Doctor's Note

More about the inflammation fighting effects of sweet cherries in my last video Anti-inflammatory Life is a Bowl of Cherries.

I’ve previously mentioned gout and controlling uric acid levels in my videos:

Other foods that may help tamp down inflammation:

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  • HemoDynamic, M.D.

    There is never been a more meaningful and useful website, until now!

    Just like the old Bob Newhart show, people would take a shot of alcohol every time they heard the name “Bob”.

    I think every time we watch one of Dr. Greger’s videos and hear the phrase, “until now”, we should have to eat something healthy!
    A shot of cherry juice anybody?

    • Thea

      I’ll drink with you! Just let me find my shot glass… I know it is here somewhere…

  • Coacervate

    My cherie amour, sanguine as a cochineal bug
    My cherie amour, tastier than toxic drugs
    My cherie amour, pretty little one that I adore
    You’re the only drupe my heart beats for
    How I wish that you were mine
    – Stevie Marvel

  • Speaking of inflammation, is it true that aloe vera gel/juice relieves inflammation as well if not better than cherries?

    • Wegan

      The skin has a toxin so make sure it’s inner fillet only. That may be why the bad results shown on this site.

    • terrie

      oh yes, but ONLY use Georges aloe vera, they take out the bitter component, which can cause irritable bowel, and the stuff tastes pretty much like water, Ive had patients get off their stomach medication for acid reflux it works so well, also 3 turmeric capsules a day, 2 T ground flax, the fish oils and I am starting to believe that D3 also has anti-inflammatory powers as well

  • Augustine615

    Yes, animal proteins increase uric acid levels, but even more importantly sugars increase uric acid levels. In addition, have you ever wondered why sudden and rapid weight loss elevates uric acid in the blood? We store uric acid in our fat.

    The key to my gout-freedom (>2 years pain-free) has been FIBER.

    Yes, I avoid ALL animal products, which have NO fiber.

    Yes, I avoid ALL refined sugar products, which have NO fiber.

    I consume PLANTS (fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, and legumes), which have FIBER.

    Our bodies eliminate 70% of our uric acid wastes through urination and 30% through the intestines. If the kidneys are overwhelmed with uric acid and the bowel is not moving its share, then the body deposits the excess in the fat stores or in the joints or on the skin or in a kidney stone.

    Therefore, the remedy for gout is easy: reduce production and increase elimination. I have included both in my lifestyle.

    • largelytrue

      That’s a good point about a second pathway for excretion of UA, and the general observation that both input and output matter in this disease. I’m glad you have accomplished your main goal so far and hope that you have observed other benefits on the side of it. Generally healthy strategies for dealing with specific problems have the nice side effect of promoting general health.

      • Augustine615

        Yes, at nearly 60 years old, I have realized many benefits from this regimen in addition to NO pain or immobility. I’ve lost 65lbs. I couldn’t control my weight. I seemed to add 5lbs every year. (I could stand to lose another 20, but I’m thrilled with my current weight.) My cholesterol plummeted from 280 to below 200. My blood sugar reduced to 90 from the 120s and climbing. My blood pressure lowered to normal from the 140s and climbing. I can tell that my cardio-vascular system has cleaned up the clogged arteries. I have discovered the full range of flavors and tastes. I enjoy far more foods, even foods I thought I hated, e.g. brussels sprouts and broccoli. I love broccoli now. My skin is clearer and smoother. (I had a melanoma removed in ’92.) I believe my macular degeneration is either stopped or slowed down. I eat greens every day. I have greater energy and stamina. I sleep better. I’m rarely sick, especially during spring or fall allergy seasons. (I usually come down with two sinus infections per year.)

        • KWD

          Good for you. As my parent’s are in their 60’s and having health issues eating SAD, I hope they embrace stories like yours to make positive changes so they can enjoy the rest of their lives with good health.

          • Augustine615

            KWD, my wife and I are rare “seniors” because we have only ONE prescription between us. She squirts eye-drops nightly for glaucoma. I contend her diet has reduced her risk, but she’s afraid to stop the prescription long enough to have her eyes checked. We eat to live, but we enjoy eating and living. I feel we have our cake, and we eat it, too. May our Lord Jesus Christ Who is the Bread of Life fill your parents with wisdom and will to eat for their own health and longevity. Amen.

          • KWD

            Thanks so much for your kind words. Wow, only one prescription between two “seniors” IS rare. My dad has type II diabetes and glaucoma so his health could benefit greatly from a dietary change. I will continue to send him links to Dr. Greger’s videos and also share your experience with him.

    • Augustine615

      I should add that I don’t juice either. Juicing removes the FIBER. Juices are refined sugars. We use a Blendtec blender to make smoothies that retain the FIBER. Be ware of wine and beer, too. Where I come from, beer and bar-b-que are precursors to gout. I also read that the World Health Organization has listed gout as a metabolical syndrome. That news and the pain motivated me.

