Why cherries could be the secret to relieving gout

Over60 NZ native article for Abeeco

While the festive season is a time of joy and excitement for many, for gout sufferers, it can signal one of the most painful times of year. From indulgent roasts and Christmas puddings to rich wines and summer cocktails, many gout sufferers find themselves prone to more regular attacks. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be the case.

With around 110,000 thousand Kiwis suffering from gout (a number expected to double each decade), New Zealand has earned the unfortunate title of the “gout capital of the world,” according to Associate Professor Dr Nicola Dalbeth of the University of Auckland.

In fact, gout is so prevalent in our country that it’s become the second most-common form of arthritis. Caused by sodium urate crystals forming in and around joints (particularly the big toe), gout produces symptoms like sudden, severe pain in the joint, swelling and redness. Men are three times more likely than women to suffer from gout and up to 15 per cent of Maori and Pasifika men have gout compared with fewer than five per cent of Pakeha men.

So, you may be wondering, where do cherries come in? Well, one of the best ways to manage gout attacks is to reduce the levels of uric acid in the blood and remove it from the body, and cherries were found to do just that by a 2014 study from Northumbria University.

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