Cherries and Health: A Review

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2011 Jan;51(1):1-12. doi: 10.1080/10408390903001719.

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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthocyanins / analysis
  • Anthocyanins / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / analysis
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control
  • Diet
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Functional Food
  • Health
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Nutritive Value
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / analysis
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Prunus / chemistry*

Substances

  • Anthocyanins
  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts