Report pdf

The Montmorency Cherry
Nutrition Report

The Montmorency Cherry Nutrition Report is a
summary of the scientific literature on the health
benefits of Montmorency cherries and their
compounds. It takes its content from a report
commissioned by the Cherry Marketing Institute (CMI).

The intent of the report is to provide an overview of
the scientific evidence, not to provide individual
recommendations. The information is not intended to
substitute for the advice of a physician or another
healthcare professional.

Technical review of the original report was provided
by: Russel Reiter, Ph.D. Department of Cellular and
Structural Biology, University of Texas Health Science

The Montmorency Cherry Nutrition Report is produced as an information booklet by Cherry Active Ltd Researchers continue to explore the benefits nutrient-rich fruits that contain natural Few fruits fall into this category and  cherries (Prunus Cerasus) are among them.  Montmorency cherries, commonly found in  juice, dried and powdered forms, are rich in  phytonutrients including anthocyanins ‐  plant pigments that have been linked to a  ‐ and melatonin, which may help aid  The Montmorency Cherry Nutrition Report  provides a scientific overview of the growing  body of evidence on the health benefits of  inflammation and ease the pain of arthritis  and gout. Emerging studies suggest these  cherries may offer protection against heart  disease and certain cancers, reduce the risk  of diabetes and insulin resistance syndrome  and aid in the treatment and possible  The Montmorency Cherry Nutrition Report is produced as an information booklet by Cherry Active Ltd The Power of Red
Anthocyanins are more effective than vitamin C, four times more potent as an antioxidant than the well-known vitamin E Montmorency cherries contain powerful antioxidants called (Rice-Evans 1995), and have been compared to ibuprofen, anthocyanins - which provide the distinctive red colour and aspirin, and naproxen for their antiinflammatory action may hold the key to the benefits locked inside (Chandra (Seeram 2001). Numerous studies, including one from the 1992,Wang 1997, 1999). Studies suggest that these Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore concluded that disease-fighting pigments possess antioxidant, anti- anthocyanins in Montmorency cherries significantly lowered inflammatory, anti-aging and anti-carcinogenic properties inflammation and pain in animals. The proposed mechanisms (Blando 2004). Montmorency cherries are one of the richest are due to anthocyanins’ anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which lower oxidative stress following The unique health benefits of Montmorency cherries first came to light in the 1990s, when numerous studies were published describing the antioxidant content of this fruit. Spurred by what was then anecdotal evidence that Antioxidants
Montmorency cherries alleviated the pain of arthritis and gout, researchers discovered that these cherries had high Oxygen is an important component of the air we breathe. We couldn’t survive without it. But oxygen can also be a source of free radicals - unstable oxygen molecules associated with Additional studies identified the active antioxidants as eight cancer, heart disease and the effects of ageing. polyphenolic compounds, including anthocyanins, chlorogenic acid, gallic acid, p-coumaric acid, and quercetin (Wang 1999). Research conducted at Brunswick Laboratories in Wareham, Luckily, antioxidants can counter, scavenge, and deactivate Massachusetts, found that Montmorency cherries also contain a these damaging free radicals. Thousands of studies spanning class of compounds that act like superoxide dismutase (SOD), a decades of research consistently and repeatedly show that powerful enzyme and cellular antioxidant. maintaining a high antioxidant defence system lowers a person’s risk for disease, stimulates the immune system, protects brain neurons from damage, and possibly even slows the ageing process. Anthocyanins
Oxidative stress associated with disease occurs when oxidative Anthocyanins that give Montmorency cherries their deep, rich damage exceeds our antioxidant defences. That antioxidant colour belong to a large group of phenolic compounds called system depends on the food we eat. A lab testing procedure flavonoids. Of the 150 different flavonoids found in plants, called Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity or ORAC anthocyanins appear to have the greatest antioxidant capacity measures the total antioxidant capacity of foods. ORAC measures how many oxygen radicals a specific food can absorb Research conducted at Michigan State University found that Montmorency cherries contained the highest concentrations of anthocyanins 