Doctor's Note

Here are the other videos I’ve done on the power of cherries to control inflammation:

Tart cherries (the kind people make pies out of, not the sweet kind) may also help with sleep (Tart Cherries for Insomnia).

What do you do with frozen cherries? I just eat them straight—suck on them like popsicles, but they’re also an integral part of my Healthy Chocolate Milkshakes.

Another way to help treat gout is to drink lots of water and keep one’s urine alkaline by eating lots of dark green leafy vegetables (see Testing Your Diet with Pee & Purple Cabbage).

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  • HemoDynamic, M.D.

    “Until now!” That cherry juice shot went down nice and smooth. :-)

    • Dave

      Perhaps my two favorite words from Dr. Greger ;-)

      • Thea

        Dave: Me too! I get such a kick every time he says it. I don’t know why. But I think it’s because I have built up such anticipation by that point and then, whew, relief! ;-)

        I’ve been meaning to say something about those 2 little words. Thanks for bringing it up.

        • Jean

          Thea – Did you try the 28 day experiment of eating 2 cups of cherries every day? Your posts sounded like you would try it and I’ve wondered how that worked.

          • Thea

            Jean: Yes I did try it and already posted a detailed account of my experiment and results. It would have been on the same page as the video that talked about cherry juice and headaches. I hope you can find that posting.

        • guest

          I really want a t-shirt that says “We didn’t know…until now.” And the website on the back.

          • Thea

            guest: That’s just awesome! I’m totally forwarding your idea onto the staff at NF. Maybe they could make this happen some day as a fundraiser for the site. What a fun idea!

          • Laurie

            ABSOLUTELY!!!! Sign me up for one! XS. Thanks!! :)

          • John S

            I love that phrase too! John S

          • guest

            awesome thanks! Good to know the admins read these comments too. :)

            Next will be the vegan dare to wear the tshirt at a steak house, order nothing but salad and potatoes and when ppl ask you why no meat you point to the shirt. Keep them curious.

          • Thea

            guest: I can’t remember if you are the first person to bring up this t-shirt idea or not. But I wanted to let you and everyone else on this thread know that more sayings/shirt ideas have surfaced and that Dr. Greger and the NF staff are trying to figure out how to make this happen. They are researching the idea, starting with an informal pole on Facebook. The following page is a post asking people what designs they would like to see on a t-shirt. Everyone (who has Facebook–you can see the page without a Facebook account, but not vote) is welcome to participate!


    • Tan

      It is an exciting phrase isn’t it!

    • green pea

      Haha! I also love that bit. It is the Dr Greger catch phrase! When the nutrition facts logo loads at the video start there is an “smash” sound followed by three tones. I bet the three tones stand for “Un — Til — Now”. :)

  • HemoDynamic, M.D.

    I will say that I have noticed using my iPad the newest video of the day will not show up automatically when I hit my bookmark to go to nutrition I have to actually search in the menu under videos and then it will bring up the video of the day. It would be nice if the video of the day showed up automatically. Just a suggestion.

    • KT1000

      yes, I noticed the same glitch today. It came up with Friday’s video. But loading all the videos I saw today’s.

      • Tommasina

        Thanks for the feedback! I’ve passed it on to our web developer so hopefully it will be fixed soon.

      • HemoDynamic, M.D.

        Just to let you know the same problem was happening on my Windows 7 computer at work. I cleared the history list and the daily video loaded correctly. I’m going to try this on my iPod now to see if that works. He will be interesting to see what happens with Wednesday’s new video.

  • Purple Kady

    The chart at 41sec implies that anthocyanins are the active ingredient in cherries that make it effective against gout. But there are many other foods just as high or higher in anthocyanins, for example: acai, many varieties of berries, dark grapes, dark plums, eggplant, red cabbage, black rice and purple corn to name a few. Why would these foods not be helpful in treating gout too?

    • Dan

      The study only looked at cherries?

    • Darryl

      Not all plant remedies have the clout of Brownwood Acres Foods to help fund pilot studies, as the Schlesinger study did.

      Extracts of numerous other plants have been found to inhibit xanthine oxidase in a test tube (its the target of anti-gout medications allopurinol and febuxustat). Among these studies, crude extracts of European blackcurrant (one of the most concentrated anthocyanin sources) rate highly. However, to date there may be only one other clinical trial of a plant based gout remedy, using a polyherbal concoction with dill, autumn crocus, ashwagandha and ginger.

  • Guest

    Also recommended for treatment of gout: vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, nuts, exercise normalizing weight. Avoid Meat, fish, poultry, refined grains, eggs, alcohol, potatoes etc. Sounds similar to the recommendations of a certain doctor who runs this website.

