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Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2015 May 11;12:22.
doi: 10.1186/s12970-015-0085-8. eCollection 2015.

Influence of a Montmorency Cherry Juice Blend on Indices of Exercise-Induced Stress and Upper Respiratory Tract Symptoms Following Marathon Running--A Pilot Investigation

Free PMC article
Randomized Controlled Trial

Influence of a Montmorency Cherry Juice Blend on Indices of Exercise-Induced Stress and Upper Respiratory Tract Symptoms Following Marathon Running--A Pilot Investigation

Lygeri Dimitriou et al. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. .
Free PMC article


Background: Prolonged exercise, such as marathon running, has been associated with an increase in respiratory mucosal inflammation. The aim of this pilot study was to examine the effects of Montmorency cherry juice on markers of stress, immunity and inflammation following a Marathon.

Methods: Twenty recreational Marathon runners consumed either cherry juice (CJ) or placebo (PL) before and after a Marathon race. Markers of mucosal immunity secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA), immunoglobulin G (IgG), salivary cortisol, inflammation (CRP) and self-reported incidence and severity of upper respiratory tract symptoms (URTS) were measured before and following the race.

Results: All variables except secretory IgA and IgG concentrations in saliva showed a significant time effect (P <0.01). Serum CRP showed a significant interaction and treatment effect (P < 0.01). The CRP increase at 24 and 48 h post-Marathon was lower (P < 0.01) in the CJ group compared to PL group. Mucosal immunity and salivary cortisol showed no interaction effect or treatment effect. The incidence and severity of URTS was significantly greater than baseline at 24 h and 48 h following the race in the PL group and was also greater than the CJ group (P < 0.05). No URTS were reported in the CJ group whereas 50 % of runners in the PL group reported URTS at 24 h and 48 h post-Marathon.

Conclusions: This is the first study that provides encouraging evidence of the potential role of Montmorency cherries in reducing the development of URTS post-Marathon possibly caused by exercise-induced hyperventilation trauma, and/or other infectious and non-infectious factors.

Keywords: Exercise-induced inflammation; Muscle damage; Recovery; URTS.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Selected markers of mucosal immunity, stress, inflammation and upper respiratory symptoms for the cherry juice and placebo groups before and up to 48 h following a Marathon race (Mean ± SD; n = 10 per group). sIgA concentration (panel A); sIgA output (panel B); IgG concentration (panel C); salivary cortisol (panel D); serum C-reactive protein concentration (CRP, panel E); severity of upper respiratory tract symptoms (URTS, panel F). *Significantly lower serum CRP and severity of URTS in the CJ than the PL group at 24 h and 48 h post-Marathon race (P < 0.05). †Significant time effect

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