US researchers found patients with gout who ate cherries over a two-day period had a 35% lower risk of attacks compared to those who did not. The study in Arthritis & Rheumatism said cherries contain anthocyanins, antioxidants which contain anti-inflammatory properties.
Gout is a common type of arthritis that can cause sudden and very severe attacks of pain and swelling in the joints, particularly in the feet. Gout affects about one in 100 people, with men two to three times more likely to be affected than women.
In this study, researchers from Boston University recruited 633 gout patients with an average age of 54. Most were male. People were asked to record gout attacks including symptoms, the drugs they used and their diet and drinking patterns in the two days prior to the attack, including whether or not they had eaten cherries or cherry extract intake.
Ten to 12 cherries was counted as one serving. During the period the patients were studied, they had a total of 1,247 gout attacks. Some 42% of those studied ate cherries or cherry extract. These patients had a 37% lower risk of gout attacks than those who did not eat the fruit.