How Effective Is Cherry Juice for Gout?

Cherry juice may help relieve symptoms of gout, but it is not a cure.
Juice made from sour cherries is believed to be the most effective with regard to gout.
The juice of cherries contains flavonoids that may help relieve the inflammation of gout.
Cherry extract powders can replicate the benefits of cherry juice without the excess sugars.
Cherry juice works much like aspirin to reduce inflammation caused by gout.
Article Details
  • Originally Written By: Charles Sowell
  • Revised By: C. Mitchell
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

Cherry juice is generally considered to be a very effective treatment for gout, but a lot depends on how much juice a person consumes, what other foods they’re eating, and how serious their condition is to start with. Most experts agree that there is no true cure for gout, which is a type of inflammatory arthritis. Some of the chemical compounds in cherries can help decrease the symptoms and severity of attacks, though. Juice made from sour cherries is usually believed to be the most effective, but people should be careful to take note of added sugars since anything that contains a lot of sweeteners can often actually make gout symptoms worse

Why It Works

Naturopathic experts have prescribed cherry juice for gout for years, and it remains one of the more popular home remedies for the condition. A number of studies have been done to determine what, if any, correlation there is between the two, and most have concluded that the phytochemicals in cherries can dramatically decrease gout symptoms in many cases.

Ad

”Phytochemicals” are a wide range of plant-based chemical compounds, many of which are helpful for human health, too. Antioxidants, flavonoids, and isoflavones are all examples of phytochemicals that occur in most varieties of cherry, and when these are consumed in high concentrations they can impact cellular regeneration and inflammation. Gout happens when uric acid builds up and crystallizes around major joints. A regular presence of phytochemicals in the blood can keep this crystallization — and the inflammation, swelling, and pain that goes with it — to a minimum. Most cherry juice is made up of many more crushed fruit pieces than a person would regularly consume if eating the fruits raw, which makes juice a good vehicle for delivering the right amount of nutrients quickly.

How to Get the Most Benefits

Cherries come in many varieties, ranging from the sweet to the very tart. In most cases, the darker and tarter the cherry the better, since the chemicals responsible for gout reduction tend to be highest in these fruits. It’s also important for gout patients to pay attention to purity. Many manufacturers blend cherry with other juices, particularly apple and grape, both to soften the tartness and to reduce the overall cost. Extracting juice from cherries can be expensive, but in order for arthritis patients to see results they usually need to drink juice that is pure or at least nearly pure cherry.

Sugar content is another important consideration. Tart cherry juice is, as its name implies, often quite bitter, which leads some producers to add a lot of sugar, corn syrup, or other sweeteners. A number of studies have linked high sugar consumption with increased gout flare-ups, however, which can mean that, in some cases, cherry juice for gout might actually be a bad idea if the juice has been heavily sweetened. As a result, unsweetened or lightly sweetened options are usually the best. People who are concerned about added sugar can often replicate the results of cherry juice by taking cherry extract supplements or powders.

Understanding the Difference Between a Treatment and a Cure

Anyone contemplating using cherry juice for gout should be aware that, while it may help reduce symptoms, it is not itself a cure. Treating a problem is really different from solving it. Many medical professionals recommend cherry juice as a part of a more dynamic treatment plan for people suffering from gout flare-ups and pain, but it should not be viewed as a way of eliminating the problem.

Diet Tips

Cherries are only one of many helpful substances gout patients can use to improve their quality of life. Avoiding foods that are acid-forming, including many artificial sweeteners, carbonated soft drinks, and vinegar, is one common tactic; adopting a diet that is low in protein and high in complex carbohydrates like whole grains is also usually recommended. In general, no more than 30 percent of a gout patient’s daily calories should come from fat, and no more than 10 percent of that fat intake should be from animal fats. Cherry juice can be a part of this gout-friendly diet, and it usually works best in patients who use it as just one of many tools.

Importance of Medical Care

Even when the juice is very effective, healthcare professionals don’t usually recommend that patients use it in place of other prescribed medications, or drink it as a means of avoiding regular medical care and diagnosis. Gout can be a very serious condition, and anyone who suffers from it should seek the advice of a qualified medical practitioner before beginning any treatment, natural or not.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

anon942577
Post 8

The cherry juice works for me but I can't travel with it, so I now take the the tart cherry capsules with me when I'm on the road.

anon357686
Post 7

I use a combination of cherry juice and ibuprofen. Neither work on their own but together they significantly reduce the pain for me.

anon282040
Post 6

The cherry juice helps my gout out tremendously.

SarahSon
Post 5

I have gout and tried drinking some black cherry juice but really didn't like the taste of it. It tasted much too sour for me. I have been thinking about trying some of the cherry supplements to see if those would work.

From what I have read, the supplements don't seem to have quite the same results, but it still sounds like they would be better than nothing. I have also seen some cherry snack bars in the health food store that were recommended for something like this.

Has anyone had good results for their gout taking a cherry supplement instead of drinking the juice?

sunshined
Post 4

If you have gout, you know how painful and aggravating this can be. Until you experience something like this, you don't realize how debilitating it can be.

I usually get gout in my toe and have trouble walking and getting around because of the pain. I have had good results drinking cherry juice and have found that the sour cherry juice concentrate works the best.

I stir in some honey with this to sweeten it up and don't have any trouble drinking some of this every day. My doctor said drinking 8 ounces a day should make a difference in the severity of my symptoms.

It has just become part of my morning routine and it seems like I have fewer problems when I am consistent at drinking this every day.

honeybees
Post 3

I have tried drinking tart cherry juice for gout and didn't seem to notice any difference. I didn't mind the taste of the juice, but it just didn't seem to do anything to relieve my symptoms.

I was disappointed because I have heard that this has been effective for many other people. When I was reading through the list of foods to avoid for gout, I realize that I eat more of them than I should.

It might be more beneficial for me to try and prevent the gout than treat it after I have symptoms. It also sounds like a good idea to drink some cherry juice every day to help prevent problems in the first place.

myharley
Post 2

My dad has gout, and he swears that the best treatment for gout is drinking some tart cherry juice. He makes sure he has this on hand all the time and drinks some every day as a preventative measure.

If he gets an attack, he will drink a lot more of it. Since he started drinking it every day, he said he has fewer flare ups.

It sounds like drinking cherry juice could have benefits for a lot of things, not just gout or arthritis symptoms. I enjoy the taste of cherry juice, so it would be something that would be easy to drink every day.

If it tasted bad, it would be much harder to get down on a regular basis. Maybe it would be better to substitute something like orange juice with cherry juice.

anon167830
Post 1

I can't drink the cherry juice. It gives me terrible gas. I talked with my trainer and she recommended the tart cherry capsules from Fruit Advantage. She said it was the sorbitol in the cherry juice that was causing the gas.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email