1 and 2 - which help block enzymes in the body The more oxygen radicals a food absorbs, the higher its called cyclooxygenase 1 and 2 (popularly known as COX-1 and ORAC score. The higher the ORAC score, the better a food COX-2) (Seeram and Momin et al. 2001). Some pain may be in helping our bodies fight diseases like cancer and medication works by inhibiting COX-1 and COX-2, which may explain why some people find that Montmorency cherries help Nutrition experts estimate a person needs to consume 3,000 to 5,000 ORAC units a day to reach a significant antioxidant capacity in the blood associated with health benefits. Just 100 grams of Montmorency cherry juice concentrate supplies The researchers found that Montmorency cherries were the 12,800 ORAC units. A 30ml serving weighs approximately richest source of these beneficial compounds compared to 40g and therefore supplies 5,120 ORAC units, or more than various berries, including raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. Anthocyanins 1 and 2 were not found in blueberries. Montmorency cherries contain 30 to 40 milligrams of Other Phenolic Compounds
anthocyanins 1 and 2 in every 100 grams of fruit. Montmorency cherries contain significantly more Montmorency cherries are rich sources of other phenolic anthocyanins and phenols than do sweet cherries. For compounds, such as ellagic acid, gallic acid, p-coumaric acid, example, one study found that the total phenolic content of kaempferol, and quercetin, all of which are potent antioxidants. sweet cherries ranged from 92 to 147 milligrams/100 grams, According to researchers at the University of California, ellagic while the same amount of Montmorency cherries contained acid is a potent antioxidant, anti-cancer, and anti-atherosclerotic up to 312 milligrams, or more than twice the phenols (Kim compound (Seeram 2004). One study found that ellagic acid in fruit extracts reduced cancer cell proliferation in a dose-dependent fashion; that The Montmorency Cherry Nutrition Report is produced as an information booklet by Cherry Active Ltd is, as ellagic acid increased, cancer cell growth decreased The suspicion that cherries might help with arthritis and gout was first proposed in 1950 (Blau 1950).This preliminary study found that daily cherry consumption helped to relieve “gout P-coumaric acid is another phenolic compound that exhibits attacks” and the pain associated with arthritis. After eating the strong antioxidant activity (Kim 2005). An in vitro study of cherries, the patients in the study had lower blood levels of human leukaemia cells, found that p-coumaric acid, along with uric acid. Elevated levels of uric acid are associated with the gallic acid and other phenols, enhanced cancer cell death Since then, several studies have confirmed this link, including Melatonin
a study from USDA’s Human Nutrition Research Center at the Montmorency cherries are one of the few known food University of California, Davis where researchers found that sources of melatonin, a potent antioxidant that helps improve healthy women (ages 20 to 40 years) who consumed two the body’s circadian rhythms and natural sleep patterns servings or 280 grams of cherries after an overnight fast (Burkhardt 2001). A study conducted by Reiter and showed a 15 percent reduction in uric acid levels, as well as colleagues at the University of Texas Health Science Center lowered nitric oxide and C-reactive protein levels (Jacob found that Montmorency cherries contain substantial 2003). The researchers conclude that “.compounds in cherries amounts of melatonin, at levels higher than normally found may inhibit inflammatory pathways” associated with gout. Additional studies suggest that consumption of cherries may be beneficial for the management and preventionof inflammatory Montmorency cherries, which account for the majority of sour diseases (Kelley 2006, van Acker 1995), including cherries produced in the U.S., contain 13.5 nanograms (ng) of inflammatory pain (Tall 2004). Nitric oxide also has been melatonin per gram (Burkhardt 2001). Produced naturally by implicated in both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, while the body’s pineal gland at the apex of the brain, melatonin has studies show that antioxidants scavenge this oxidant and been shown to do much more than regulate our sleep-wake potentially aid in the treatment or prevention of symptoms cycle. Studies suggest that melatonin may help protect the vascular system, lessen inflammation, and reduce ischemia and reperfusion injury associated with surgery (Tan 2000, 2003, Heart Health
Strong evidence indicates that diets rich in colourful fruits and
Cuzzocrea 2001, Lissoni 1997, Reiter
vegetables may help lower heart-disease risk. Beyond the 2001, 2000).
