FDA Raids the Cherry ORchard_Cerisier-burlatThe FDA Raids the Cherry Orchards

by Jeffrey Dach MD

If you own a cherry orchard, don’t be surprised when heavily armed federal agents wearing bullet proof vests and riot gear raid your farmhouse.Left Image Cherries courtesy of Wikimedia commons.

An Unapproved Drug

The FastFruit Company in Traverse City Michigan makes concentrated cherry juice, extracts  and gelcaps. Along with 29 other fruit companies, Fast Fruit received warning letters from the FDA ordering them to stop mentioning any health benefits of cherries, otherwise the FDA would pursue criminal prosecution for marketing an unapproved drug, the cherry. Excuse me, but could we please have a small dose of sanity introduced here?  If the cherry is a new drug, then Vladimir Putin is Mickey Mouse.

Health Benefits of Cherries

Tart cherries have anti-inflammatory activity and are used for Gout, Arthritis,  and Muscle and Joint Pain, and speeds recovery from marathons.  There is considerable research regarding the health benefits of tart cherry anthocyanins in the medical and science literature. (4,5,6)

Anti-inflammatory Effect Comparable to NSAIDS !!

A 2001 report from Michigan State University showed the  Anthocyanins from sweet cherries demonstrated cyclo-oxygenase (COX-1 and 2) inhibitory activity comparable to those of ibuprofen and naproxen.(9)  These are commonly available NSAIDS found  at the corner drugstore.

Speeds Recovery After Marathon Run !!

A placebo controlled study of 20 marathon runners in the UK was published in 2010  .(10)  Half were given cherry juice and half placebo 5 days before and 2 days after the marathon run.  The found the  cherry juice speeded recovery of muscle function by reducing inflammation, and lipid peroxidation. (10)

35% Fewer Gout Attacks !!

A study on Gut and Cherries from Boston University  was published in the December 2012 journal of Arthritis and Rheumatism, a mainstream rheumatology journal.  Their study group included 633 individuals with gout. Cherry intake over a 2-day period was associated with a 35% lower risk of gout attacks compared with no intake. (11)

C-Reactive Protein Decreased by 20% !!

A USDA study looking at inflammatory markers in humans taking cherries was pubished in Journal of  Nutrition March 2013.  Sweet bing cherries reduced markers for chronic inflammatory diseases in healthy humans. (12) The drew blood samples on 18 men and women with chronic inflammatory conditions before and after supplementing with Bing sweet cherries.  Cherry consumption decreased  C-Reactive Protein by 20%, ferritin by 20%, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 by 20%, endothelin-1 by 14%,   epidermal growth factor by 13%, and IL-18 by 8.% (12)

Peruvian Tea Will Perk You Up

Mate_de_coca_PeruThe reality is that many foods have health benefits, and like cherries, certain foods have pharmacological activity.  The list is a long one. For example, while vacationing in Peru, you can enjoy a cup of local tea, Mate de Coca, made from cocaine leaves.   This is perfectly legal, being part of their culture, and relieves a long list of ailments.  I wouldn’t recommend bringing this back on the plane, though.  You might have trouble with the border police.  Left Image Peruvian Mate de Coca courtesy of Wikimedia commons.

Why Am I Free to Discuss the Health Benefits of Cherries, and Fast Fruit Cannot?

Freedom of speech is a personal liberty protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution.  You might ask the question, why isn’t Fast Fruit’s Freedom of Speech also protected by the First Amendment?  Good question.  When you figure it out, let me know.

Personal or Commercial Speech ?

One might suggest that personal speech is more protected than commercial speech.  This is true for false and deceitful product advertising which is harmful to the public and should not be allowed.   However, speech involving truthful information in the scientific literature  (see references below) by cherry farmers is an entirely different matter and should be protected by the first amendment of the constitution.  The American Public has a right to know truthful information about the health benefits of cherries, or anything else for that matter.

Why is the FDA Acting to Suppress Truthful Information About The Anti-Inflammatory Benefits of Cherries?

Food_and_Drug_Administration_logoThe FDA does not serve the interests of the people.  Rather, the FDA serves the interests of their corporate masters, the pharmaceutical industry.  Suppression of truthful information about cherries and natural non-patented substances is essential for maintaining profits for drugs which have less efficacy and greater adverse side effects  than their natural counterparts.

