Scientists from Shiraz University of Medical Sciences and elsewhere found that drinking tart cherry juice may benefit blood sugar health.
Tart cherries are also called sour cherries. They are best known as a key ingredient in desserts; most importantly, the cherry pie.
However, tart cherries are also delicious in preserves, main courses, salads, side dishes, and beverages.
Tart cherries are very juicy and pleasantly acidic, making them superior for cooking compared to their sweet cherry relative.
Tart cherries are rich in bioactive compounds, such as anthocyanins and other phytochemicals known to have antioxidant properties and heart-protective effects.
Anthocyanins are colored water-soluble pigments belonging to the phenolic group. The pigments are in glycosylated forms.
Anthocyanins responsible for the colors, red, purple, and blue, are in fruits and vegetables. Berries, currants, grapes, and some tropical fruits have high anthocyanins content.
In the current study, researchers aimed to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the effect of tart cherry juice on the heart and metabolic health.
They reviewed 10 published studies. The analysis revealed that tart cherry juice intake led to a strong reduction in fasting blood sugar.
This lowering effect of FBS was strong in people with an age range ≥ 40, duration of follow-up shorter than 4 weeks, and overweight and obese people.
The team also found tart cherry juice had no effect on total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, insulin, body mass index (BMI), fat mass, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
However, in the analysis of different participant groups, they found some strong effects on insulin and blood cholesterol levels.
Based on the findings, the team concludes that tart cherry juice mostly has a favorable effect on blood sugar levels. However, further studies with long-term intervention with different doses of administration are needed.
The research was published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine and conducted by Seyedeh Parisa Moosavian et al.
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