Many tout cherry juice, or event tart cherries can help with gout, but what does the science learn towards? There are studies and tests that have been done, so let's dig in and see why so many sing praises to cherry juice and tart cherries.
Does cherry juice help with gout? Yes, from a scientific perspective, cherries and cherry juice have anthocyanins, which studies suggest can be beneficial for people who suffer from gout. We'll cover the science and go on a fact finding mission.
Be patient, we'll get to the cherries and cherry juice. But first there is information you need to know prior to the direct answers.
It's standard doctrine that you must stay on a strict low purine diet. Let me put this doctrine to rest forever. Every food you can possibly eat is made up of cells, and every cell, once digested, turns into purines. Meats are attacked because they are more dense than plants, suggesting that they have more purines makes sense.
But how much more?
Well, the truth is, if you want to lower purine intake, you would be trapped into eating nothing but garbage, like candy, soda and other sweet treats only because the processes used to make these types of foods strip most cells from them, making them all mostly purine free.
But let me warn you. Try this and you'll make your gout much worse, more frequent and lasting longer.
Scientists actually concede that they can't actually measure purines in food.
“The purine content of the diet does not usually contribute more than 1 mg/dl to the serum urate concentration…” [Emmerson 1996].
What a shocker… right?
Cherry Juice and Gout Research
There's Science Backing Cherry Juice, But The Thinking Is Completely Flawed.
There are basically four studies that suggest cherry juice helps with gout, and from my experience, it does help a little, but not much. Here are the links to the four studies in question. 1, 2, 3, 4.
Number four is the largest and most comprehensive of them, so we'll concentrate on that one.
It was conducted in 2012 and it was based on 633 participants with gout. Researcher came to the conclusion that 10 cherries a day reduced the chances of an attack by about 35%. What it does not cover is what else they had in their diets.
This makes it flawed at it's core. What else were they eating? Isolating one food is ridiculous at best.
The main claim to cherry juice is anthocyanins. It's suggested anthocyanins are the reason it works. I agree that it does work, just not as good as stated or suggested in these studies because of the other things in cherries.
It's also a certain type of cherries that supposedly make the difference, and I fully agree that it is specific cherries.
The cherries that work are tart cherries, which means less fructose, or sugars in general.
Eat the sweet cherries, which also have anthocyanins and you are not helping matters, likely because of the sugar content in sweet cherries.
What Kind Of Cherry Juice Should I Use For Gout?
You want cherry juice made from tart cherries, but eating tart cherries improves your results also.
The study in question used 10 cherries a day. I would not exceed that number.
What About Cherry Extract or Concentrate?
Some have claimed they work, and maybe they do, but my results were limited compared to the 10 cherries a day. Extracts likely work better than concentrates because most concentrates have added sugars to make them more palatable.
Do Cherry Capsules Work?
Again, some claim they work well, I didn't have great results with them. You can try them, but unless they have a good amount of anthocyanins in them. I never could find capsules that gave the amount of anthocyanins in them.
How Often Should I Drink It?
No more than once a day. Each time you put food in your mouth, you spike your insulin, which is what I think causes gout in the first place.
There are really only two foods (if you wish to call these foods) that worked well for me when I suffered from gout. One is Apple Cider Vinegar, the other is black coffee with artificial sweetener (if you sweeten your coffee) and milk or heavy cream if you prefer them.
If you really want to know how I figured it all out and my path to success, you can read my story about how I reversed my gout.