Stay Healthy this Influenza Season

Filed under Health & Wellness

About one in five Americans become ill with influenza each year. The best way to help prevent the spread of this serious virus is through yearly vaccination. Unfortunately, many are not getting vaccinated, which may put them, their family and their community at risk for this severe respiratory illness.

The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) urges anyone who wishes to reduce their risk of influenza to be vaccinated each year. Getting vaccinated helps protect the entire community from influenza, also known as “the flu,” which can cause severe symptoms or lead to trips to the doctor, visits to the hospital and sometimes death.

Influenza vaccine is available in many places within the community, such as doctors’ offices, the local public health department, clinics at grocery stores or pharmacies, and often at work. Prescription antiviral medications also help in preventing and controlling the spread of influenza, and to help treat symptoms.

“Anyone who wishes to protect themselves and others within the community from influenza should be vaccinated, including school-aged children,” said William Schaffner, MD, NFID Vice President. “We all need to do our part to help protect our communities from influenza and its complications. Now is the time to plan vaccination for you and your family members.”

Influenza vaccine is especially important for anyone 50 years of age and older, children 6 months up to 5 years of age, people with a chronic health condition, such as asthma or diabetes, and pregnant women. Anyone in close contact with these groups or with children younger than 6 months of age should also get an influenza vaccination. This includes parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, health care workers and even babysitters or caregivers.

Influenza season can begin in the fall and last into the spring. Vaccination should continue throughout the season. Since the influenza season usually peaks around February, getting vaccinated in December, January or beyond is beneficial.

About Influenza

Influenza is a serious and sometimes deadly infection. About 36,000 people die and more than 200,000 must go to the hospital because of influenza in the U.S. each year.

Influenza symptoms can include high fever, dry cough, headache, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat and muscle aches. It also can cause extreme tiredness that may last days or weeks. Children, especially infants and toddlers, may have additional symptoms that adults usually don’t have, including ear aches, nausea and vomiting.

Anyone can get the influenza virus. It is easily spread from person to person, mostly by coughing and sneezing. People, including young children, can spread the virus to others before symptoms appear and for many days after they begin.

People who live with or care for someone at higher risk for influenza should consider an annual influenza vaccination. Influenza vaccine is safe and effective and is available for people 6 months of age and older. The more Americans who get vaccinated, the more families and communities are better protected from the spread of this dangerous disease.

For the 2007-2008 influenza season, the CDC recommends use of two antiviral medications, oseltamivir and zanamivir, for treatment and prevention of influenza. If taken within 12-48 hours of first symptoms, antiviral medications can reduce the severity and duration of influenza. These medications can also help prevent influenza when someone has been exposed to the virus. Antiviral treatments can also be prescribed to anyone with egg allergies who cannot receive influenza vaccine.

Article courtesy of ARAcontent

Is Your Heart Beat Irregular?

Filed under Health & Wellness

Do you get an occasional fluttering in your chest, or sometimes experience a racing heart beat or slow heart beat that comes on suddenly then goes away just as fast as it came? For most people, these occasional, irregular heart beats are common and harmless especially if your heart is otherwise normal. However when these irregular heart beats (or heart rhythms) are combined with a diagnosis of heart failure, they can be serious and if left untreated can make heart failure worse.

If you’ve been experiencing these symptoms with some regularity, make an appointment with a doctor who will check to see if you’re suffering from heart failure, a condition in which the heart doesn’t pump blood through the body as well as it should.

Diagnosing Heart Rhythm Problems

The first thing your doctor will do is order an electrocardiogram (ECG) which records the electrical activity in your heart. ECG adhesive patches (electrodes) will be placed on your chest, arms and legs. The patches are attached to wires and connected to a machine that records the electrical activity in your heart on graph paper.

If no explanation for your heart rhythm irregularities turn up on the ECG, your doctor may ask you to wear a Holter Monitor, a small portable device used to make a tape recording of your heart beats over a longer period of time. Patients typically wear the device for 24 to 48 hours and keep a diary of their symptoms. After the test is done, the tape is sent to the lab for analysis and an explanation for the heart beat irregularities may become apparent. Most importantly, expect to have pictures of your heart made, especially an echocardiogram or ‘sono’ of your heart. If your heart function is otherwise normal, nothing else may be required but if weakened or abnormal heart function is noted, there may be a need to do more testing and consider certain therapies.

Other tests that may be used to diagnose heart rhythm problems include: the tilt table test which involves monitoring a patient’s ECG and blood pressure while they’re in different positions; and an Electrophysiology (EP) Study which is a test in which special catheters (thin insulated wires) are inserted into a blood vessel and threaded into the heart to record its electrical activity. During an EP study, the doctor will try to provoke a heart rhythm problem to pinpoint the starting location in the heart and evaluate how the patient responds to the abnormal rhythm.

Treating Heart Rhythm Problems

After your heart rhythm problem has been diagnosed, your doctor will develop a treatment plan that is right for you. It may include medicines such as anticoagulants (blood thinners) that help prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of stroke, an implantable device, such as a cardiac pacemaker which is used to treat slow heart beats or a implantable cardioverter defibrillator ICD) which is used to treat very fast heart beats, or surgery.