Read More Here: Cherries AntiInflammatory Therapy Gottschalk Matthews Pepple   “Cherries as anti-inflammatory therapy in musculoskeletal medicine.” (2012).

FDA Roadblocks Revolution in Nutrition

Financial Disclosure: I have no financial interest in any cherry trees, cherry orchards, cherry juice, cherry extract, cherry products, cherry companies, or books on cherries.

Articles with related interest :   The Amazing Olive Leaf

Jeffrey Dach MD

link to this article: http://wp.me/P3gFbV-Bw


1) http://www.prweb.com/releases/cherry_supplements/cherry_juice/prweb560271.htm
FruitFast® Introduces Potent Liquid Fruit Supplement — a Single Teaspoon Equals Antioxidant Equivalent of 4 Glasses of Cherry Juice
FruitFast makes whole fruit goodness available year round in condensed liquid form. CherryFlex Liquid’s proprietary process includes the fruit’s skin and pulp to ensure 100 mg of antioxidants in every spoonful.  This is another one of our all-natural products designed to deliver the power of fruit .  This is one hundred percent fruit .

2) http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/chrylist.html
List of Firms Receiving Warning Letters Regarding Cherry and other Fruit-Based Products with Disease Claims in Labeling
CFSAN/Office of Compliance October 17, 2005

3) http://www.naturalnews.com/022233.html
30-Day Supply of Cherry Concentrate Supplements for Every NaturalNews Reader in the U.S.

Meanwhile, the FDA allows cereals to claim they’re good for the heart just because they contain a certain ingredient, although they also contain 19 grams of sugar per serving. It allows manufacturers to say that whole-grain Oreos are healthy, although the calories are astronomical and they really have no nutritional value.

4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15219719
Behav Brain Res. 2004 Aug 12;153(1):181-8. Links
Tart cherry anthocyanins suppress inflammation-induced pain behavior in rat. Tall JM, Seeram NP, Zhao C, Nair MG, Meyer RA, Raja SN.
Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 600 North Wolfe Street, Osler 292, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.

These data suggest that tart cherry anthocyanins may have a beneficial role in the treatment of inflammatory pain. The antihyperalgesic effects may be related to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of anthocyanins.

5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10075763 
J Nat Prod. 1999 Feb;62(2):294-6. Antioxidant and antiinflammatory activities of anthocyanins and their aglycon, cyanidin, from tart cherries.Wang H, Nair MG, Strasburg GM, Chang YC, Booren AM, Gray JI, DeWitt DL.

6) https://www.msu.edu/~cppt/Faculty/Nair/Tart%20cherry%20jnp-2.pdf

Anthocyanin and Cyanidin Activity Journal of Natural Products, 1999, Vol. 62, No. 2 295  Our experiments with anthocyanins and cyanidin, isolated
from tart cherries, indicate that they possess antioxidant
activity comparable to commercial antioxidants.
Similarly, cyanidin showed better antiinflammatory activity
than aspirin in the inflammatory assays. The antioxidant
and antiinflammatory properties of anthocyanins and  consumption of cherries may have the potential to reduce cardiovascular or chronic diseases in humans.

7) http://www.lewrockwell.com/sardi/sardi72.html
The FDA Has Blood on Its Hands by Bill Sardi

8) http://altmedicine.about.com/od/completeazindex/a/tart_cherry.htm

Tart cherries are used for conditions involving inflammation and pain, such as: arthritis gout muscle pain back pain diabetes neurodegenerative diseases . Both sweet and tart cherries contain phenolics, naturally-occurring plant compounds that have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant effects.   The main type of phenolic in cherries is called anthocyanins. In general, the darker the cherry color, the higher the anthocyanin content.

Anthocyanins have been found to block two enzymes, COX-1 and COX-2, which play a role in the production of inflammatory compounds called prostaglandins. Aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen and ibuprofen also work this way.


9) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11695879
Phytomedicine. 2001 Sep;8(5):362-9.
Cyclooxygenase inhibitory and antioxidant cyanidin glycosides in cherries and berries. Seeram NP, Momin RA, Nair MG, Bourquin LD.
Source Department of Horticulture and National Food Safety and Toxicology Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824, USA.

