Flashback Friday: Treating Gout with Cherry Juice

Flashback Friday: Treating Gout with Cherry Juice
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Cherry consumption has been shown to successfully prevent gout arthritis attacks, but what about cherry juice concentrate?

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Over the last 40 years, the burden of gout, a painful inflammatory arthritis, has risen considerably, now affecting millions of Americans. Gout is now the most common inflammatory arthritis in men and older women.

In my video, Gout Treatment with a Cherry on Top, I profiled new research, suggesting that even as little as a half a cup of cherries a day may significantly lower the risk of gout attacks. Fresh cherries aren’t always in season, though, so I listed a few alternatives, and frozen appeared second-best, with cherry juice concentrate the runner-up. But does concentrated cherry juice actually help prevent attacks of gout? We didn’t know, until now.

The first pilot study was a randomized controlled trial cherry juice concentrate with pomegranate juice concentrate as a control for the prevention of attacks in gout sufferers who were having as many as four attacks a month. The cherry group got a tablespoon of cherry juice concentrate twice a day for four months, and the control group got a tablespoon of pomegranate juice concentrate twice a day for four months.

The number of gout flares in the cherry group dropped from an average of 5 down to 2, better than the pomegranate group, which only dropped from about 5 to 4. And about half of those in the cherry group who were on prescription anti-inflammatory drugs were able to stop their medications within two months after starting the cherry juice, as opposed to none of the patients in the pomegranate group.

The second was a retrospective study over the longer term. 24 gout patients went from having about seven attacks a year, down to two. The researchers conclude that cherry juice concentrate is efficacious for the prevention of gout flares.

Large long-term randomized controlled trials are needed to further evaluate the usefulness of cherries and cherry juice concentrate for gout flare prophylaxis.

So, are cherries now ripe for use as a complementary therapeutic in gout? This commentator is of the opinion that the current state of evidence remains insufficient to formally recommend cherry fruit or cherry products as complementary therapeutic remedy for gout. Why not? Can you guess who this guy is? This commentator is also a paid consultant of nine different drug companies, all of which manufacture gout medications. I understand how the pharmaceutical industry can get nervous seeing studies where half of patients were able to stop taking their gout drugs, given the billions of dollars at stake, but what’s the downside of eating a half cup of cherries a day, or worst comes to worst a few spoonfuls of cherry juice a day?

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to cnick via Pixabay.

Over the last 40 years, the burden of gout, a painful inflammatory arthritis, has risen considerably, now affecting millions of Americans. Gout is now the most common inflammatory arthritis in men and older women.

In my video, Gout Treatment with a Cherry on Top, I profiled new research, suggesting that even as little as a half a cup of cherries a day may significantly lower the risk of gout attacks. Fresh cherries aren’t always in season, though, so I listed a few alternatives, and frozen appeared second-best, with cherry juice concentrate the runner-up. But does concentrated cherry juice actually help prevent attacks of gout? We didn’t know, until now.

The first pilot study was a randomized controlled trial cherry juice concentrate with pomegranate juice concentrate as a control for the prevention of attacks in gout sufferers who were having as many as four attacks a month. The cherry group got a tablespoon of cherry juice concentrate twice a day for four months, and the control group got a tablespoon of pomegranate juice concentrate twice a day for four months.

The number of gout flares in the cherry group dropped from an average of 5 down to 2, better than the pomegranate group, which only dropped from about 5 to 4. And about half of those in the cherry group who were on prescription anti-inflammatory drugs were able to stop their medications within two months after starting the cherry juice, as opposed to none of the patients in the pomegranate group.

The second was a retrospective study over the longer term. 24 gout patients went from having about seven attacks a year, down to two. The researchers conclude that cherry juice concentrate is efficacious for the prevention of gout flares.

Large long-term randomized controlled trials are needed to further evaluate the usefulness of cherries and cherry juice concentrate for gout flare prophylaxis.

