Black cherry juice may help gout sufferers avoid ongoing attacks. A study at Boston University Medical Center involving 633 participants concluded that eating a minimum of 10 cherries a day kept gout sufferers from having ongoing symptoms, according to Linda Rath for the Arthritis Foundation.
Eating cherries, including the juice, and taking liquid cherry extract, a product available in specialty and health food stores, may provide roughly identical benefits, notes Rath. A study of 24 patients undertaken by researchers at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, New Jersey, found that gout patients who ingested a tablespoon of tart cherry extract two times a day for four months had a 50 percent drop in their gout symptom flares. That level of consumption is about the same as eating 45 to 60 cherries at a time.
Cherries, black and otherwise, contain anthocyanins, a family of pigments that are strong antioxidants and also fight inflammation. Anthocyanins are also present in blueberries, raspberries and other purple and red fruits, but cherries, particularly the tart varieties, may have even higher levels, explains Rath. Gout may not be the only condition that cherry juice fights. Other studies have found that osteoarthritis sufferers may see their symptoms drop if they consume tart cherry juice on a regular basis.