Hi, Dr. Meredith Warner here:
Tart cherry extract is a convenient and low-calorie way to obtain all the benefits of the tart cherry fruit. It is possible to eat tart cherries and to drink tart cherry juice of course, and I do that occasionally too. But to take a standard amount of tart cherry extract without unhealthy added sugars, I’ve found that a supplement is the best way to take it.
Tart cherry is one of the best natural anti-inflammatories and antioxidants there is. These benefits are specific to tart cherries - not sweet ones. You won’t get these benefits from Bing sweet cherries. Tart cherries usually make your mouth pucker when you eat them. These are the cherries that are traditionally used for cherry pies.
TART CHERRIES: WHY THEY'RE NATURALLY ANTI-INFLAMMATORY AND ANTIOXIDANT
Dark-colored fruits have been found to reduce stress-mediated signaling in animal microglial cells. Microglial cells are support cells for the nervous system - these are the cells that carry pain signals from an injury to the brain, giving you the sensation of pain.
The nervous system is the brain and all of the peripheral nerves along with the spine. By supporting the function of the nervous system, I feel that I am supporting my brain’s health and reducing my chances of having everyday pain.
Pain is normal of course and is part of life, but if I can take a natural and healthy supplement to tamp that down, why wouldn’t I?
OXIDATIVE STRESS: WHAT IT IS & HOW IT IMPACTS YOUR HEALTH
Oxidative stress occurs when your body has difficulty breaking down free radicals. For example, when you breathe in, oxygen molecules are broken down. When unpaired electrons, the building blocks of molecules, are released during this process, they can wreak havoc on the body. Your body naturally releases antioxidants to capture these electrons, but a variety of factors can impact your body’s ability to create them. Lifestyle choices, environmental factors such as pollution, and more can impact this process, causing oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress in the brain and nervous system leads to pain, decreased cognition and a decline of motor abilities over time. The body has a certain capacity to combat oxidative stress, but this decreases with age along with the lifestyle factors mentioned above. Worse still, oxidative stress generally increases as we age. Therefore, anything that helps us to fight oxidative stress should be explored and considered in my opinion.
Polyphenols, chemicals found naturally in plants, provide such defenses for us. Polyphenols are plant-based compounds that are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Tart cherries have polyphenols that are considered helpful in halting the negative effects of aging.
Tart cherries also have an abundance of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are a polyphenol class and are usually responsible for the rich coloring of fruits and berries. Cyanidin is one of the most plentiful anthocyanins in tart cherries. Tart cherries also produce flavan-3-ols and flavanols. These compounds allow tart cherries to reduce inflammation and to decrease oxidative stress in the brain and throughout the body.
HOW OXIDATIVE STRESS IMPACTS THE NEROUS SYSTEM
When assaulted, cells in the nervous system and in the body have an increase in oxidative stress and inflammation. Markers of this stress are NO, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2).
Tart cherry can decrease nitric oxide (NO) production and inducible nitric oxide synthase expression. In studies that induce inflammation in animals, those pre-treated with tart cherry powders had decreased levels of NO, TNF-alpha and COX-2.
These are just a few reasons why I choose to take a tart cherry supplement every day and recommend it to many of my patients who are looking for less invasive ways of managing their pain.
I especially recommend tart cherry supplements to patients struggling with gout, as it has also been shown to help with gout flares; this powerful + natural remedy reduces the damage and pain associated with gout.
Tart cherry has also been found to reduce pain in fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and also in situations with induced oxidative stress and muscle damage. This means that while tart cherry is a great option for treating certain diagnosable conditions, it is also great as a daily supplement to address pain after exercise and other mild aches and pains.
I take tart cherry daily because it has such overwhelming anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacities I feel that it will certainly help me to age optimally.
TART CHERRY EXTRACT - AVAILABLE NOW
We want to make it easy to get Tart Cherry supplementation into your everyday routine. We simplified this process with an easy daily supplement with pure tart cherry extract for joint and inflammation support and antioxidant-rich relief - without the extra calories of sugary tart cherry juice.
Order our new Tart Cherry Extract Supplement today to strengthen your daily wellness, and make sure to pair it with our other wellness products from The Healing sole and Well Theory!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Warner has treated countless patients for heel pain and plantar fasciitis pain in her private practice, Warner Orthopedics and Wellness. She developed The Healing Sole so that wearers can harness the body's natural healing power and have an option for everyday relief, without the need for surgery or expensive medical intervention.