Researchers at the University of California, Davis, in collaboration with the Western Human Nutrition Research Center's Agriculture Research Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, measured changes in 89 known markers for inflammation, immune status, cardiovascular disease, blood clotting and liver and kidney function in those eating cherries.
The researchers asked 18 men and women ages 41-61 to supplement their diets with 45 Bing cherries, about 280 grams or nearly 10 ounces, each day for 28 days.
All of the study participants were healthy but had modestly elevated levels of C-reactive protein, a biomarker for inflammation associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular and other diseases. The normal range for C-reactive protein is less than 1 mg per liter, while study participants' ranged from 1 to 14 mg per liter of C-reactive protein.
The researchers evaluated protein levels in fasting blood samples before, during and after cherry supplementation at days 7, 21, 35 and 63 to obtain baseline, intervention and post-intervention data.
The study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, found 45 sweet Bing cherries added to the diet each day were shown to have lower levels of a variety of indicators for chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.