anti-inflammatory benefits, many of the phenolic compounds in A study conducted by Reiter and researchers from St. Marianna Montmorency cherries may offer protection against heart University of School of Medicine in Japan found that feeding chicks a diet containing plants rich in melatonin raised blood levels of melatonin, indicating that melatonin ingested from the The Zutphen Elderly Study is a longitudinal study on lifestyle diet is absorbed and enters the general circulation, after which it and chronic diseases started in 1985 at the National Institute of is capable of binding to sites in the brain and other tissues Public Health and Environmental Protection in The Netherlands. It has produced a wealth of valuable information about diet and health. One published report from this study of Reiter and colleagues speculate that eating just a handful of 805 men (ages 65 to 84 years) who were followed for five years Montmorency cherries will increase melatonin levels in blood, found that as flavonoid intake increased, the risk for coronary thereby improving the body’s natural sleep patterns and artery disease decreased. The relative risk for dying from heart potentially providing other health benefits. disease was 58 percent lower in those men who consumed the most flavonoids compared to those men who consumed the Potential Health Benefits
of Montmorency Cherries
Montmorency cherries and their compounds have been
Oxidative damage is a major contributor to nitric associated with a lowered risk for a number of diseases and oxide-mediated functions of the vascular system and in the initiation and progression of cardiovascular disease. In a study on pigs, researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine Arthritis and Gout
in FortWayne found that anthocyanins, when consumed in For decades, Montmorency cherries have quietly grown a large amounts, enhanced vaso-relaxation. devoted fan base of arthritis sufferers who routinely consumed Even small amounts protected arteries from oxidative damage the fruit (particularly as juice) to help soothe their symptoms. (Bell 2006). Another study published in the Journal of At the time, the only evidence was anecdotal. Today, Nutrition supports this effect and found that anthocyanins had a however, there appears to be science behind the cherry vaso-relaxant effect on rat arteries that The Montmorency Cherry Nutrition Report is produced as an information booklet by Cherry Active Ltd might help reduce cardiovascular mortality (Andriambeloson concluded that “.Tart cherry anthocyanins and cyanidin may 1998). Numerous other studies show that other phenolic compounds found in Montmorency cherries, such as quercetin, protect low density lipoproteins (LDL - the “bad” A review of the research published in the Journal of cholesterol) from oxidative damage, thus reducing their Biomedicine and Biotechnology concluded that anthocyanins in tart cherries may help inhibit tumour development and growth of human colon cancer cells Anthocyanins in Montmorency cherries also might lower blood lipids, thus reducing heart disease risk. In a study from the University of Michigan, varying amounts of whole Perillyl Alcohol
Montmorency cherry powder were fed to rats for 90 days. Results showed that the cherry-enriched diets significantly Montmorency cherries are rich in a phytonutrient called lowered plasma triglyceride and total cholesterol, fasting perillyl alcohol (POH), which is a member of the monoterpene glucose and insulin, and a plasma marker of oxidative family, along with limonenes. Numerous studies indicate that damage, while slightly raising high-density lipoproteins POH may help prevent the formation and progression of (HDL - the “good” cholesterol) and significantly elevating certain cancers. How POH inhibits the growth of cancer is blood antioxidant capacity.The cherry-enriched diets also under investigation. Evidence suggests it helps rid the body of reduced “fatty liver” or the accumulation of triglcyeride and carcinogenic chemicals or interferes with signals that cause cholesterol in the liver. (Seymour 2007). cells to divide rapidly. POH also might help revert tumour cells back to normal or differentiated cells so they are less likely to become cancerous (Belanger 1998). One study found that POH might help reduce the blood supply to cancer cells, C-Reactive Protein
