Consumption of Bing Sweet Cherries Lowers Circulating Concentrations of Inflammation Markers in Healthy Men and Women

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The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of consuming sweet cherries on plasma lipids and markers of inflammation in healthy humans. Healthy men and women (n = 18) supplemented their diets with Bing sweet cherries (280 g/d) for 28 d. After a 12-h fast, blood samples were taken before the start of cherry consumption (study d 0 and 7), 14 and 28 d after the start of cherry supplementation (study d 21 and 35), and 28 d after the discontinuation (study d 64) of cherry consumption. After cherries were consumed for 28 d, circulating concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP), regulated upon activation, normal T-cell expressed, and secreted (RANTES), and NO decreased by 25 (P < 0.05), 21 (P < 0.05), and 18% (P = 0.07) respectively. After the discontinuation of cherry consumption for 28 d (d 64), concentrations of RANTES continued to decrease (P = 0.001), whereas those of CRP and NO did not differ from either d 7 (pre-cherries) or d 35 (post-cherries). Plasma concentrations of IL-6 and its soluble receptor, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-2 did not change during the study. Cherry consumption did not affect the plasma concentrations of total-, HDL-, LDL-, and VLDL- cholesterol, triglycerides, subfractions of HDL, LDL, VLDL, and their particle sizes and numbers. It also did not affect fasting blood glucose or insulin concentrations or a number of other chemical and hematological variables. Results of the present study suggest a selective modulatory effect of sweet cherries on CRP, NO, and RANTES. Such antiinflammatory effects may be beneficial for the management and prevention of inflammatory diseases.

Darshan S. Kelley
Reuven Rasooly
Robert A. Jacob
Adel A. Kader
Bruce E. Mackey
American Society for Nutrition