According to the results of a recent study conducted at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service Western Human Nutrition Research Center, consuming about 45 (280 g) of sweet Bing cherries significantly decreases circulating concentrations of inflammatory biomarkers in the blood.
Previous studies have shown a link between biomarkers for inflammation and increased risk for chronic diseases such as arthritis, gout, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
This particular study was initiated in 2006 to study the effects of fresh sweet cherry consumption on concentrations of risk factors for chronic diseases. Researchers studied 16 women and two men (between the ages of 45-61) who had slightly elevated levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammatory biomarker.
Initially, study researchers noted that levels of C-reactive proteins fell after consumption of sweet cherries.
Next, they used an automated approach to examine 89 biomarkers of diseases in the same group of people. This second, more detailed analysis showed that sweet cherries had more of an impact than originally observed, affecting nine biomarkers rather than just the three originally identified.
Clearly, several interlinked pathways of inflammation are dampened by cherry consumption - suggesting that consuming sweet cherries reduces risk or modifies the severity of chronic inflammation.
This is borne out by the results of a randomized, controlled study which showed that consumption of tart cherry juice for 7 days prior to and during a strenuous running event noticeably minimized post-run muscle pain in healthy runners.
According to Ed Kenoyer, a third-generation cherry grower in Washington State, “My grandmother always thought her arthritis was better in the summer when our cherries were in season. We’d pick a few each morning for the bowl in the kitchen. I guess it turns out she was right.”
Clearly, the combination of the sweet Bing cherry’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties packs a powerful one-two punch in the fight against chronic inflammation and the many chronic diseases associated with it.
So why not add a few sweet cherries to your fruit bowl or smoothie today?