thus starving them of oxygen and nutrition and aiding in their Montmorency cherries also may lower inflammatory processes associated with heart disease. C-reactive protein (CRP) is a substance found in blood that is a marker for inflammation in the body. High levels of this protein are associated with an At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, researchers found that increased risk of heart disease and low levels with a low risk. leukaemia cells self-destructed (a condition called apoptosis) The link between elevated CRP levels and heart disease has when exposed to POH in vitro (Clark 2006). been demonstrated repeatedly, and there is evidence that CRP POH has been shown to induce the regression of 81 percent may be a more important indicator of heart disease risk than of small breast cancers and up to 75 percent of advanced high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. In an eight-year study involving breast cancers in animal studies (Haag 1994). POH was up 27,939 women at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, to five times more potent than the other known more than half of the women who eventually developed heart cancer-reducing compounds at inducing tumour regression. disease had high CRP levels even though their LDL levels were not considered high (Ridker 2000, 2002). Several studies also show that POH might aid in reducing a type of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme. This type A study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Human of cancer forms from glial or support tissue in the brain. It Nutrition Research Center at the University of California, Davis progresses rapidly, is difficult to treat, and prognosis is poor. found that men and women who supplemented their diets with A study from the University of Wisconsin found that POH 280 grams of cherries for 28 days had a 25 percent reduction in helped sensitize glioma cells to radiation and chemotherapy, CRP levels, suggesting reduced inflammation associated with thus possibly being useful as an adjunct therapy to conventional treatments for this form of brain cancer (da Fonseca 2006, Fernandes 2005, Rajesh 2003). Additional studies suggest POH might lower the risk for cancers of the Cancer Prenvention
prostate (Chung 2006), breast (Yuri 2004, Wagner 2002), lungs Researchers believe Montmorency cherries may have the (Xu 2004), liver (Crowell 1999), and skin (Barthelman 1998). potential to reduce the risk of colon cancer because of anthocyanins and cyanidin, another type of flavonoid found in cherries. Diabetes
Montmorency cherries and their compounds appear to aid in
Researchers at Michigan State University tested the potential anti-cancer effects of Montmorency cherries in mice and diabetes control and in reducing the complications associated human colon cancer cell lines (Kang 2003). In the study on with this disease. In a study from Michigan State University, mice, a diet containing cherries, anthocyanins, or cyanidin partially funded by the U. S. Department of Agriculture, the produced significantly fewer tumours compared to mice fed effects of extracts of anthocyanins from Montmorency cherries control diets. In the second study on human colon cancer were tested on mouse pancreatic cells, which produce the cells, anthocyanins and cyanidin reduced cell growth. The hormone insulin in the presence of glucose (sugar). Results The Montmorency Cherry Nutrition Report is produced as an information booklet by Cherry Active Ltd cells increased insulin production by 50 percent compared to disease, while antioxidant-rich phytonutrients, such as the cells not exposed to anthocyanins. The researchers conclude phenols, help reverse the course of neuronal and behavioral ageing, and possibly improve memory (Gailli 2002, Joseph that cherries might be useful in the prevention of type 2 diabetes (Jayaprakasam 2005). In another study on rats, a single dose of anthocyanins decreased fasting blood glucose levels by 19 percent and 1996, Andres-Lacueva 2005, Shukitt-Hale 2006,
improved glucose tolerance by 29 percent. After one month of Lau 2005).