Anthocyanins from tart cherries, Prunus cerasus L. (Rosaceae) cv. Balaton and Montmorency; sweet cherries,  The presence and levels of cyanidin-3-glucosylrutinoside 1 and cyanidin-3-rutinoside 2 were determined in the fruits using HPLC.

Anthocyanins from raspberries and sweet cherries demonstrated 45% and 47% cyclooxygenase-I and cyclooxygenase-II inhibitory activities, respectively, when assayed at 125 microg/ml. The cyclooxygenase inhibitory activities of anthocyanins from these fruits were comparable to those of ibuprofen and naproxen at 10 microM concentrations.

10) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19883392
Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2010 Dec;20(6):843-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2009.01005.x.
Influence of tart cherry juice on indices of recovery following marathon running.
Howatson G, McHugh MP, Hill JA, Brouner J, Jewell AP, van Someren KA, Shave RE, Howatson SA.Source School of Psychology and Sport Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

This investigation determined the efficacy of a tart cherry juice in aiding recovery and reducing muscle damage, inflammation and oxidative stress. Twenty recreational Marathon runners assigned to either consumed cherry juice or placebo for 5 days before, the day of and for 48 h following a Marathon run. Markers of muscle damage (creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, muscle soreness and isometric strength), inflammation [interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CRP) and uric acid], total antioxidant status (TAS) and oxidative stress [thiobarbituric acid reactive species (TBARS) and protein carbonyls] were examined before and following the race. Isometric strength recovered significantly faster (P=0.024) in the cherry juice group. No other damage indices were significantly different. Inflammation was reduced in the cherry juice group (IL-6, P<0.001; CRP, P<0.01; uric acid, P<0.05). TAS was ~10% greater in the cherry juice than the placebo group for all post-supplementation measures (P<0.05). Protein carbonyls was not different; however, TBARS was lower in the cherry juice than the placebo at 48 h (P<0.05). The cherry juice appears to provide a viable means to aid recovery following strenuous exercise by increasing total antioxidative capacity, reducing inflammation, lipid peroxidation and so aiding in the recovery of muscle function.

11) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23023818
Arthritis Rheum. 2012 Dec;64(12):4004-11. doi: 10.1002/art.34677.
Cherry consumption and decreased risk of recurrent gout attacks.
Zhang Y, Neogi T, Chen C, Chaisson C, Hunter DJ, Choi HK.
Source  Boston University, Boston, MA 02118, USA.

To study the relationship between cherry intake and the risk of recurrent gout attacks among individuals with gout.
METHODS:We conducted a case-crossover study to examine the associations of a set of putative risk factors with recurrent gout attacks. Individuals with gout were prospectively recruited and followed up online for 1 year. Participants were asked to provide the following information regarding gout attacks: the onset date of the gout attack, symptoms and signs, medications (including antigout medications), and exposure to potential risk factors (including daily intake of cherries and cherry extract) during the 2-day period prior to the gout attack. We assessed the same exposure information over 2-day control periods. We estimated the risk of recurrent gout attacks related to cherry intake using conditional logistic regression. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated.
RESULTS:Our study included 633 individuals with gout. Cherry intake over a 2-day period was associated with a 35% lower risk of gout attacks compared with no intake (multivariate OR 0.65 [95% CI 0.50-0.85]). Cherry extract intake showed a similar inverse association (multivariate OR 0.55 [95% CI 0.30-0.98]). The effect of cherry intake persisted across subgroups stratified by sex, obesity status, purine intake, alcohol use, diuretic use, and use of antigout medications. When cherry intake was combined with allopurinol use, the risk of gout attacks was 75% lower than during periods without either exposure (OR 0.25 [95% CI 0.15-0.42]).
CONCLUSION:These findings suggest that cherry intake is associated with a lower risk of gout attacks.

12) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23343675
J Nutr. 2013 Mar;143(3):340-4. doi: 10.3945/jn.112.171371. Epub 2013 Jan 23.
Sweet bing cherries lower circulating concentrations of markers for chronic inflammatory diseases in healthy humans.Kelley DS, Adkins Y, Reddy A, Woodhouse LR, Mackey BE, Erickson KL.SourceWestern Human Nutrition Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, USA.
AbstractA limited number of studies have demonstrated that some modulators of inflammation can be altered by the consumption of sweet cherries. We have taken a proteomics approach to determine the effects of dietary cherries on targeted gene expression. The purpose was then to determine changes caused by cherry consumption in the plasma concentrations of multiple biomarkers for several chronic inflammatory diseases in healthy humans with modestly elevated C-reactive protein (CRP; range, 1-14 mg/L; mean, 3.5 mg/L; normal, <1.0 mg/L).

Eighteen men and women (45-61 y) supplemented their diets with Bing sweet cherries (280 g/d) for 28 d. Fasting blood samples were taken before the start of consuming the cherries (study d 7), 28 d after the initiation of cherry supplementation (d 35), and 28 d after the discontinuation (d 63). Of the 89 biomarkers assessed, cherry consumption for 28 d altered concentrations of 9, did not change those of 67, and the other 13 were below the detection limits.

Cherry consumption decreased (P < 0.05) plasma concentrations of extracellular newly identified ligand for the receptor for advanced glycation end products (29.0%), CRP (20.1%), ferritin (20.3%), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (19.9%), endothelin-1 (13.7%), epidermal growth factor (13.2%), and IL-18 (8.1%) and increased that of IL-1 receptor antagonist (27.9%) compared with corresponding values on study d 7.

The ferritin concentration continued to decrease between d 35 and 63 and it was significantly lower on d 63 than on d 7. Because the participants in this study were healthy, no clinical pathology end points were measured. However, results from the present study demonstrate that cherry consumption selectively reduced several biomarkers associated with inflammatory diseases.

13) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21229414
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2011 Jan;51(1):1-12. doi: 10.1080/10408390903001719.
Cherries and health: a review.  McCune LM, Kubota C, Stendell-Hollis NR, Thomson CA. Source  Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.
Abstract  Cherries, and in particular sweet cherries, are a nutritionally dense food rich in anthocyanins, quercetin, hydroxycinnamates, potassium, fiber, vitamin C, carotenoids, and melatonin. UV concentration, degree of ripeness, postharvest storage conditions, and processing, each can significantly alter the amounts of nutrients and bioactive components. These constituent nutrients and bioactive food components support the potential preventive health benefits of cherry intake in relation to cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammatory diseases, and Alzheimer’s disease. Mechanistically, cherries exhibit relatively high antioxidant activity, low glycemic response, COX 1 and 2 enzyme inhibition, and other anti-carcinogenic effects in vitro and in animal experiments. Well-designed cherry feeding studies are needed to further substantiate any health benefits in humans.

14) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19199585
J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Feb 25;57(4):1239-46. doi: 10.1021/jf8032039.
Anthocyanin content, lipid peroxidation and cyclooxygenase enzyme inhibitory activities of sweet and sour cherries.
Mulabagal V, Lang GA, DeWitt DL, Dalavoy SS, Nair MG.
SourceBioactive Natural Products and Phytoceuticals, Department of Horticulture and National Food Safety and Toxicology Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA.
AbstractCherries contain bioactive anthocyanins that are reported to possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antidiabetic and antiobese properties. The present study revealed that red sweet cherries contained cyanidin-3-O-rutinoside as major anthocyanin (>95%). The sweet cherry cultivar “Kordia” (aka “Attika”) showed the highest cyanidin-3-O-rutinoside content, 185 mg/100 g fresh weight. The red sweet cherries “Regina” and “Skeena” were similar to “Kordia”, yielding cyanidin-3-O-rutinoside at 159 and 134 mg/100 g fresh weight, respectively. The yields of cyanidin-3-O-glucosylrutinoside and cyanidin-3-O-rutinoside were 57 and 19 mg/100 g fresh weight in “Balaton” and 21 and 6.2 mg/100 g fresh weight in “Montmorency”, respectively, in addition to minor quantities of cyanidin-3-O-glucoside. The water extracts of “Kordia”, “Regina”, “Glacier” and “Skeena” sweet cherries gave 89, 80, 80 and 70% of lipid peroxidation (LPO) inhibition, whereas extracts of “Balaton” and “Montmorency” were in the range of 38 to 58% at 250 microg/mL. Methanol and ethyl acetate extracts of the yellow sweet cherry “Rainier” containing beta-carotene, ursolic, coumaric, ferulic and cafeic acids inhibited LPO by 78 and 79%, respectively, at 250 microg/mL. In the cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme inhibitory assay, the red sweet cherry water extracts inhibited the enzymes by 80 to 95% at 250 microg/mL. However, the methanol and ethyl acetate extracts of “Rainier” and “Gold” were the most active against COX-1 and -2 enzymes. Water extracts of “Balaton” and “Montmorency” inhibited COX-1 and -2 enzymes by 84, and 91 and 77, and 87%, respectively, at 250 microg/mL.

