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Cherries pack an anti-Inflammatory punch


March 27, 2008
By Fruit & Vegetable

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If you love the taste and texture
of sweet, juicy Bing cherries, now you have an even better reason to
seek out the glossy, fun-to-eat fruit at your supermarket.

If you love the taste and texture of sweet, juicy Bing cherries, now you have an even better reason to seek out the glossy, fun-to-eat fruit at your supermarket. A study by chemist Darshan S. Kelley and colleagues confirms that Bing cherries may help fight the inflammation of arthritis, heart disease and cancer. Kelley is based at the Western Human Nutrition Research Center in Davis, Calif. For the research, 18 healthy men and women volunteers, aged 45 to 61, ate a total of about 45 fresh Bing cherries throughout the day for 28 consecutive days. Blood samples indicated that levels of three telltale indicators of inflammation – nitric oxide, C reactive protein and a marker for T-cell activation, termed “RANTES” – dropped by 18 to 25 per cent by the end of the cherry-eating stint. Then, blood samples taken four weeks later indicated that volunteers’ RANTES levels continued to decline. But their nitric oxide and C reactive protein levels began to increase. Natural chemicals in cherries apparently work selectively, suppressing production of some of the body’s inflammation-linked compounds, but not others, the researchers learned. For example, they found no significant decrease in levels of more than three-dozen other markers of inflammation. A smaller, shorter study of Bing cherries, conducted at the Davis nutrition center by Kelley and others and reported in 2003, also shows a decrease in nitric oxide and C reactive protein levels.

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