So, are cherries now ripe for use as a complementary therapeutic in gout? This commentator is of the opinion that the current state of evidence remains insufficient to formally recommend cherry fruit or cherry products as complementary therapeutic remedy for gout. Why not? Can you guess who this guy is? This commentator is also a paid consultant of nine different drug companies, all of which manufacture gout medications. I understand how the pharmaceutical industry can get nervous seeing studies where half of patients were able to stop taking their gout drugs, given the billions of dollars at stake, but what’s the downside of eating a half cup of cherries a day, or worst comes to worst a few spoonfuls of cherry juice a day?

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to cnick via Pixabay.

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).

Since this video came out, I have a newer one on gout: Preventing Gout Attacks with Diet. And what role does uric acid play in Parkinson’s disease? See Parkinson’s Disease and the Uric Acid Sweet Spot.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

58 responses to “Flashback Friday: Treating Gout with Cherry Juice

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  1. There seems to be a question as to which type of cherry works best (or even at all), tart or sweet? Even another NF.org video raises this question (I don’t have the title of it handy, just a mention in my notes). Can you elaborate on this Dr. Greger?

    1. Found easily using Google from Arthritis.org: Until more is known, most researchers are reluctant to recommend a specific cherry regimen. But many agree that for overall health, and as a possible tool in managing gout and OA pain, a handful of cherries, especially a tart variety such as Montmorency, or a glass of cherry juice every day may be beneficial.

          1. Well, I found someone who thinks that pistachios caused their gout. And I found salt as a potential mechanism for that, according to one site.

            But it was the high melatonin food.

            2 pistachios were like a melatonin supplement.

        1. Deb,
          Thanks a ton for that link! I was unaware of the melatonin:UA association despite reading many papers on gout and uric acid, seeking remedies other than standard medicine. I am also a very light sleeper, waking numerous times, and old enough to be producing less melatonin. Last time I tried melatonin decades ago I did not like the effect (felt drugged the next day) and was put off by the possibility if long term use reducing the body’s production. But this article has me thinking of trying a mild dose again. If it might help both with sleep and UA levels, it would be great, but almost too good to be true.

          1. despite reading many papers on gout and uric acid, seeking remedies other than standard medicine.
            ———————————————————————————————————————————-
            Didn’t I read somewhere that Calcium binds to oxalate (unsure about Uric Acid) to help prevent gout? This may be where the dairy folk have an advantage?
            _________________________________________________________________
            Last time I tried melatonin decades ago I did not like the effect (felt drugged the next day) and was put off by the possibility if long term use reducing the body’s production.
            ——————————————————
            I had a different experience with melatonin liquid drops… that is, I would sleep like 5 to 6 hours per night (usually without getting up to pee) and feel totally rested. But like you, I became concerned about reducing the body’s own production so I only take it now if I need to get up early on short rest.

            Something I do remember from the time my oldest brother had Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) reading that melatonin would help replace the myelin in the brain. Only saw that one time but sent my brother a bottle of melatonin but have no idea if he actually took it.

            1. >>> Didn’t I read somewhere that Calcium binds to oxalate (unsure about Uric Acid) to help prevent gout? This may be where the dairy folk have an advantage?

              Not sure what you read somewhere, Lonie:-). I don’t recall reading that myself.
              My understanding is that some of the proteins in dairy are uricosuric (lower uric acid). Always more to learn (high school motto: Live to learn and learn to live).

          2. It’s funny that you mention melatonin. Though Deb’s article mentions endogenous melatonin, I tried taking melatonin supplements once years ago. And, coincidentally or not, that was the only time in my life Ibsuffered gout in my big toe. My doctor laughed since I am hardly a Henry the Vlll type, but think we put it down to dehydration at the time.But I have not had it since, and I am dehydrated as ever!

            1. That’s quite ironic!

              I get my uric acid tested annually these days and looking back I see it had been rising over the last two years (my test is in the summer), but never considered abnormal (6.4, 6.7) but clearly too high for me. On the other hand, I’m on a “medium low” salt diet and overhydrated for my last blood tests as sometimes it’s difficult to draw enough blood. Result: hyponatremia. “Can’t win for losing”, as my uncle used to say.

