Gout is a form of arthritis caused by excess uric acid in the blood. It is typically associated with overeating and high alcohol consumption, but studies have shown this is not always the case and that eliminating foods high in purines from the diet can reduce the risk of attacks. Foods high in purines include anchovies, herring, kidney, liver, mackerel, meat extracts, mincemeat, mussels, sardines, and yeast.
A food that can be added to the diet to help reduce attacks of gout is cherries – either eating the fruit or drinking a glass of cherry juice every day such as Cherry Active.
One recent scientific study found that people who ate cherries over a 2-day period was associated with a 35% lower risk of gout attacks when compared with people who ate no cherries.
When cherry intake was combined with allopurinol, a drug which is used to lower levels of uric acid in the blood (the main trigger for gout), the risk of gout attacks was a staggering 75% lower than taking the drug on its own.
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Zhang Y, Chen C, Choi H, Chaisson C, Hunter D, Niu J, Neogi T (2012) Purine-rich foods intake and recurrent gout attacks Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 71(9):1448-53.
Zhang Y, Neogi T, Chen C, Chaisson C, Hunter D, Choi HK (2012) Cherry consumption and the risk of recurrent gout attacks. Arthritis and Rheumatism 10.1002/art.34677