New research has shown that a daily drink of cherry juice concentrate could help in the fight against gout.
This condition affects around one in 14 males and one in 35 females in the UK. It happens when excess uric acid crystallises in the joints, particularly in the toes.
A study done by Northumbria University indicates that a daily drink of concentrate made from Montmorency cherries will eliminate the excess acid from the body within a few hours. This is due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
It has been stated that the tart version of cherry juice may offer natural pain relief. A study done at Boston University involving 633 adults who suffer with gout, were monitored for more than one year. They were requested to record the amount of cherry juice they consumed. It was found that those who consumed cherry juice two days prior to an attack, had a 35% lower risk of attack than those who had not.
According to the study by Northumbria, drinking 30ml of the concentrate, mixed with water, twice a day has led to lower blood uric acid levels and a reduced level of inflammation. Experts have stated that this research is an exciting initiative to help sufferers alleviate the condition through diet.
Other treatment options include the use of ice packs when the condition flares up, taking anti-inflammatory drugs, and reducing pressure on the affected joint.
When the condition is extreme, patients are advised to use corticosteroids. These drugs, like all others, have a high risk of side effects, such as stomach and heart problems, particularly when used for an extended period of time.
The avoidance of foods high in purines, the chemical which occur naturally and are broken down into uric acid by the human body, is recommended. The risk of a gout attack can be reduced by avoiding these types of foods, including oily fish and game. Foods which contain meat extracts or yeast are particularly high in purines.
This is the first time a food which treats the condition has been suggested. The leader of the research, Dr Glynn Howatson from Northumbria University, said the study has clearly indicated that uric acid is lowered after consumption of the Montmorency cherry concentrate. He said the most important factor is that a fairly small amount is required to achieve positive results.
During the study, 12 volunteers were provided with a brand of Montmorency cherry contrite, CherryActive, which was diluted with 100ml of water, twice per day.
Their blood and urine were tested for uric acid and inflammation prior to and after consumption of the concentrate. Researchers discovered that when they drank CherryActive, it acted as a catalyst to boost the elimination of excess uric acid from the body, via their urine.
A spokesman from the UK Gout Society stated that people who suffer from gout should visit their health practitioner as it could be linked to other health conditions, such as psoriases and stroke.
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