treatment with anthocyanins, fasting blood glucose levels had In a study from Korea, cherry phenolics protected brain dropped to half of the pre-treatment levels and glucose neurons from oxidative damage in a dose-dependent fashion, tolerance had improved by up to 41 percent (Cherian 1992). primarily due to the amount of anthocyanins in the fruit (Kim 2005). Small blood vessels, called capillaries, are damaged in Another study investigated the effects of anthocyanins on diabetes as a result of elevated blood sugar levels. Collagen cerebral ischemic injury (stroke) in rats. Results showed that proteins become linked to the elevated sugar and form rats fed anthocyanins had significantly less damage to brain abnormal complexes that damage tissues and blood vessels. tissue from reduced blood supply caused by stroke. The One study on rats found that anthocyanins significantly researchers concluded that “.consumption of anthocyanins reduced the formation of these abnormal protein complexes may have the possibility of a protective effect against neurological disorders, such as brain ischemia” (Shin 2006). Retinopathy is a serious complication of diabetes, resulting from the overproduction of abnormal proteins produced when An animal study from Spain found that anthocyanins were able the body attempts to repair damaged capillaries. Anthocyanins to cross the blood brain barrier and localize in various brain appear to prevent this damage to blood vessels and also might regions important for learning and memory (Andres-Lacueva). prevent production of abnormal proteins. In one study, this Researchers at Tufts University conclude that anthocyanins damage was significantly reduced in 12 diabetic patients who show the most efficacy in penetrating the cell membrane and in consumed 600 milligrams of anthocyanins a day for two providing antioxidant protection (Galli 2002). In another study, 31 patients with diabetic retinopathy Other Health Benefits
showed marked improvement in permeability and a Montmorency cherries or their compounds also may have reduced tendency to hemorrhage when treated with additional benefits, although the research is still emerging. Studies have shown that Montmorency cherries have a low Weight Management
glycemic index (GI) score of 54 (any score less than 55 is One study found that feeding anthocyanins to mice that were on considered low), thus producing only a mild rise in blood sugar high-fat diets suppressed the diet-induced increase in body levels associated with lowered risks for diabetes and weight weight gain. While high-fat diets typically cause gain. Dried cherries have a moderate score of 58. Canned hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and hyperleptinemia, all of cherries have a higher GI score of 76, possibly because of the these effects were normalized with anthocyanin effects of processing (Glycemic Index Laboratories,Toronto, Brain Health
Muscle Recovery
The brain is particularly susceptible to oxidative damage, since A randomised, placebo controlled, crossover design study it accounts for about 20 percent of the total body’s oxygen performed at the Human Performance Laboratory, University consumption, but it is only about 2 percent of the body’s of Vermont (Conolly 2006) demonstrated how drinking weight. Numerous studies show that the phytonutrients in Montmorency cherry juice decreased some of the symptoms of Montmorency cherries aid in protecting neurons in the brain from oxidative damage associated with neuronal loss. Fourteen male college students drank 12 fl oz of a cherry juice blend or a placebo twice a day for eight consecutive days. A Researchers at USDA’s Human Nutrition Research Center on bout of eccentric elbow flexion contractions (2 x 20 maximum Ageing at Tufts University in Boston state that there is contractions) was performed on the fourth day of “.ample research [that] indicates age-related supplementation. Isometric elbow flexion strength, pain, muscle neuronal-behavioral decrements are the result of oxidative tenderness, and relaxed elbow angle were recorded before and stress that may be ameliorated by antioxidants”(Joseph for four days after the eccentric exercise. The protocol was 1999).This oxidative damage has been linked to a higher risk for memory loss, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s The Montmorency Cherry Nutrition Report is produced as an information booklet by Cherry Active Ltd repeated two weeks later with subjects who took the placebo initially, now taking the cherry juice (and vice versa). The opposite arm performed the eccentric exercise for the second bout to avoid the repeated bout protective effect. Strength loss and pain were significantly less in the cherry juice trial versus placebo (time by treatment: strength p<0.0001, pain p = 0.017). The Montmorency Cherry Nutrition Report is produced as an information booklet by Cherry Active Ltd References
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