Michael Pearce, Immunotec Consultant

Cherries Can Relieve the Pain of Fibromyalgia

Written By: Robin - Apr• 24•10

Some consumers have discovered that Montmorency tart cherries can help relieve the pain of Fibromyalgia, a debilitating muscle disorder.

What is Fibromyalgia Syndrome?
FMS (fibromyalgia syndrome) is a widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue disorder for which the cause is still unknown. Fibromyalgia means pain in the muscles, ligaments and tendons – the fibrous tissues in the body. Most patients with fibromyalgia say that they ache all over. Their muscles may feel like they have been pulled or overworked. Sometimes the muscles twitch and at other times they burn. More women than men are afflicted with fibromyalgia, but it shows up in people of all ages. (more…)

Tart Cherry Anthocyanins Inhibit Tumor Development

Written By: Robin - Apr• 24•10

New studies at Michigan State University (MSU), which were recently published in Cancer Letters, suggest that tart cherries may reduce the risk of colon cancer because of the anthocyanins and cyanidin contained in the cherry. Dr. Mauraleedharan Nair and Dr. Leslie Bourquin along with several graduate students worked on experiments that are part of ongoing research on the components of tart cherries.

“Based on previous observations that tart cherries can inhibit the Cox enzymes, we conducted experiments to test the potential of tart cherry anthocyanins to inhibit intestinal tumor development in mice,” says Dr. Bourquin, an associate professor in food science at MSU. The laboratory mice can very quickly produce the same type of tumors as humans. Mice consuming the tart cherry anthocyanins had significantly fewer and smaller cecal adenomas (colon tumors) than the mice consuming the control diet. The dosage given to the mice does not translate into a specific amount of cherries for humans. Data from animal studies, like this one, may spur human clinical trials. Meanwhile, consumers may have similar effects by eating cherries and drinking cherry juice. (more…)

Diet and Cancer Risk

Written By: Robin - Apr• 24•10

While research on the health benefits of tart cherries is ongoing, the link between some common life-threatening diseases and diet is strong and well documented. Eating a healthful diet and being physically active can reduce cancer risks, according to the American Cancer Society. Evidence suggests that one-third of the 550,000 cancer deaths in the United States each year are a result of unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity.

The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends a plant-based diet of fruits (including cherries), vegetables, whole grains and legumes. A low-fat diet that includes at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily can decrease the overall incidence of cancer by 20 percent, according to the Institute.

The case is even stronger with colorectal cancer, for which the main causes are believed to be diet and related factors. Research suggests that up to 50 percent of the colorectal cancers could be prevented by diets high in fruits and vegetables and low in fat.

Research Into Tart Cherries and Cancer Prevention

Written By: Robin - Apr• 24•10

The benefits of tart cherries, with their high levels of anthocyanins, perillyl alcohol and melatonin, recently caught the attention of the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), based in Washington D. C. Because the natural substances found in cherries have been shown to fight cancer both individually and in concert, the AICR has begun to fund additional research on the ability of cherries to work as anti-carcinogens. The AICR recently funded two research projects both with the intent to identify the cancer-fighting potential of perillyl alcohol and certain anthocyanins.

Cleveland Clinic – Taussig Cancer Center
The Taussig Cancer Center, which is affiliated with the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, has just begun Phase I of a study on the effects of perillyl alcohol for individuals with a known history of cancer. The study will test healthy women with a history of breast cancer, which has not recurred.

Perillyl alcohol (POH) and similar compounds (called limonenes) are used as food additives and are found naturally in fruits, particularly tart cherries. There is some evidence that compounds of this class can inhibit the growth of certain cancers and pre-cancerous lesions, perhaps by helping the body to get rid of potentially cancer-causing chemicals or by interfering with signals that cause cells to divide rapidly. The aim of the study is to determine what level of POH should be used in future studies to assess whether this compound is useful in preventing cancer.

Michigan State University – Heterocylic Aromatic Amines
Researchers at Michigan State University have begun to analyze the antioxidant compounds in tart cherries to determine their effect on heterocylic aromatic amine formation (HAA) when added to meat. The formation of HAA’s can be carcinogenic or mutagenic and therefore, researchers continue to look for ways to inhibit their development. Similar experiments investigating the effects of organosulfur compounds found in garlic demonstrated some success in reducing HAA formation in cooked beef patties.

Delicious Recipes with Cherries

Written By: Robin - Apr• 24•10

Cherry Yogurt Smoothie

1 cup non-fat plain or vanilla yogurt
1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced
½ cup orange juice
2 to 4 tablespoons tart cherry juice concentrate
1 cup crushed ice

Put yogurt, banana, orange juice, cherry juice concentrate (to taste) and crushed ice in electric blender. Puree until smooth. Serve immediately.
Variation: Use ½ cup 100% ready-to-drink tart cherry juice in place of orange juice and cherry juice concentrate.

Makes 2 (8-ounce) servings.

Cherry Smoothie

2 cup frozen tart cherries
1 ripe banana, peeled
1 cup 100% ready-to-drink tart cherry juice

Put frozen cherries, banana and cherry juice in electric blender. Puree until smooth. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 (8-ounce) servings.

