Tart Cherry Extract: The Underestimated Antioxidant – Invite Health Podcast, Episode 139
Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Amanda Williams, MPH
Did you know that this is the time of year that normally the Cherry Festival is being held in Michigan? This is something that is very near and dear to my heart, being that I am a Michiganer! Today, I am excited to speak with you about all of the benefits that cherries can offer, especially tart cherry extract. Let’s get started!
The FDA and Cherry Claims
Back in 2007, the FDA sent out warning letters to cherry growers throughout the country telling them to stop making health claims about the benefits of cherries, knowing that cherries are packed with anthocyanins and other compounds that naturally help to support a healthy inflammatory process in the body. So, cherry growers throughout the country (especially in Traver City, Michigan) have known this and have always promoted the medicinal benefits that goes along with the consumption of cherries. But between the years of 2001 and 2010, the FDA approved over 200 different therapeutic drugs, which later on were found to have side effects (over 30% of them). Interestingly enough, it is my opinion that many of these drugs are still available on the market. Yet, the cherry industry was attacked.
Utilization of Tart Cherry Extract
Anthocyanins are a flavonoid, which are very powerful nutrients that are responsible for giving berries that deep red color. But tart cherries are superior when we look at the medicinal benefits because it is yielding other powerful antioxidants. Tart cherries are ranked among the highest foods in terms of their antioxidant content. This is why cherries have been researched so heavily.
There is tons of research out there on the benefits of cherries. When we look at muscle health for example, researchers have found (in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial ) that when marathon runners were given tart cherry extract that their interleukin 6 and c reactive protein levels decreased significantly. These are major markers for inflammation in the body.†
Tart Cherry Extract has also been studied for its joint health benefit. Evidence has shown that the powerful polyphenols and Anthocyanins within the tart cherry can provide a lot of support when it comes to the health of the joints. A study performed at Baylor Research Institute found that, when researchers gave tart cherry extract to patients who had osteoarthritis within the knee for eight weeks, half of the subjects showed significant improvement in their reports of pain and the functionality of the joint itself.†
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Questions about tart cherry extract? Leave a comment below for Amanda Williams, MPH!