Eating cherries or cherry extract is associated with a 35% lower risk of gout attacks, a study found.
Researchers conducted a case-crossover study that prospectively recruited and followed 633 patients online for one year to examine the association to the home remedy.
Participants were asked about gout attacks, signs and symptoms, and risk factors such as eating cherries daily.
Results appeared in Arthritis and Rheumatism.
Cherry intake over a 2-day period was associated with a 35% lower risk of gout attacks compared with no intake (multivariate odds ratio [OR], 0.65; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.50 to 0.85). Cherry extract showed a similar association (multivariate OR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.30 to 0.98).
Cherry's effects were consistent across other variables such as sex, obesity, purine intake, or use of alcohol, diuretics and anti-gout drugs. When cherry intake was combined with allopurinol, the risk of a gout attack was 75% lower than not using either (OR, 0.25; 95% CI, 0.15 to 0.42).
It's not exactly in the guidelines released recently from the American College of Rheumatology, but cherries are believed to work because they contain vitamin C, which breaks down uric acid in the blood.