The findings of a study examining the use of the fruit were published in the December edition of the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

Tart cherry juice and tart cherry powder effectively reduce inflammation, muscle damage and soreness following bouts of extreme exercise when consumed prior to and following endurance exercise.

Subjects were given supplements of powdered tart cherries for a week leading up to, during and for two days following intense endurance exercise. The general immune response of the athletes was lower than those given a placebo supplement.

Results are suggesting that powdered tart cherry supplementation reduces blood triglyceride levels at the post-exercise recovery period. Further conclusion is supplementation with a powdered tart cherry product surrounding an intense endurance event reduces the general immune and free radical response typically correlated with endurance exercise in addition to reducing serum triglyceride levels.

Authors suggest that further research is needed to determine long-term supplementation effects with endurance training.

Dr. Marty Edwards, ND of Edwards Holistic Health and Wellness in Philadelphiasaid this study is “pretty accurate” and that in 2002 the FDA told the supplement companies to take tart cherry supplements off the shelves, as they didn’t want competition to the aspirin.

“In 2005 they put it back on the market,” he said, adding that “When you put this into your system, it does effect the immune system and it’s a great anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant.”

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