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Cherry Juice May Reduce Post-Exercise Respiratory Symptoms

Potential role of Montmorency cherries in reducing upper respiratory tract symptoms

MONDAY, July 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Consumption of Montmorency cherry juice (CJ) is associated with a reduction in the development of upper respiratory tract symptoms (URTS) after a marathon, according to a study published online May 11 in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

Lygeri Dimitriou, Ph.D., from Middlesex University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues examined the effects of CJ on markers of stress, immunity, and inflammation following a marathon. Participants included 20 recreational marathon runners who consumed CJ or placebo before and after a marathon race.

The researchers observed a significant interaction and treatment effect for serum C-reactive protein (CRP; P = 0.01). At 24 and 48 hours after the marathon, the CRP increase was lower in the CJ group versus the placebo group (P < 0.01). No interaction effect or treatment effect was seen for mucosal immunity or salivary cortisol. The incidence and severity of URTS was significantly greater at 24 and 48 hours after the race than at baseline in the placebo group, and was also greater than in the CJ group (P < 0.05). In the CJ group there were no reports of URTS, whereas 50 percent of runners in the placebo group reported URTS at 24 and 48 hours after the marathon.

“This is the first study to provide encouraging evidence of the potential role of Montmorency tart cherries in reducing symptoms associated with the development of exercise-induced respiratory problems,” a coauthor said in a statement. “We should be looking at all the potential ways we can help athletes recover from strenuous exercise, and protection of the respiratory system is another dimension.”

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