Inhibitory Effects of Tart Cherry (Prunus cerasus) Juice on Xanthine Oxidoreductase Activity and its Hypouricemic and Antioxidant Effects on Rats

Malays J Nutr. 2009 Mar;15(1):53-64. Epub 2009 Mar 15.


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of tart cherry juice on serum uric acid levels, hepatic xanthine oxidoreductase activity and two non-invasive biomarkers of oxidative stress (total antioxidant capacity and malondialdehyde concentration), in normal and hyperuricemic rats. Tart cherry juice (5 ml/kg) was given by oral gavage to rats for 2 weeks. Allopurinol (5 mg/kg) was used as a positive control and was also given by oral gavage. Data showed that tart cherry juice treatment did not cause any significant reduction in the serum uric acid levels in normal rats, but significantly reduced (P<0.05) the serum uric acid levels of hyperuricemic rats in a time-dependent manner. Tart cherry juice treatment also inhibited hepatic xanthine oxidase/dehydrogenase activity. Moreover, a significant increase (P<0.05) in serum total antioxidant capacity was observed in tart cherry juice treated-rats in both normal and hyperuricemic groups. The oral administration of tart cherry juice also led to a significant reduction (P<0.05) in MDA concentration in the hyperuricemic rats. Although the hypouricemic effect of allopurinol, as a putative inhibitor of xanthine oxidoreductase, was much higher than that of tart cherry, it could not significantly change anti-oxidative parameters. These features of tart cherry make it an attractive candidate for the prophylactic treatment of hyperuricaemia, particularly if it is to be taken on a long-term basis. Further investigations to define its clinical efficacy would be highly desirable.