    • Karl Young

      Those all sound like excellent reccomendations and as a vegan I follow them, though I still am having a flare up of gout (interesting timing re. this video). Perhaps even some of us vegans are more prone (genetically ?) to manufacture too much uric acid. Curiously, to save a little cash, I recently stopped using cherry juice as a component of my morning smoothie – guess I’ve learned the error of my ways !

    • Darryl

      Also (for prevention), coffee 1, 2, 3.

    • Susie

      It’s true! We switched our diet a little over a year ago to follow Esselstyn’s vegan no oil/sugar/low salt plan for reduction of arterial plaque, and after 16 years on Allopurinal, it is no longer necessary – neither are the cholesterol and blood pressure medications taken for just as long! Although cruciferous veg are high in purines, they are different than animal purines, and don’t seem to promote gout. Whatever the reason, it is nice not to have to take so much medicine!

      • Thanks for sharing your story. I’m glad the new dietary approach has been so successful.

  • cetude

    I use Black cherry juice for my mom with dementia – only about 1/4th cup a day – and it really keeps her calm and even improved her blood pressure considerably. She also moves around a lot better too, so less risk for falling.

    • harvey

      Your mom might benefit from coconut oil . About two tablespoons a day of virgin organic oil has often had a great result on patients for dementia . skin , and joints . It is believed Lauric acid a strong antiviral is a cholesterol helper in this ailment , Drs, Oz , Fife, Gerhauser et al have you tube videos on this subject. aka type 3 diabetes low sugar to the brain. Ginko , tumeric , vegan raw and detox protocols also help.

  • bruxe

    Every cherry season I go crazy eating cherries, as many as I can. Red, Bing, yellow, and any other kind I can find that are natural and often organic too. However, I see here that what I should be going after as far as health is concerned is “tart cherries. What is the difference and am I getting any benefit from eating regular cherry fruit or not. I love cherries and have planted about 7 small cherry trees in my backyard just because I like them so much. Is that doing anything positive for my health, or just another tasty sugary junk food that is slightly better than cookies and ice cream?

    How is what the “health care” industry doing any different from a confidence trickster or extortionist? We seem to have a society that is driven by anti-social behavior, criminal at best, and as time has gone by the bad has taken over the good, and is exporting itself via guns and bombs to the rest of the world.

    • Dan

      Capitalism IS antisocialism lol. I recommend that you freeze some or buy some and eat them throughout the year rather than gorging on the only in season. The tart ones have different chemical profiles, which affect us in different ways. Probably good to eat a mix of both, the tart cherries were shown to be good for sleep regulation in particular.

      Cherries are great for you…cookies & Ice cream are terrible for you lol. Waaaayy apart on the nutritional scale.

      • bruxe

        I really was not suggesting equivalence between cherries and cookies now. I meant that in the way that nutrition experts now tell people not to drink a lot of orange juice because it has as much sugar as soda.

        Gotta say though at a high or 9 or 10 dollars a pound here in the Bay Area fresh ripe cherries are extremely expensive. Many times you pay that money and they are not very good anyway, but if you get them on sale, as is true of everything around here, there is always going to be something wrong with them, i.e. they are not ripe or they are over-ripe or there is something weird about them like the color or texture. Paying that price I don’t get that many and want to eat them when they are best. I don’t normally eat for medical purposes, though I guess the stuff I don’t eat, I don’t eat for medical/health reasons.

        • Dan

          I agree, but I personally drink a lot of juices, but I lead an athletic lifestyle, and only consume the juices pre, during, or immediately post exercise. I know that they aren’t the best but they are such a convenient source of energy, reliable also, when on the move. Would take me two hours sitting & digesting to get the same energy package from whole foods.. fruit is good, but has such an unreliable quality it’s not even funny!

          I buy “ready to eat” mangos, leave them at room temp and wait around 8-14 days for them to reach optimum taste lol. Takes a lot of planning and buying in advance. I always eat whole foods whenever I know I will have a few hours to wait on digestion however..

    • John S

      Pie cherries are easier to grow and a much smaller tree than sweet cherries. Birds steal them much less and they get fewer diseases and bugs. They are easier to net. The only problem is if you live in a place that gets few hours below 45 degrees in the winter, because pie cherries need chill in the winter.
      John S
      PDX OR

  • Tobias Brown

    Would simply shifting to a WFPD fix gout problems in the long run?

  • Adrian

    New transcript icon alongside video does not work.
    Old icon button below video always did.
    because speed so slow my area it’s important for me to read transcript rather than view video.
    Please revert to earlier method if poss.

    • Tommasina

      Hi Adrian, thanks for letting us know! It should be fixed now. Can you let me know if it’s not working for you? Just shoot me an email at Tommasina[at] Thanks for your help!

    • big al

      Click on Acknowledgements and then View Transcript button and it will work !!!