    2. Chuck R – If you watch Greger’s video “Life is a Bowl of Cherries” he clarifies the sweet or tart question. And sweet bing cherries is the one that worked over and above the tart as well as Rainier.
      A couple of years ago I had a terrible inflammation in a hip joint. It was so debilitating I could not walk without either a crutch or a cane. I went to see an Orthopedic specialist to see what my options were for treatment. Answer?: Take Nsaids for pain or cortisone shot or hip replacement – none of which I was interested in. Nsaids can actually degrade cartilage in one’s body.
      Anyway, long story short, I had seen Dr. Gregers “Life is a Bow of Cherries” video and I opted for 1/4C of frozen bing cherries (it was winter and I couldn’t get fresh) along with Cosamin ASU (which my chiropractor recommended) https://www.nutramaxstore.com/products/cosamin-asu-90-capsules-bargain-buy#JointHealth (followed directions on the label). My severe condition slowly resolved and within 2 months I was back to normal.
      I still eat bing cherries regularly just for the anti inflammatory abilities they have. They sure worked for me. I also drink an anti inflammatory tea made from ginger, cinnamon, clove, turmeric, pepper, all of which are noted in Greger’s videos for their anti inflammatory abilities.

  2. Gout is caused by a build up of waste products in the body, so you would think drinking lots of water could help, prevent, or even cure it. Even though water can help, our bodies have a very difficult time handling its own waste in addition to the waste products of other animals eaten. Pork products and processed meats have the highest load of poisons in them, and are the most likely to cause gout. 99% of gout sufferers can be cured if they go vegetarian and drink lots of water.

    1. Gout is caused by the buildup of crystals made of a specific waste substance called uric acid in your joints. Not multiple waste products. While water does help flush uric acid from the system, yet most people I know with gout drink plenty of water to ease symptoms but it does not get rid of the condition. A high uric acid level occurs when your kidneys don’t eliminate uric acid efficiently. Things that may cause this slow-down in the removal of uric acid include rich foods high in purines, being overweight, having diabetes, taking certain diuretics (sometimes called water pills) and drinking too much alcohol. Pork itself is not the only culprit as all red meats (beef, venison, bison) in general are higher in purines than white meats and should be eaten only occasionally. Organ meats,(sweetbreads, liver, tongue) are particularly high in purines, which can increase your uric acid levels and spur a gout attack.

      1. >>>yet most people I know with gout drink plenty of water to ease symptoms but it does not get rid of the condition

        This could well depend on how highly elevated a person’s uric acid tends to be. I’ve had gout several times over 10 years even though my uric acid level test results have never exceeded 6.7 mg/dl post attack. On a 100%WFP diet, I‘ve had one attack in 3 years. My doc thought it likely a result of dehydration since the weather had been very hot and I exercise a lot. So I drank a lot of water and my UA level dropped to 5.2.

        Levels of UA considered normal are too high, typically 7.0 mg/dl (my lab claims 8.0). Really should keep the level below 6.0 but this is apparently difficult or impossible for many without medicine, at least if they refuse to alter their diets sufficiently along the lines you describe (really, all animal flesh should be dropped). Also, fructose raises UA, not just purines.

    2. >>>99% of gout sufferers can be cured if they go vegetarian and drink lots of water.

      99%? Where’s that figure come from?

      But yes, water is very helpful as long as one does not overdo it and get hyponatremia.

  3. This is one of those n-1 anecdotal self observational studies… but I sometimes have a tingling in the big toe on my right foot (I’ve had gout in the past in the same big toe so I know what it is)… and worry that may be pre-gout. I’ve also got a bottle of hemp seed oil that I rub on my feet when I feel discomfort in them.

    It works.

    1. Oh, and in re: the sweet vs tart cherry debate… I add frozen sweet cherries to my blueberry bowl of fruit and drink a swig of tart cherry juice, plus take a tart cherry supplement pill, almost daily.

        1. I cured my gout by giving up all meat, dairy, and eggs.
          ———————————————————————–
          Glad to hear that worked for you… but some are concerned by the oxalates in things like Spinach, Kale, Swiss Chard etc.

