Cherry consumption boosts antioxidant activity

Cherry consumption boosts antioxidant activity A new study has found that consuming just one and a half servings of tart cherries daily can enhance the antioxidant activity in the body.

This conclusion was reached by scientists from the University of Michigan and reported at the 2009 Experimental Biology meeting in New Orleans.

The study included twelve healthy adults, aged 18 to 25 years, who were randomly assigned to eat either one and a half cups or three cups of frozen tart cherries.

The researchers found increased antioxidant activity for up to 12 hours after eating cherries. In particular, they noted higher levels of five different anthocyanins, the natural antioxidants which give cherries their red color.

“This study documents for the first time that the antioxidants in tart cherries do make it into the human bloodstream and is coupled with increased antioxidant activity that could have a positive impact,” says Dr. Sara L. Warber, co-director of University of Michigan Integrative Medicine and principal investigator of the study.

“[What’s] really great is that a reasonable amount of cherries could potentially deliver benefits, like reducing risk factors for heart disease and inflammation,” she adds.

For those who may not get enough antioxidants from their diet, nutritional health supplements may be a good alternative.