  • Julot Julott

    Treating the cause would be even better, and the cause for gout is well known, excess protein, sugar, animal products, the only real remedy is stopping the causes~

  • sf_jeff

    I couldn’t find a better place for “ask the doctor”, so…

    I saw one reviewer who recommended bone marrow. Simply cook chicken bones into a broth and you get a healthier gut, immune system and nails and hair, but I don’t understand the logic other than the calcium and vitamin C that might be possible (and of course lots of Iron if that could be considered a positive thing).

    Is this supportable?

  • Laura Conrad

    Thank you!!!! Love it! I have an older friend who who has all kinds of auto immun. problems gout one of them. She is 74 and can not move any facial muscles without extreme pain! So eating, and speaking are only if completely necessary. She is going through tests and we are hoping these symptoms can go away again, but it is only getting worse! Any tips for this horrible situation she is trying to survive through? Laura at Shapers

  • Carolyn McDaniel

    Yes. mmmm. Love the cherries and love the benefits of them. I’ve not personally had to suffer with Gout but know people who do.

  • Cary Markin

    My husband suffers from gout attacks about three times a year. We are lowfat vegan and we aren’t sure what triggered it. He had a night of drinking but also we had increased our bean intake for a few weeks. Is there anything to show him that it couldn’t be the beans starting the attacks. We have an awesome diet which is heavily based on watching Dr. Gregor’s videos as well our favorite plant based Nutrition Experts. I can’t imagine a diet without beans/lentils etc. He is currently taking ACV in water and frozen cherries in smoothies.

    • Cesar2

      Hi Cary, I can see the problem is low-fat Vegan. If your eating low-fat, I take it your consuming lots of starchy foods and fruits. Fructose is known to have a bigger impact on uric acid levels than meat and alcohol. Fat has no effect.

      Drinking can trigger an attack if his body is more acidic than alkaline, or just simply being out of balance. Fat helps with that. Another common trigger people don’t know about is trauma. Did he stub is toe at all or bend it? That can trigger an attack rather quickly.

      Honestly, your probably safe with the beans and lentils, I highly doubt that has any effect on gout, I would highly caution you about the low-fat vegan though. The low fat isn’t doing the body any favor in regards to hormonal balance, and if your consuming high amounts of sugar in the form of fruits and starchy foods, those need to go to keep the uric acid levels down. Green veggies are fine, and yams, but outside of that, the rest of the veggies & fruits will have to take a back seat for awhile.

  • Cesar2

    Some food for though about gout. It was always called the “kings” disease because it was thought to come with their rich diet. Well that is somewhat true, some aspects of the diet do raise uric acid levels, but it’s not what everyone seems to think it is.

    It used to be that people jumped all over meat as the culprit, well kings weren’t the only one to consume it, so did the common folk and in the same quantities. Alcohol possibly? Well Alcohol is known to raise uric acid, everyone agrees on this, and some alcohol is known to trigger attacks; however, common folk also consumed that too.

    There is one food though that common folk and peasants rarely ever ate, and that was fruit. Kings, queens, and whatever royalty always used to have that giant 2-3 level tray in the area with various types of fruit. The rest of the populace however didn’t have it, fruit was the treat and not fit for the common.

    So knowing this if were going to start pointing fingers at what has the biggest effect on uric acid levels, look no further than sugar (fructose). Fruits got it, but meat sure doesn’t, nor really does alcohol. So if we separate the classes from their typical diets, fruits were the 1 addition to the kings diet that the rest of the populace didn’t have.

    This however is not enough to strike a gout attack, there is always a trigger, and it usually is a 2 pronged attack. 1) Your body is more acidic than alkaline, 2) The trigger, it could be something as simple as trauma like stubbing your toe or over-bending it.

  • Jeff

    I love it. Although I had to laugh at the end of the video when you asked what the downside of eating half a cup of cherries a day or worse comes to worse a few spoonfuls of cherry juice. I was waiting patiently for the answer.

  • narrative

    Being a long time gout sufferer I can attest that organic Black Cherry Juice in particular works to resolve any gout attack I have. I usually keep a bottle on hand and have two 8 oz glasses when I experience an attack which then disappears within hours of drinking the juice. I’ve been told tart cherry juice works also.

    • narrative

      There is a down-side however … don’t wander too far from the toilet later … I haven’t tried it with less than 2 glasses … one glass may modify the bowel effect :-)

  • Henry


    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Check out the “sources cited” section they can be found there.

  • Ben

    Michael – does it matter what kind of cherry?–color (red vs. black vs. yellow vs…?) or flavor (tart vs ?) or species? Thank you!

  • Sean

    I would like to know if pasteurization has any effects on the results of the juices as I have noticed store bought juices and concentrates seem to have been pastuerized.

  • Elrose

    I had gout twice already. But everytime I think I’m doing fine with my uric acid it is still high. I drink a lot of water and take all the medicine I need to take. I take a medicine to prevent the gout from coming back. So far it’s been helping me.