The juice of whole cherries is rich with an antioxidant pigment called anthocyanin. When taken internally, anthocyanins act to reduce uric acid levels, thereby alleviating the pain of gout.
Cherries have been touted as a treatment for gout, arthritis and rheumatism for generations. Cherries and dark berries offer an abundance of a powerful antioxidant known to scientists as anthocyanin glycosides, according to Arthritis Foundation. In addition to reducing uric acid levels, anthocyanin glycosides have the ability to block certain enzymes that trigger gout attacks.
Gout pain occurs when the body is overloaded with uric acid. High uric acid levels are common in people who eat a lot of red meat and other foods containing purine. When purine is metabolized, uric acid is formed. Most of the time, the kidneys do a good job of eliminating uric acid from the body. With consistent use, the anthocyanins and other antioxidants in cherry juice can significantly reduce uric acid levels. The Arthritis Foundation reports that the consumption of ten raw cherries daily can decrease gout flares by as much as 50 percent.
A gout attack may occur quite suddenly, waking the sufferer with burning pain. The Mayo Clinic describes gout as a severe and sudden attack of joint pain, usually in the base of the big toe. Men are slightly more affected than pre-menopausal women.