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Black Cherry Extract: Is Known to Reduce Inflammation
- Black cherry extract contains a compound – the same one that causes its color – known to reduce inflammation, including inflammation that leads to heart disease
- Research has shown that eating cherries can reduce the risk of developing certain types of arthritis, including gout
- Cherries may also be good source of powerful antioxidant nutrients
Cherries are one of the most delicious fruits on the planet. They make tasty desserts around the holidays but can also be a tasty snack, as long as you don’t mind getting rid of the pits. While we know cherries are scrumptious in many ways, what many of you may not know is that black cherry extract can have some pretty phenomenal health benefits, particularly for people who need to reduce inflammation or what want arthritis prevention.
Background on the Cherry
Cherries have a long history, although their health benefits were not always part of their appeal. Research believes their cultivation probably began in Rome around 70 BC after the fruits or trees were brought to the area from Turkey. In fact, the word “cherry” comes from the name of a Turkish city – Cerasus. After becoming popular in Rome and in Greece, the cherries were exported to other parts of Europe. They were so beloved by Henry VIII after he tasted one that he ordered an orchard to be created so England could grow its own cherries since they were not being exported into that country any longer. Today, about 2 million tons of cherries are produced and sold every year around the world with the United States being the second largest producer; Turkey is the first.
One of the health benefits of black cherry extract is that it can help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Cherries contain a compound known as anthocyanin which gives them their color. Research has shown that anthocyanins can help stop inflammation, a condition that occurs as a side effect of our immune system’s response. The chemicals used to fight off our body’s attackers end up triggering a series of effects that lead to the warmth, redness, and soreness associated with inflammation. To support the effectiveness of cherries against internal inflammation, a condition some researchers now believe may be a major factor in heart disease, rats were fed whole cherries in the lab at the University of Michigan. When the rats were tested for two markers that suggest inflammation is present, the quantity of those markers had been cut in half.
As you might imagine, the anthocyanins can play an important role against arthritis, too, which is generally chronic pain around the joints thanks to repeated inflammation in those areas. However, research is also showing that black cherry extract can be beneficial at preventing even the most painful forms of arthritis from developing. With gout, uric acid crystals start building up around the joints and cause a lot of pain to sufferers. The risk for developing gout can be measured by looking at the amount of urates (a form of the uric acid) in the blood. During a study of the effects of black cherry extract on those urate levels, the research showed significantly lower urate levels even hours after participants ate cherries.
Other Findings about Cherries
If you’re looking for a powerful antioxidant, you might not need to look any further than cherries either. Research is showing that the antioxidant levels in cherry juice, for example, was almost five times higher than the levels found in other fruits and vegetables, including melons and carrots. Studies have also found that these antioxidant levels are higher in juices and extracts from the cherry than in the individual cherries themselves.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Arthritis Prevention19 Feb 2009|