    • David Johnson

      I was surprised to read that in the EPIC-Oxford study, vegans had the highest uric acid level among meat eaters, fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans; vegetarians had the lowest (link below). Perhaps dairy is the reason vegetarians were the lowest, since it reduces uric acid levels. I suppose one could surmise many of these vegans are not eating a healthy whole plant food diet — are eating a lot of sugar.
      Serum Uric Acid Concentrations in Meat Eaters, Fish Eaters, Vegetarians and Vegans: A Cross-Sectional
      Analysis in the EPIC-Oxford Cohort, Julie A. Schmidt*, Francesca L. Crowe, Paul N. Appleby, Timothy J. Key, Ruth C. Travis

      • Terry Hebert

        My wife and I have eaten according to a plant-based, vegan lifestyle for 3 years now. In that 3 years, we have slowly purified our choices. The new mantra is SOS-Free, i.e. reduce to nearly eliminate sugar, oil, and salt. We have a new term for our new dietary repentance: We were formerly junk food vegans. Several causes contribute to our new level of motivation: cholesterol and tri-glycerides are still too high; occasional, low intensity gout flare-ups; weight-loss stuck at 185lbs. I confess that since my double-hernias, I had lost interest in exercise and become sedentary. So, I have also started walking.

        By the way, may I recommend Shouldice Hospital for hernia repair? You’ll find them in Toronto. Acute healthcare the way it should be. Great experience! Great results!

        I earned the double-hernias because I felt more athletic after my weight loss. :-) Oops!

        I would also recommend a YouTube video from UCTV, The Bitter Truth about Sugar. I made the connection to sugar and gout from this lecture on the body’s or cell’s metabolism of sugar.

        Peace, good health, and long-life to all!

        • JCarol

          Thank you for this link, Terry. I just came across it and watched the full two hour video. Fascinating stuff, though I did get a little lost in some of the biochemistry. This certainly explains why my ultra low fat diet hasn’t dropped my triglyceride levels as much as I’d hoped.

          • Terry

            Yes, sugar directly affects our triglycerides. Our Triglyceride number factors into our total cholesterol number. My elevated cholesterol is not a result of high cholesterol per se, but a result of high triglycerides. Are triglycerides the same as cholesterol? Will triglycerides lay down plaque deposits in blood walls? The hype about cholesterol seems watered down since triglycerides affect the total cholesterol number. Where is this research?

            I also find that fiber is the key to sugar consumption. Fiber levels the playing field between sugar’s metabolism and the body’s elimination of the toxins that accompany that metabolism. No fiber means avoid that sugar. Bananas have fiber; eat bananas! Eat real food with fiber! Enjoy!!!

            Table sugar has NO fiber; avoid table sugar. Honey, molasses, maple syrup, agave, and the like have NO fiber; avoid these. Alcoholic beverages have NO fiber but plenty of sugar; avoid alcoholic beverages.

            Our triglycerides should decrease; our total cholesterol numbers should decrease.

            PLEASE NOTE!!!

            I find this suspicious, too. For my most recent cholesterol screening, I was told to fast 9 hours before they drew my blood for the test. Then, I read and my doctor confirms that our triglyceride numbers can be affected by food for at least 12 hours before a blood test. My doctor says that the triglyceride number can remain elevated for 24 hours after drinking a beer. Do you see my reasons for suspicion? I’m fighting against erroneous numbers. My doctor is advising me based on erroneous numbers. My numbers are artificially inflated to make me seem to need statin drugs because I seem to have high cholesterol. What might my numbers be if I fasted 24 hours before giving blood for a screening?

            Stay tuned! I’m going to fast 36 or more hours before my next screening. I expect a far different analysis. :-)

          • JCarol

            Hi Terry…. Since watching the video I have been avoiding almost all sugar like the plague. (I did have a single fun-sized packet of M & M’s though. And yes, they were fun to eat.) It’s very hard to avoid these sugars because we are SURROUNDED by this stuff and have acquired a taste for it.

            I’ll be interested to learn what happens with your blood test. Personally, I can barely manage a 12 hour fast. The only time I’ve ever gone 36 hours without eating was with a morphine drip IV attached to my arm. Good luck with that.

            Question though… if dropping your numbers requires a 36 hour fast, aren’t those lower numbers be false and erroneous rather than reflective of your typical eating pattern?

            I’m up for a blood test in a couple of weeks and am also hoping for better results this time.

            Although I have no need for it fiber and bowel wise, I have started drinking a serving of Metamucil (dissolved psyllium husk fiber) each day. It supposedly reduces cholesterol. I figure it can’t hurt…

      • Ingela T. Flatin

        I was just listening to Dr. Garth Davis on the Rich Roll Podcast the other day; he talked about how the vegans in the EPIC study were typical junkfood vegans, as they had very low fiber intake. Here is a post where he mentions it a little bit: I also recommend the podcast:

        • David Johnson

          That’s an important observation.

