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Cherries

Introduction

Cherries are small, tart fruits that grow on Prunus trees. The juice from the cherry can be made into a tea, syrup, or beverage. Cherries have been used to improve exercise performance and ease swelling in joints. They can also be taken as a pill, powder, or extract.

Dosages

8 ounces of juice 1 to 2 times each day

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • High blood pressure —may lower blood pressure C1-C3
  • Insomnia —may enhance sleep quality D1-D3

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Athletic performance A1
  • Exercise-induced muscle damage B1
  • Knee osteoarthritis E1-E2

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take cherries in small doses for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether they are safe to use for a long period.

Interactions

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse such as:

  • People with birch or latex allergies should talk to their doctors before taking cherries. They may cause a reaction.
 

References

A. A. Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage

A1. Brown MA, Stevenson EJ, et al. Montmorency tart cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) supplementation accelerates recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage in females. Eur J Sport Sci. 2019 Feb;19(1):95-102.

B. B. Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage

B1. Brown MA, Stevenson EJ, et al. Montmorency tart cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) supplementation accelerates recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage in females. Eur J Sport Sci. 2019 Feb;19(1):95-102.

C. C. High Blood Pressure

C1. Keane KM, George TW, et al. Effects of Montmorency tart cherry (Prunus Cerasus L.) consumption on vascular function in men with early hypertension. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Jun;103(6):1531-1539.

C2. Chai SC, Davis K, et al. Impact of tart cherry juice on systolic blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in older adults: a randomized controlled trial. Food Funct. 2018 Jun 20;9(6):3185-3194.

C3. Chai SC, Davis K, et al. Effects of Tart Cherry Juice on Biomarkers of Inflammation and Oxidative Stress in Older Adults. Nutrients. 2019 Jan 22;11(2). pii: E228.

D. D. Insomnia

D1. Howatson G, Bell PG, et al. Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality. Eur J Nutr. 2012 Dec;51(8):909-916.

D2. Pigeon WR, Carr M, et al. Effects of a tart cherry juice beverage on the sleep of older adults with insomnia: a pilot study. J Med Food. 2010 Jun;13(3):579-583.

D3. Losso JN, Finley JW, et al. Pilot Study of the Tart Cherry Juice for the Treatment of Insomnia and Investigation of Mechanisms. Am J Ther. 2018 Mar/Apr;25(2):e194-e201.

E. E. Knee Osteoarthritis

E1. Schumacher HR, Pullman-Mooar S, et al. Randomized double-blind crossover study of the efficacy of a tart cherry juice blend in the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee). Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2013;21(8):1035-1041.

E2. Guan VX, Mobasheri A, et al. A systematic review of osteoarthritis prevention and management with dietary phytochemicals from foods. Maturitas. 2019 Apr;122:35-43.

Last reviewed May 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 6/16/2020