Fresh Bing cherries. Click the image for more
information about it.
Cherries Pack an Anti-Inflammatory Punch
Wood May 11, 2006
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
A study by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) chemist
S. Kelley and colleagues confirms that Bing cherries may help fight the
inflammation of arthritis, heart disease and cancer. Kelley is based at the
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
ARS chemist Darshan
Kelley (left) and collaborator Adel Kader, professor at the University of
California, Davis, examine and weigh cherries. Click the image for more
information about it.
Blood samples indicated that levels of three telltale indicators of
inflammationnitric oxide, C reactive protein and a marker for T-cell
activation, termed "RANTES"dropped by 18 to 25 percent by the end of the
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 had shown a
decrease in nitric oxide and C reactive protein levels. The followup
investigation is apparently the longest yet conductedwith healthy
volunteers who ate fresh cherries instead of extractsto explore the
anti-inflammatory effects of sweet cherries.
Kelley, retired ARS chemist Robert A. Jacob and ARS and
University of California-Davis
co-investigators published findings from the longer study in the April 2006
Journal of Nutrition. The
grower-sponsored California Cherry Advisory
Board of Lodi, Calif., helped fund the research.
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.