The number of cases of gout I'm seeing is growing every year. If you're not familiar with gout, it's a genetic condition that causes an increased level of uric acid in the blood. As the uric acid builds up, it starts to deposit uric acid crystals in the joints of its victims. This leads to gout attacks. Not only are gout attacks extremely painful and debilitating, they also can permanently damage joints. But there's a tasty - and very effective way to avoid gout.
All you have to do is eat cherries. Researchers at the University of California at Davis just looked at the effect of eating cherries on blood uric acid levels. And the results were really amazing.
To stop gout, you have to keep the blood uric acid levels in the normal range. Normally, you have to do this with a special diet and medications. But even then, in many cases, it's hard to get the levels down low enough. That's where the cherries come in.
The researchers were aware that eating cherries has long been a folk remedy for gout. So they took 10 healthy women aged 22-40. The morning after an overnight fast, they measured their blood and urine uric acid levels. Then they gave each of the women 280 grams (10 ounces) of Bing cherries to eat. Five hours later, they checked the blood and urine levels of uric acid again. They found the cherries worked pretty well.
The blood levels of uric acid dropped an average of 15%. The urine levels increased an average of 73%. The cherries were doing what most of the drugs do, lowering the uric acid levels by eliminating uric acid through the kidneys. Here's what that amounts to.
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Normal uric acid levels are 2.4-6.0 mg/dL for women and 3.4-7.0 mg/dL for men. In order to prevent gout attacks, you have to keep your levels under 6 mg/dL. So patients with uric acid levels elevated to 7 mg/dL could expect to be completely cured from their gout by eating the cherries. Patients with higher levels would have to either eat the cherries and change their diet, or eat the cherries more often.
Cherries are also known to reduce blood pressure, decrease inflammation, decrease weight, help you to recover faster from a workout, and induce sleep (they contain melatonin). So whether you suffer from gout or not, feel free to eat as many cherries as you want. They are great for treating gout and many other health conditions.
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