          Was surprised to learn oxalates can even cause painful sex in women… to wit:

          Oxalates also cause a condition in women called vulvodynia, which leads to painful sex because of oxalic acid crystals in the labia. A lesser-known mechanism of gout is when crystals make their way into the joints, particularly the joints of the feet and toes.

            1. Nope, not kale.
              ———————
              Thought I read it was one of the offenders, but can’t find that piece now… so we’ll just go with your assessment. ‘-)

            1. Though, what I remember was that one woman posted that a woman went Keto and got so sexual that she had to divorce her husband.

              I felt like the meat hormones had made her mean. She had to divorce him and humiliate him and pat herself on the back for being so elevated in her experience.

              I wonder how many males would divorce their wives if appetites matching was the only glue?

        2. Ron Harris – I gave it all up as well. Worked for me as well. And if I drink one too many glasses of wine I can tell as my big toe cues me in. So I then know to lay off the alcohol.
          Jimbo’s info on purines is accurate and excellent.

  4. What about sciatica where the cause is both inflammation and constriction of the pyriformis muscle? Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and pain meds are not working.

    Thank you.

    1. What about sciatica where the cause is both inflammation and constriction of the pyriformis muscle?
      ————————————————————————————————————————————-
      Lorrie, this is me thinking out loud after reading your post.

      But I’m wondering if the Whole Body Vibration thing could help this?

      I once had sciatic nerve pain so severe I had to roll out of bed to get up. I went on numerous chiropractor visits and they would help for a bit, but then the pain and immobility would return.

      This was some years ago and I have since concentrated on fighting inflammation as a health stratagem. Lately I’ve read about a mechanical approach to fighting inflammation in the gut called Whole Body Vibration. I’ve been trying this regimen for over two weeks now and your query caused me to wonder how it would affect something like the sciatic nerve.

      I don’t have sciatica so I can’t report on how WBV affects the condition. But maybe if this becomes a thing, someone with the condition will report on how the problem is affected.

    2. According to Dr. Barnard in his book “Foods that Fight Pain”, you have a lumbar artery. It’s purpose is to supply blood to provide nutrients and flush away waste, to repair your spine. Same with other joints. If those capillaries are clogged with plaque, they won’t be able to be repaired. So start with an artery cleaning WFPB diet.

      Yoga and in particular core body strength yoga classes made all the difference in the world for me personally. A strong core will support your spine.

    3. Have you seen a physical therapist? Sciatic-type pain can come from multiple places. If you are correct in saying that your is truly from impingement by your piriformis, then you would need to probably be stretching your piriformis, because it is probably too short. But a PT would have to measure and see. They would be able to see if the pain is generated from spine, piriformis, etc., and why, and prescribe proper treatment.

      1. If you are correct in saying that your is truly from impingement by your piriformis, then you would need to probably be stretching your piriformis, because it is probably too short.
        —————————————————————–
        I don’t know what a piriformis is, but when I had my sciatic nerve trouble I bought an inversion table and would hang upside down for a bit. Offered some relief but not total. I suspect the benefit is cumulative.

        Oh, and the chiropractor always suggested I walk. It did help… there were times in the middle of the night that even ice packs wouldn’t stay the pain so I would go out and walk up and down the highway in front of my home. That would get me to the point where I could get back to bed and finish the night sleeping.

          1. Gone for years now.
            Good luck!
            ————————-
            mine too.

            One other suggestion for some males… if you carry your billfold in your back pocket, don’t. ‘-)

      1. But “sciatica” is not always from the back. In fact, I’d argue that the correct term for what he’s talking about here is L5 radiculopathy. Sciatica is (supposed to be) impingement of the sciatic nerve peripherally, like piriformis syndrome. So just because someone has burning down the back of their leg doesn’t mean that they need to eat healthier or that diet will cure it.

        There are so many causes of sciatic-like pain and only one of them would be helped by this video. And if diet would help, so would extension exercises and a few other things. Diet isn’t the only answer, it’s a piece of the puzzle.

