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Tart Cherries Support Bone Health, Stroke OutcomesTart Cherries Support Bone Health, Stroke Outcomes

April 23, 2013

2 Min Read
Tart Cherries Support Bone Health, Stroke Outcomes

BOSTONTwo new studies presented at the Experimental Biology 2013 annual meeting support the growing body of research about cherries' role in reducing inflammation, aiding muscle recovery post-workout, arthritis and heart health. Results of the studies found anthocyanin-rich tart cherries also support bone health and reduce stroke-related complications.

In a first-of-its-kind study at Oklahoma State University, researchers found that adding Montmorency tart cherries to the diet reduced age-related bone loss in miceincreasing bone density and showing signs of increased bone-building during aging. Osteoporosis and low bone mass are currently estimated to be a major public health threat for almost 44 million U.S. women and men aged 50 and older, according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation.

For the second study, University of Michigan researchers compared the effects of Montmorency tart cherries to a diabetes medication in rats prone to stroke. While the drug is helpful for diabetes, it can also increase stroke risk. Compared to drug, tart cherry intake significantly improved blood pressure and improved balance and coordination as the rats aged. Interestingly, the combination of tart cherries and drug was better than drug alone.

Both teams of researchers suggest the benefits may be linked to the tart red fruit's anthocyanin content, the antioxidant compounds responsible for the fruit's bright red color.

"The potential of both of these studies is tremendous," said Mitch Seymour, Ph.D. RAC at the University of Michigan Health System. "The more we study tart cherries, the more powerful, unique benefits we uncover."

Commenting on the findings, Brenda Smith, Ph.D. at the Oklahoma State University, said: "While more research is needed to understand the long-term bone benefits, tart cherries have the potential to impact health and overall well-being, including helping to reduce age-related bone loss."

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