink cherry juice.

Cherries probably help. Drinking lots of water and eating lots of fiber to avoid constipation also help. However, as disclosed by Taubes in an unpublished chapter, cutting sugar and carbs will really help. This research ended with allopurinol, but it is still valid. It is counter intuitive,
but it works. Note: you will also lose weight which in the short run may precipitate an attack since purines are sequestered in fat which is released when you lose weight and burn stored fat. Stick with it and it works.

Is cherry juice effective against pseudogout, too?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: We don't know. If you try it, please let us know if it helps.

The tart cherry juice has worked for me. I have been taking a little each morning since 2009, and have had no problems at all. I am 81 years old and found out about it from a friend who has an awful time with gout.

I have found a good supply of it on the internet at Brownwoodacres.com. I expect to keep it up as long as I last.

HOMER S.

I am wondering if the cherries will help pseudo gout. I know that it is caused by a buildup of calcium crystals, but have the same symptoms. I can no longer take NSAIDs and Tylenol does little to help.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: This doesn't seem to have been studied,but it is worth a try.

Sorry. I just read that you don't know about pseudo gout. It might be worth a try.

I have had one kidney stone removed (first one in 74 years) and still have a 7.5 mm one in the kidney.My urologist said I had high calcium and uric acid in my urine. I needed to stop eating red meat and remove salt from my diet. He prescribed Allopurinol (300mg) but had a horrible reaction to it and thus have stopped it. My wife related that she had seen something indicating cherry juice would reduce the uric acid. If so, how much and how often?

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