          I had a gout attack about 7 months ago. I’m a vegan who gets lots of fiber. Soon after the attack my uric acid level was determined to be 6.4, which is high normal (but one can get gout attacks with normal levels). I started drinking 4 cups of decafe coffee and 2 TBL of tart cherry concentrate, eating less fruit that is high in fructose (e.g. I eat no dried fruit and only unripe bananas), and taking a 500 mg vitamin C supplement each day, since I had read that each of these can lower uric acid, although individually the effect might not be “clinically significant”. My uric acid level is now 5.2, which is in the range that doctors are aiming for when prescribing gout medicine. Unfortunately I do not know how much each component of my dietary changes has lowered my results but assume it is a cumulative effect.

          • Ingela T. Flatin

            And when I got in touch with Dr Davis (after seeing your comment), he said that the vegans in the study also had very low calcium intakes, which would also affect the uric acid levels.

          • David Johnson

            Thanks. I’m convinced those vegans had bad diets. I’m a vegan whose current uric acid level is only 5.2 so it shows one should not overgeneralize.

  • guest

    “where the skin can become detached from the body”

    Dear god, I never even knew that was a possible thing of anything, much less a medication! I can’t believe anything that causes that condition is actually still allowed on the market.

    • Adrien

      My best friend talk to me recently about something very similar that happened to one of her friend. She is very lucky to have survived. For her, it was because she combined two different drugs that shouldn’t be used at the same time. And she lost all of her skin… It’s not very common side effects and it seem even less common to survive… Now her skin grew back, but she look much more whiter than before.

    • LynnCS

      I knew a man who had it, blisters all over…third degree burns… who eventually died. Prilosec was the culprit. Many medicines have this as a side effect. A man in an adjacent town lost his business (bar b q) and everything to this disease which is a side effect to taking medicines.

  • alohaamy

    Dr. G, in your opinion does cherry juice have the same gout-preventing effect as cherries?

  • Michel Voss

    Blackberries or black elderberries should be investigated – forty times more polyphenols than sweet cherries:,

    • rain

      Thanks for that link MV, interesting that black raw olives get a good rating.

  • Carol J

    Dr. Gregor, when this video first came out, an acquaintance of mine had been suffering gout for 2 weeks. He was hobbling around in pain. I immediately texted him and told him what you said to do (giving credit to, of course.) A week later when I saw him, he told me he’d been eating 16 cherries a day since he got my message and that very morning when he woke up he could tell he was completely better. Wonderful! Thank you so much.

    • Thea

      Carol: I love this story! It is so cool when the information from this site has a such a direct and significant improvement on someone’s life. Thanks for sharing.

  • Karl Young

    Great suggestion; I’m a healthy vegan (e.g. good blood pressure, good blood test #’s, enough B and D,…) and was surprised to get gout until I hunted around on the web and found that there was a study done which found higher levels of uric acid in vegans than in both meat eaters and vegetarians. I look forward to loading up on the cherries (and drinking more water as a website suggested re. easy, cheap things to try). Thanks again Dr. Greger !

  • Lucinda Venegas

    Hi I had a gout attack and let me just say its not fun I cry alot do to it I been on a pill to Lower my uric acid and a antflamitory drug witch don’t help at all need more information on how to relieve the pain and get well again I been not eating meat or animal organs been drinking cherry juice every day but still wondering how. You get rid of gout so I will be back on my feet again and enjoying my life again any tips let me know by message me I would appreciate it so much thanks for this video.

  • emsk

    I love frozen sour cherries. Do they have any benefits?

    • David Johnson

      I wonder in particular whether tart cherries lower uric acid levels. I prefer those because they have less fructose than sweet cherries, and eat them on the assumption they likely would have a similar effect on uric acid levels.

      It would be nice if Dr. Gregor or Joseph Gonzales could address this issue for those of us vegans who suffer from gout attacks.

  • Cesar2

    Cherries don’t always work. In fact, they could trigger multiple attacks if your generally consuming other sugary & starchy foods while a gout attack is present.

  • Asger Lauritsen

    Cherry is a very low calorie fruit. It helps the human body to fight against cancers, aging, jet lag and neurological diseases. It can also offer relief from gouty athritis. When the time that I got gout, I used cherry juice and Native Remedies Gout-Gone for treating my gout. For almost 3 weeks of treating my gout using these two medications, I’ve noticed an improvement. My gout is slowly cured and I can walk with confident.

  • Sean

    Which source of cherry is available during off season? Is juice just as effective?

  • Michelle

    How would a plant based diet help with lymphedema in the ankles which I think is slightly different than gout? And are there particular foods that I should concentrate on? A response would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Michelle.

  • shailja

    How about dry cherries. Do dry cherries have same effect as fresh or froze

  • Regina

    Wondering if dried tart cherries would be as effective?

  • Kathy

    Since fresh cherries can be difficult to come by at times, do dried cherries have the same effect?

  • terence_p

    I’ve been taking black pitted cherries for 5 days (6-8 a day) and I still get gout attacks. I also take about 10-15 coriander stigs a day. Seems like only colchicine and Arcoxia works for me. I’m not sure why. And it is rather disheartening.