        Again, I’d highly suggest that anyone with more than a few weeks of pain head to a physical therapist and just get the help you need. A good diet will only help, of course.

      2. The cholesterol thing is interesting to me.

        When I was young, I used to get sciatica and pinched nerves. With the pinched nerves, I would end up with numbness radiating down to my pinky finger and my pinky toe for months.

        I remember my brother having to remove the top to my father’s sports car because I couldn’t move my neck and needed a doctor and couldn’t get into the car.

        I remember one of the times he put me on valium and something else. I was 18 or 19 at the time.

        Well, after I became allergic to meat, it never happened again and back then I had such lower back pain and neck pain and all sorts of pain, but I would tell people, “I grew out of it.”

        So, was it the 3 meat meals per day?

        1. “When I was young, I used to get sciatica and pinched nerves. With the pinched nerves, I would end up with numbness radiating down to my pinky finger and my pinky toe for months.
          – – – – – – – –

          Wow Deb, what ailment haven’t you had?

  5. I’ve been adding 1 oz. of concentrated tart cherry juice to my smoothies for years to alleviate arthritis (osteo and psoriatic) for the past 15 years. It must be a big help because I really notice it when I skip it for a few days. Luckily, I live in Michigan and vacation up near the cherry orchards, so I’ve been buying tart cherry concentrate since it was a quirky up-north product you bought at the farm store.

    1. I’ve been buying tart cherry concentrate since it was a quirky up-north product you bought at the farm store.
      ———————————————————————————————————————————————-
      Anne, so no Queen Anne cherries for you? ‘-)

  6. Well, I feel a bit odd here because my experience is having had a plant based whole food diet most of my life. I gave up meat at age 12 when my family was on a Sunday drive and we went past penned cattle literally on their way to their doom. I did have some beef and chicken in stir fries and sauces when I was bringing up my family since my husband is a committed carnivore and insisted the kids should eat meat. But I returned to a plant based diet after treating myself to supplement surgery/radiotherapy/chemo to survive stage 4 breast cancer 20 years ago. Since my late teens I have had inherited reactive arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome and a couple of other autoimmune conditions all of which are abated by good diet but in my case definitely not cured. Gout is improved by the cherries (I’m in Australia, usually I have frozen Californian cherries to overcome the seasonal supply problem). I have titanium knees, am “looking forward” to titanium hips and my “sciatica” was sorted out by having four level spinal fusion and bone transplant. I have used a vibration platform for 14 years (so before spinal fusion surgery). I find the vibration therapy mostly beneficial for maintaining good balance and it helps maintain a strong core – very essential for an aging arthritic gal!
    By the way, as an aside, as an Australian, we have the Bernie Sanders-style free (via perfectly reasonable taxes of course) medicare for all, otherwise I would be a total invalid in a wheelchair by now. All the surgeries and various drugs I’ve had would have been unaffordable for me had I lived in the US, even though my husband and I had very good jobs etc. before retirement.
    My point in commenting is there is a percentage of us stuck with inherited disease not always treatable by diet. As I said, I was eating a couple of salads a day I made myself from age 12, so it would be hard to start from a better platform diet wise. It is true my mother was a terrible cook (I therefore learned young), but a good shopper of plenty of fresh foods each week, so I was and have been able to eat very well from a wide variety of fresh vegetables and fruit all my life. Of course I’ve learned how to refine my diet and target problems by researching and applying the sort of advice we find here. Still, I have to say, in my case there are no magic remedies for the various things that ail me, and frankly it is sometimes hard work to deal with what are chronic health problems for decades now. Fortunately I don’t have heart problems, diabetes or illnesses of that type. I’ve overcome breast cancer and some “female problems” but the musculo-skeletal stuff is, in my experience, impossible to treat by diet alone. So, no magic bullet ;) but a multi faceted approach to maintain the best quality of life possible kind of works for me.

