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Tart Cherry

Also indexed as:Sour Cherry, Cherry, Tart
Tart Cherry: Main Image

Parts Used & Where Grown

Tart or sour cherry is a variety of cherry grown worldwide that is often used in cooking and in making fruit syrups and other concentrates.1, 2 Tart cherry juice and concentrate are available as supplements in North America.

Tart or sour cherry is a variety of cherry grown worldwide that is often used in cooking and in making fruit syrups and other concentrates.3, 4 Tart cherries are especially high in anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid with strong antioxidant activity demonstrated in both test tube and double-blind human studies.5, 6 These and other flavonoids found in tart cherries have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in test tube and animal studies.

Tart cherries are most popular as a food in Europe and Russia. Tart cherry juice and concentrate are available as supplements in North America.7, 8

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Athletic Performance and Reducing Pain and Speeding Muscle Strength Recovery after Intense Exercise
8–12 ounces twice daily of a tart cherry juice product equivalent to at least 80 mg per day of anthocyanins or 100–120 cherries daily 2 stars[2 stars]
Anthocyanins in tart cherry may support faster muscle recovery in athletes.
Insomnia
1–8 ounces up to twice daily for seven days 2 stars[2 stars]
Tart cherries contain a small amount of the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin and may improve some measures of sleep quality.
Sprains and Strains and Exercise-Related Muscle Injury
80 mg anthocyanins, the equivalent of approximately 100–120 cherries, 16–24 ounces tart cherry juice blend, 1 ounce of liquid concentrate, or 400 mg of concentrate in tablets or capsules 2 stars[2 stars]
Some studies indicate that supplementing with tart cherry may support muscle strength recovery and reduce pain, especially after exercise.
Fibromyalgia
80 mg anthocyanins, the equivalent of approximately 100–120 cherries, 16–24 ounces tart cherry juice blend, 1 ounce of liquid concentrate, or 400 mg of concentrate in tablets or capsules 1 star[1 star]
Tart cherries contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances that may reduce muscle pain.
Osteoarthritis
80 mg anthocyanins, the equivalent of approximately 100–120 cherries, 16–24 ounces tart cherry juice blend, 1 ounce of liquid concentrate, or 400 mg of concentrate in tablets or capsules 1 star[1 star]
In a preliminary trial, people with osteoarthritis who took tart cherry extract for three months reported reduced joint tenderness and less joint pain and disability.

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

Tart cherries are most popular as a food in Europe and Russia.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

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