Tart Cherries Reduce Inflammation in Rats

ANAHEIM, Calif., April 29 (UPI) — In a study involving rats, tart cherries appeared to reduce inflammation and lessen heart disease risk, U.S. researchers said.

Researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor found inflammation was reduced in obese rats given a 90-day cherry-enriched diet — the addition of whole-tart cherry powder as 1 percent of their “Western-type” diet.

The researchers explained inflammation may be a normal process when the body is fighting infection or injury but a chronic state of inflammation may increase disease risk.

“Chronic inflammation is a whole body condition that can affect overall health, especially when it comes to the heart,” study co-author Mitch Seymour said in a statement. “This study offers further promise that foods rich in antioxidants, such as cherries, could potentially reduce inflammation and have the potential to lower disease risk.”

The findings were presented at the Experimental Biology convention in Anaheim, Calif., and published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal.

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