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What are the benefits of tart cherry extract?

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Tart cherry extract is a form of alternative medicine that is said to have many health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and fighting gout. The flavonoids in cherries perform as antioxidants in the body, destroying free radicals, according to WholeHealthMD.com.

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Flavonoids have many benefits, such as reducing the risk of death from heart attack in middle-aged men with coronary heart disease, indicates WholeHealthMD.com. Flavonoids are also known to be natural anti-inflammatory compounds, with a similar effect as anti-inflammatory medicine, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. For that reason, doctors who focus on natural medicine prescribe tart cherry extract to patients seeking relief from allergies or arthritis.

The most common use for tart cherry extract is to prevent gout, states WholeHealthMD. Flavonoids help reduce high uric acid levels in blood, which are responsible for the development of gout. Furthermore, flavonoids block inflammation-causing substances, which are released in the joint when the uric acid crystals begin to accumulate. The tart cherry extract is the most concentrated source of flavonoids, but alternative medicine doctors recommend a variety in patients' diets, such as alternating between cherry fruit extract, fresh or canned cherries, and cherry juice. Cherries and cherry juice have the added benefit providing more fiber.

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