Cherries to the Rescue


Captain Cherry IllustationFor the estimated 27 million Americans who suffer from osteoarthritis, relief may come from a sweet summer fruit, report researchers at the Baylor Research Institute. Tart cherries, in concentrated pill form, they say, may be a promising pain reliever for this debilitating form of arthritis. It’s especially good news, because current treatments largely focus on controlling pain through the use of over-the-counter acetaminophen or prescription drugs that can have detrimental side effects, and have not been shown to alter the history or the course of the disease.

In a recent pilot study, more than half of the enrolled patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knees experienced significant improvement in pain and function after taking the cherry pills for eight weeks. The pill is made from whole Montmorency tart cherries, ground up and sold as a soft gelatin capsule under the brand name CherryFlex®.

Because of the promising results, the Baylor Research Institute and Arthritis Care & Research Institute are currently enrolling patients in a second, related study.

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