While cherries and cherry juice do not cure gout, they can help reduce symptoms and flare-ups, as reported by Arthritis Foundation. For maximum benefits, a handful of tart varieties is recommended.
A study conducted by Boston University Medical Center found that participants who ate cherries reduced the risk of gout flare-ups by as much as 50 percent, according to Arthritis Foundation. The powerful effect is attributed to anthocyanins, which are found in high levels in cherries, especially the tarter species. Anthocyanins contain antioxidant and anti-inflammation properties.
The same effect can be achieved with liquid cherry extract, as noted by Arthritis Foundation. A smaller 2010 study observed similar results with a tablespoon of tart cherry extract, which is equivalent to roughly 45 to 60 cherries. In an osteoarthritis study, patients who stopped drinking cherry juice found stiffness and pain returning, indicating that cherry juice's effects are temporary and treat only surface symptoms.
While cherries are healthy, the volume of cherries needed to see noticeable improvement in gout is extremely high in sugar, which presents alternate problems, notes Mercola. Because of this, cherry extract is recommended over cherries, though a handful of fruit per day is generally suggested to improve overall health.