15) Connolly D et al. “The efficacy of a tart cherry juice blend in preventing the symptoms of muscle damage.” British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2006 Jun 21.

16) Jacob RA et al. “Consumption of cherries lowers plasma urate in healthy women.” Journal of Nutrition. 133.6 (2003):1826-9.

17) Kang SY et al. “Tart cherry anthocyanins inhibit tumor development in Apc(Min) mice and reduce proliferation of human colon cancer cells.” Cancer Letters. 194.1 (2003):13-9.

18) Kim DO et al. “Sweet and sour cherry phenolics and their protective effects on neuronal cells.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 53.26 (2005):9921-7.

19)  Tall Jill M et al. “Tart cherry anthocyanins suppress inflammation-induced pain behavior in rat.” Behavioural Brain Research. 153.1 (2004): 181-8. The anthocyanins (1-3) and cyanidin isolated from tart cherries exhibited   The anthocyanins (1-3) and cyanidin isolated from tart cherries exhibited in vitro antioxidant and antiinflammatory activities comparable to commercial products.

20) Kang SY, Seeram NP, Nair MG, Bourquin LD. Tart cherry anthocyanins inhibit tumor development in Apc(Min) mice and reduce proliferation of human colon cancer cells. Cancer Lett. 2003 May 8;194(1):13-9.

21) Tall JM, Seeram NP, Zhao C, et al. Tart cherry anthocyanins suppress inflammation-induced pain behavior in rat. Behav Brain Res. 2004 Aug 12;153(1):181-8.

22) Wang H, Nair MG, Strasburg GM, et al. Cyclooxygenase active bioflavonoids from Balaton tart cherry and their structure activity relationships. Phytomedicine. 2000 Mar;7(1):15-9.

23) Seeram NP, Momin RA, Nair MG, Bourquin LD. Cyclooxygenase inhibitory and antioxidant cyanidin glycosides in cherries and berries. Phytomedicine. 2001 Sep;8(5):362-9.

24) Wang H, Nair MG, Strasburg GM, et al. Antioxidant and antiinflammatory activities of anthocyanins and their aglycon, cyanidin, from tart cherries. J Nat Prod. 1999 Feb;62(2):294-6.

25) Kolayli S, Kucuk M, Duran C, Candan F, Dincer B. Chemical and antioxidant properties of Laurocerasus officinalis Roem. (cherry laurel) fruit grown in the Black Sea region. J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Dec 3;51(25):7489-94.

26) Wakabayashi H, Fukushima H, Yamada T, et al. Inhibition of LPS-stimulated NO production in mouse macrophage-like cells by Barbados cherry, a fruit of Malpighia emarginata DC. Anticancer Res. 2003 Jul;23(4):3237-41.

27) Nagamine I, Akiyama T, Kainuma M, et al. Effect of acerola cherry extract on cell proliferation and activation of ras signal pathway at the promotion stage of lung tumorigenesis in mice. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2002 Feb;48(1):69-72.

28) Jacob RA, Spinozzi GM, Simon VA, et al. Consumption of cherries lowers plasma urate in healthy women. J Nutr. 2003 Jun;133(6):1826-9.

29) Blando F, Gerardi C, Nicoletti I. Sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L) anthocyanins as ingredients for functional foods. J Biomed Biotechnol. 2004;2004(5):253-8.

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