Tart cherry in amelioration of pain in the elderly




Tiernan, Casey
Imrhan, Victorine
Prasad, Chandan
Vijayagopal, Parakat
Juma, Shanil

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IOS Press


Background: Tart cherry, rich in bioactive polyphenols, has received attention in the past decade for reported health benefits due to its high polyphenolic content.

Objective: To determine whether there is a potential role for tart cherry or its isolated components in amelioration of pain relief in chronic diseases that may affect the elderly.

Methods: In vitro and in vivo human and animal studies that utilized tart cherry or extracts of tart cherry compounds to determine an effect on oxidative stress, inflammation, muscle damage, and pain were reviewed and summarized (Table 1).

Results: Tart cherry and its isolated compounds have demonstrated antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects both in vitro and in vivo which may improve self-reported pain. In humans, these include modest improvements in gout flare incidents, and self-reported pain in fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis (OA), and conditions of induced oxidative stress and muscle damage. Beneficial biochemical changes were also reported for inflammatory and oxidative biomarkers such as serum urate, C-reactive protein (CRP), and interleukin-6 (IL-6). However, most studies reported to date have insufficient sample size, treatment duration, and statistical power to draw any firm conclusions.

Conclusions: Consumption of tart cherries and their bioactive constituents may be a potential novel therapy for reducing the pain associated with chronic diseases particularly common to an aged population. Larger, more rigorous trials are needed to reach any firm conclusions.


Article originally published in Nutrition and Aging, 3(2-4), 203–217. English. Published online 2016. https://doi.org/10.3233/nua-150060


Aging, Anthocyanins, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Cherry, Muscle damage, Nutraceuticals, Pain, Polyphenols


This is the published version of an article that is available at https://doi.org/10.3233/nua-150060. Recommended citation: Tiernan, C., Imrhan, V., Prasad, C., Vijayagopal, P., & Juma, S. (2016). Tart cherry in amelioration of pain in the elderly. Nutrition and Aging, 3(2-4), 203–217.. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.