    1. Have you tried a diet aimed specifically at autoimmune?

      I know that Dr. Fuhrman said that he has had hundreds of people who have reversed their autoimmune diseases. His autoimmune plan is more restrictive than general Whole Food Plant-Based. https://www.drfuhrman.com/get-started/health-concerns/6/autoimmune-disease He has a position paper on autoimmune for sale for $5.

      There are a lot of autoimmune diets from people who have reversed theirs. Generally, you have to heal leaky gut and heal the gut microbiome and figure out whether it was from an infection/bacteria, food sources, exposure to toxins in the environment, and you have to get off of trigger foods and things like salt and gluten to allow the leaky gut to heal. Are you a smoker? That can be a cause of gut problems, but it sounds like you are pretty health-oriented.

      I was looking at the causes of the inherited reactive arthritis and they listed sexually transmitted causes and foodborne bacteria from food wasn’t stored at proper temperatures or was undercooked as common causes. Yes, genetics also play a role, but I just am wondering if you have tried a plan specifically for healing autoimmune.

      Chlamydia
      Salmonella
      Shigella
      Yersinia
      Campylobacter
      Clostridium difficile

      Dr. Fuhrman adds in the concept of oils in cooking as correlated.

      I also wonder if you have tried infrared panels or PEMF.

      PEMF has been used with things like rheumatoid arthritis and it brings down inflammation and improves circulation and is excellent with pain-relief.

      I use MicroPulse ICES from Bob Dennis and I have seen improvement with so many conditions using it. They recently finished a pain study and I believe they said that close to 100% of the people had some results and many of the people had 100% results in getting rid of the pain. There were zero negative results in the study. Chronic conditions can take a long time, but it helps with bones and joints and people re-grow cartilage and it. The number of things people are using it for is pretty large.

      I originally used it after a foot and ankle injury didn’t heal. Years later I was still limping and still couldn’t walk up and down stairs properly. After the first day of use, the swelling of that foot went down and I had range of motion again. My legs are no longer two different sizes and now I can walk on a treadmill even.

      1. I looked up a different PEMF study on pain and that one said that for the patients who reasonably complied, there was a 38% improvement. They were on opioids and that net change I believe was based on changing levels of the drugs, though I could be reading their sentences wrong. Sometimes they word things medically above my head.

        I do understand the sentences that PEMF had reduced the pain equivalent to a low to moderate dose of an opioid.

        They explained that the endogenous and exogenous opioid systems are influenced by PEMF. Plus, PEMF reduces the side effects of opiates when used in conjunction. Their recommendation was that PEMF should be investigated as a replacement for opioids in patients with chronic pain and that it should be investigated as an adjunct with opioids.

        Growing back hip cartilage is another cool thing. Though I think it takes 2 years and that the knee cartilage study it was between 30 and 40% of people who had their cartilage re-grow.

        I am working on that now, though I don’t really have knee or hip problems. I just happen to own a gadget which regrows cartilage, so I might as well use it.

    2. I have used a vibration platform for 14 years (so before spinal fusion surgery). I find the vibration therapy mostly beneficial for maintaining good balance and it helps maintain a strong core – very essential for an aging arthritic gal! … Fortunately I don’t have heart problems, diabetes or illnesses of that type.
      —————————————————————————————————–
      Susi, thanks for your real life first person post. IMO, these are important for the rest of us to piece together expectations for our own pursuit of health.

      And as someone recently interested in whole body vibration therapy, I am drawn to your 14 years of use and while not making a concrete connection with your having no diabetes, am hopeful the connection is eventually established as real.

      Due to a study I’ve read (that I think I’ve already posted here) I’ve been doing a Whole Body Vibration regimen… I think for ~ 3 weeks. The study I speak of was a murine (mouse) study primarily but I’ve been experiencing some of the same results. One of which is urinating in smaller amounts. But at night, I do so more often than before. IIRC, the study said the mice urinated less often.

      I put that down to the possibility that my supplement and tea regimen before bed may be geared to getting rid of excess sugar in my system and the reduced urine output each time may cause me to urinate more often.

