In a new study, researchers found that tart cherry can reduce joint pain and sore muscles in patients with non-metastatic breast cancer.
The research was conducted by a team from Marshall University.
Currently, aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are a standard treatment for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
These drugs can help prevent recurrence of breast cancer by inhibiting the action of an enzyme responsible for the conversion of androgens to estrogens.
However, about 50% of patients who take AIs also suffer from joint and muscle pain. The pain can be debilitating and make patients give up their treatments.
In the current study, the team aimed to solve the problem.
They examined the effect of drinking 1 ounce of tart cherry concentrate in 8 ounces of water daily for six weeks in women with stage 1, 2 or 3 non-metastatic breast cancer.
They tested a total of 60 women from May 2016 to August 2018.
All of the patients reported their pain intensity at the start of the study, weekly and at study completion.
The researchers found that women who completed the trial had a 34.7% mean decrease in pain compared to only 1.4% in the placebo group.
They explain that the flavonoids and anthocyanins in tart cherry have anti-inflammatory effects and may play a role in reducing the side effects of joint pain and muscles aches.
Future work needs to examine the mechanism behind the beneficial effects of the tart cherry.
This is not the first time scientists find tart cherry could benefit people’s health.
A recent study from the University of Delaware found that cherry juice can help protect heart health.
They found that older people who drank tart cherry juice made from U.S. grown Montmorency tart cherries had lower systolic blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol levels
The leader of the current study is Maria Tria Tirona, M.D., professor of hematology-oncology.