Lemon-Cherry Yogurt Delight

Yoplait 99% fat free Lemon Burst Yogurt (or other brand of Lemon yogurt of your choice)
Cherry Juice Concentrate

For company, spoon out lemon yogurt by the tablespoon into a parfait glass and layer with small amounts of the rich, heavenly, healthful cherry concentrate.  Or, put yogurt in dessert cup and drizzle the cherry concentrate on top.  Even easier: drizzle cherry concentrate into your individual yogurt container and enjoy as is!  It will take your breath away!

New Diets Tout the Role of Colors

Written By: Robin - Apr• 20•10

According to several new diet plans, medical researchers are convinced that people consume foods that were never intended for human consumption based on genetic makeup. Major diseases, these authors say, are caused by the imbalance between what we eat and our DNA. Humans should break from the typical brown and beige American diet of meat and starches and adopt a more colorful diet, one more heavily weighted with fruits and vegetables. Here is what several of the authors say:

“Cherries offer antioxidant and inflammatory protection from other phenolic compounds they contain, and cherries have been used as a folk remedy for arthritis for many years, presumably because of….anti-inflammatory effects.” 
From Eat Your Colors by Marcia Zimmerman.

“Red = Cherries = Fight Arthritic Pain.” 
From The Color Code: a Revolutionary Eating Plan for Optimum Health by James Joseph, Tufts University.

“The most convenient way to get your fruits and veggies in the red/purple group are with…cherries.” 
From What Color is Your Diet? The 7 Colors of Health by David Heber, UCLA Center for Human Nutrition.

Consumers Discover Cherry Juice

Written By: Robin - Apr• 20•10

cherry juice“I am so excited about Cherry Juice! I have suffered with hip pain and was taking over-the-counter arthritis medication. I also was trying to exercise and diet to see if I could get some relief from the pain. My cousin who has been listening to my complaints suggested that I try drinking cherry juice because his friend had good results. With my cousin’s insistence I started taking 2 tablespoons (about 1 ounce) a day of the concentrated cherry juice. I’m just amazed. For the first time in weeks, I have slept through the night and haven’t taken any medication. It’s a miracle! This is unreal! I am going to tell everyone I know who suffers from pain about cherry juice concentrate. Thank you so much for this product and for all the time you have spent researching this.”
Kim from Michigan

“In August, I started taking tart cherry juice for the few aches I have and I wanted to tell you how great it is. I had read about a study a couple of years ago, but didn’t do anything about it until recently. I decided to try it and I’m so glad I did.”
Barbara from Ohio

“I purchased my first quart of cherry juice at our farmer’s market at Chicago’s Federal Building. I’m thrilled to find something natural for my arthritis.”
Judith from Illinois (more…)

Cox Inhibition May Fight Heart Attacks

Written By: Robin - Apr• 20•10

heartResearch by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine has demonstrated that aspirin, ibuprofen and other COX inhibitors may aid substantially in preventing heart disease, slowing the build-up of plaque in blood vessels by more than 50 percent.

“The cyclooxegenase enzyme known as COX-1 may play a role in the gradual hardening of the arteries that precedes acute events like heart attack or stroke,” said Garret A. FitzGerald, MD, chairman of Penn’s Department of Pharmacology. Medicines that inhibit the COX enzyme, such as aspirin, do not speed up the development of arteriosclerosis and can help protect against heart attack and stroke.

Using mice that had been engineered to produce high levels of cholesterol, the scientists analyzed the mice’s aortas at the conclusion of the 16-week study. The researchers found that lesions were reduced by 55 percent in mice exposed to the COX inhibitor, compared to lesions in the untreated mice.

Although more data in needed in support of the extrapolation, it is entirely logical that the same enzymes that make cherries effective in blocking the pain messages carried by the COX enzyme would also make cherries effective in protecting against heart attack and stroke.

David Ropa, a consultant with Thomas J. Payne Development, compiled the information on the most recent research projects on cherries.

Gout and Cherries

Written By: Robin - Apr• 20•10

Gout is a type of arthritis (inflammation of the joints) that mostly affects men age 40 and older. It is nearly always associated with an abnormally high concentration of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is produced in the liver and enters the bloodstream. Under certain circumstances, the body produces too much uric acid or excretes too little. As uric acid concentrations increase, needlelike crystals of a salt called monosodium urate (MSU) form. In time, MSU crystals accumulate and cause inflammation and pain, symptoms typical of gout.

Cherries contain flavonoid compounds that lower uric acid and reduce inflammation. Cherry juice concentrate has been demonstrated to be extremely effective in reducing the pain associated with gout.

When Fighting Pain, Being Inhibited Is Not a Bad Thing

Written By: Robin - Apr• 20•10

shoulder painWhen pain from arthritis and gout strikes the body, most people don’t care how their medicine works, as long as it does work. What many pain sufferers take for granted is the complex chemical process that allows their pain medication to work. It’s the same chemistry that is making tart cherries the preferred “medication” for a booming generation of pain sufferers.

Drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen are called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They work by inhibiting two enzymes, cyclooxygenase I and II (popularly known as COX 1 and COX 2), which are produced by the body as a response to pain. NSAIDs prevent chemical messages from binding to cyclooxygenase. The normal messages are not delivered, so the body does not feel the pain and doesn’t become inflammed (1). (more…)