      At any rate, my stools have undergone a complete change-over. That is, I may go two or even three days without a bowel movement and they are usually smaller in size or total amount. I put this down to the short chain fatty acids reducing the size down by converting more of my food to energy (although one day after eating a can of refried beans, the volume was increased dramatically and it was softer than some of the smaller ones that were still soft rather than hard.

      I think I have further information that may back up the more efficient conversion of food notion. That is, even if I drink some beet juice, my urine stays a healthy color (as outlined in a Dr Oz newsletter offering) with no sign of the previous change to a reddish tint after drinking the beet juice. That suggests even the beet juice is converted at a greater efficiency.

      I’m currently undergoing a less-than-optimal diet… eating more carbs in the form of ginger snap, oatmeal, coconut macaroon, cinnamon grahams, and fig newton cookies that I drink with my cups of tea… and I drink a lot of cups of different teas during a day and evening. If my lab work comes back still good or even improved, I’ll take that as possibly a good sign that the WBV regimen is beneficial even for a sub-optimal diet.

      But there is one thing I’ve observed that gave me pause… that is, I felt a minor pain about where my kidneys are. So I reduced my program to one ten minute shake per day rather than the two or sometimes three times previously. I’ve also decided to only do it 5 days per week as per the number of days that were done in the study.

      I mentioned in a post in another comments section that one of the cats here likes to get on the platform when vibrating and do the time with me. He may step on for a short bit if he’s just finished eating, but when not full, he will often lay down between my feet on his belly or or his side with his head hanging over the edge as though he is getting a belly rub.

      I follow his lead and don’t do this with a full stomach.

        1. I have had many years with all of those types of cookies, plus, some.

          To be complete, you would need to add in some chocolate varieties and some peanut butter varieties, maybe add in some windmills, and girl scout cookies, but I had a lifetime love affair with cookies.

          Haven’t even thought about them for the past 2 years.

          What is nice is that I can even think pleasurably about them without wanting to go out and buy them 99% of the time.

          And for that 1%, there are Lara Bars, which are made with 2 to 5 ingredients, which satisfy.

          1. Deb, I have never smoked nor had any STDs (your list was scary!). Lonie – you made me laugh about the cats and the vibration platform. Ten minutes a day is more than enough. It’s pretty much what the cosmonaut program worked out: they needed more if they were actually in space but less if gravity was doing its usual job on earth. My 87 year-old mother has staved off osteoporosis by using a platform for about 10 years now, 10 minutes per day-to-day . Her bone mass has improved using the vibration platform. I use it for bone health and the benefit of micro muscle movement. I don’t think it has any other great claims going for it.
            I have looked at PEMF and since the price of home set ups are coming down, I have been planning to buy one in the near future. So far in Australia they are really only used by elite athletes and football players, they are not widely known about or discussed “as a thing” as far as I’m aware.
            My point in contributing was really to say that all the fine points of biochemistry and physiology science can’t solve all our problems. It’s wonderful if people do find solutions to their problems but there’s up to 10% of people who have genitic/inherited health problems which can’t be fixed. I’m familiar with Fuhrman – who in my opinion nabbed his ideas from Nobel prize winner Johanna Budwig in a typical bloke-takes-credit-for-woman’s-ideas-move. I’ve tried it all. My family is up to four generations of inherited autoimmune disease (that I have been able to trace). I see other people my age who have fabulous health and quality of life, but I just don’t. While I will go on searching for ways to make things better for myself I frankly rely on new research for my children’s lives to be better than mine, for both have at least six autoimmune conditions between the two of them (and so do all my maternal cousins and their children). I drive them a bit nuts by giving them advice as I find it, but both don’t want my fate of a limited middle and old age either. At a certain point there are some of us just have to do our best and accept some limitations gracefully.
            To stay on topic here, my gout has improved by eating cherries regularly but I occasionally still have a flare up for I-don’t-know-what-reason and I of course still have arthritis affecting every bone and joint in my body.
            That means I have arthritis in all the joints of my feet and although the progression is possibly slowed by my lifestyle, my toes are becoming gnarly, it is becoming more difficult to buy shoes which don’t hurt to wear etc. These are my realities. I was only wanting to point this out for those who may be in similar circumstances and hoping that they do not waste time with self blame. Most people are blessed with good health if they look after it, but some of us are stuck with things that can’t be fixed by cherries, no matter what variety they are.
            I wonder if anyone from Dr Greger’s team could comment. I sometimes think it is my fault for not finding the magic pathway of knowledge to fix it all. But, having been on so many pathways, I suspect some of us are destined not to find the exit from the maze, unless we exit without the “solution”. At some level that has to be understood as your best effort, but you’re stuck with symptoms which can’t all be fixed. I don’t mean this as a downer either, but as a sometimes needed dose of reality for a few who are stuck with genetics which are just not easily fixed by this diet or that food.

