Eating fresh cherries may help reduce pain caused by gout or other inflammatory illnesses such as arthritis according to preliminary results from a USA Agricultural Research Service study.

They concluded that levels of uric acid, a compound the body uses to form painful urate crystals during a gout attack, decreased significantly in volunteers' blood within five hours after volunteers ate 45 Bing cherries for breakfast.

Also, levels of urate removed from their bodies in urine increased over those five hours. The experiments are among the first to track anti-inflammatory effects of fresh Bing cherries in carefully controlled tests with healthy volunteers.