            1. Susi,
              I think the thought is that you would probably not be doing as well if your diet wasn’t as good as it is. It is not responsible to promise a cure for anything by diet (and Dr G is pretty careful with language usually). It sounds like you are doing a great job taking charge of your health, and I’m sure you are healthier due to it, even if due to genetic and environmental circumstances, you cannot enjoy “perfect” health.

              I’d like to add: I don’t think research is “there” to support regrowing cartilage with the PEMF/ICES machines. If it was, you better bet that physical therapists (physiotherapists, now that I know you’re from down under!) would jump on that and fix their patients that way. So far, we can offer load-bearing exercise. It’s the best we’ve got. So I wouldn’t personally dump my $$$$ in a machine like that without more real, unbiased, peer-reviewed, repeatable and repeated by other parties research coming out first. Concentrate on what is free: walk if you can. If you can’t, maybe you can swim, or walk in the water?

              I appreciate your comment and I totally hear you. Dr. Furhman’s daughter has CRPS. If a WFPB diet was so great for mental and physical health, and she’s been perfectly in it since birth, how’d that happen? ***life is more complicated than that*** our bodies are complicated. I think her struggles reveal that food is only one tiny piece in a very large puzzle. The cool thing about food, and the reason why people focus on it so much, is that it’s a piece that we can control. But there are many other pieces, and some we cannot control. But that’s just the way of being!

              1. HM, thanks for your comment. I will be looking to results based evidence on PEMF and appreciate your warning to be wary.
                I should have mentioned (at risk of boring everyone with every detail of my existence!) I have done hydrotherapy in a local hospital hydro pool under supervision of a physiotherapist with exercise programs designed for whatever specific needs I continue to have for 18 years now and I walk 3 to 6 km most days, depending on how good I feel. I have some resistance straps and elastics which I use most days at home for arms and back strength. The walking is especially good because I do it on a bush track in temperate rainforest, so I have big eucalypts, ferns, hundreds of parrots etc. as company. Having tried meditation it just didn’t work for me – I was uncomfortable sitting so long and find the mind stilling difficult. I have found it a more positive experience to walk in nature as a kind of active meditation which is good cardio and grounding for any stress or anxiety. I have also tried exercise bikes and suchlike but find it a much more positive thing to leave the house (not to go to a gym) and meet others out with their dogs, perhaps meet friends for a coffee and generally stay engaged with the real world as much as possible. It’s the old balance issue, because, frankly, I could just as easily stay sitting reading books all day too (the delights of an eReader!).
                The thing is when we are managing chronic illness, maintaining our lifestyle which of course also includes cooking, cleaning, shopping, home maintenance and keeping up with our relationships with family and friends, far and wide, and so on every day, it is a busy life. We are privileged to have these first world problems and be able to make good choices for ourselves no matter what health concerns we have. Some will always have it easier than others for all sorts of reasons. The point is we are fortunate if we have the opportunity to do our best and I do actually feel very grateful that I do, even though it’s painful without solution.
                I have great hope that research will change outcomes for future generations, which is another thing to be grateful for. For example, using porcelain transplant and 3D printing has amazing prospects. It’s going to be used in humans for spinal fusion in upcoming trials.
                https://sydney.edu.au/engineering/news-and-events/2018/01/15/metal-plates-and-screws-no-longer-required-for-fractures.html :-)

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