To minimize heart rhythm problems it is highly recommended that you consult your doctor or nurse before taking over the counter remedies (including nutrient supplements); you should also reduce or eliminate your caffeine intake, drink less alcohol, quit smoking, get more sleep, start an exercise program after consultation with your doctor or nurse, and take all your medicines as prescribed. If it is discovered that in addition to the heart rhythm problems that there is also evidence of heart failure, additional treatment recommendations may be necessary.

Article courtesy of ARAcontent

Understanding Dietary Supplement Labels

Filed under Health & Wellness

More than 50 percent of Americans use some sort of dietary supplement daily, including multivitamins, mineral supplements such as calcium or iron, and herbal supplements like Echinacea or garlic, according to the American Dietetic Association. As this multi-billion dollar dietary supplement industry grows, so do the number of choices available, so it is increasingly important that savvy shoppers understand exactly what is in the bottles lining store shelves and their own medicine cabinets.

With so much information listed, a dietary supplement label can be difficult to decipher. Here are five important parts of the label the smart shopper should understand.

1. USP Verified Mark — This mark, located on the front of the bottles of qualifying dietary supplements, assures that the product is “USP Verified.” This verification means that:

• The product contains the ingredients stated on the label and in the declared amounts; * The product does not contain harmful levels of contaminants;
• The product’s ingredients will release and dissolve properly into your body so you can receive the full benefits of the dietary supplement; and
• The product was made under Good Manufacturing Practices.

The USP Verified program is operated by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), an independent organization that both sets federally recognized standards for prescription and over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements, and operates a full-service verification program. Remember to look for the USP Verified Mark next time you choose a vitamin or other supplement.

2. Percentage Daily Value (% DV) — This indicates the percentage of the recommended daily value of each nutrient that a supplement serving provides. The recommended daily value is determined by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) based on a 2,000 calorie diet. However, the nutrient needs and number of calories one should consume can vary based on age, gender and other factors like pregnancy. More specific information about nutrient needs based on individual factors can be found from the Institute of Medicine at

It is generally recommended to find products that provide 100 percent of the DV. However, products with higher than 100 percent of a DV should be avoided because too much of some substances, such as vitamins A or K, can cause side effects or complications (and many people already consume many vitamins and nutrients from the foods they eat). Note that most multivitamins do not provide 100 percent of calcium and a separate supplement for this may be necessary.

Consumers should check with their doctors to ensure that the dietary supplement does not include something that could negatively affect their health because of a specific medical condition or other factor. An asterisk (*) indicates no DV has been established for that nutrient.

3. Other Ingredients — This list shows the consumer all the ingredients that are not listed in the percentage daily value. These ingredients may include inactive components like binders, fillers, colors and flavors. They are listed in decreasing order by weight. Shoppers should always check this section for anything that might cause an allergic reaction.

4. Additives Statement — This statement indicates whether the product is free of common allergens. However, it is not required, so consumers should examine carefully the “other ingredients” list if a product does not display this statement on the label.

5. DSHEA Disclaimer — A disclaimer is required if the manufacturer claims that the product has an effect on the structure or function of the body, e.g., “promotes healthy bone density.” If such a claim is made, U.S. law requires it to be followed by a statement that the claim has not been evaluated by FDA. It is illegal for a manufacturer to claim that a dietary supplement can cure, treat, prevent, mitigate or diagnose specific diseases.

Remember, in addition to thoroughly reading the label, consumers should always ask a doctor for advice about taking dietary supplements. Shoppers should also research a supplement and its brand via reputable, unbiased sources such as Consumer Reports Medical Guide ( and  Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database for consumers (

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Talking Triglycerides

Filed under Health & Wellness

You’ve probably gone to the doctor to have your cholesterol levels checked at some point. If you haven’t, now is the perfect time for you to learn more about the hidden heart dangers of cholesterol and other lipids, or types of fat in the blood. September is National Cholesterol Education Month, and results from a recent National Lipid Association (NLA) survey indicate Americans have a lot to learn.

You might have heard of LDL, “bad” cholesterol, and the health problems it can cause, but there are two more lipids the NLA wants you to know about: HDL, “good” cholesterol, and another important lipid, triglycerides.

Triglycerides are a type of fat produced by your body as it digests the things that you eat and drink. High levels of triglycerides (normal is below 150 mg/dL) can lead to serious illnesses including heart disease, kidney disease and stroke. The risk of developing heart disease doubles when triglycerides levels rise above 200 mg/dL. When triglycerides are above 200 mg/dL and HDL is below 40 mg/dL, the risk for heart disease increases four-fold.

Patients who are overweight or have other risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, low HDL and elevated blood sugar, are more likely to have high triglycerides.

This year, as part of National Cholesterol Education Month, the NLA is encouraging all Americans to talk to their doctor about “good” and “bad” cholesterol as well as their triglycerides.

Results from the NLA’s recent “Moving Beyond Cholesterol” survey paint a troubling picture of lipid knowledge in the Unites States. The survey found that fewer than half of patients have ever discussed the subject of lipids with their doctors. Of those that did, the majority said the discussion lasted five minutes or less. Only a third of patients who walked away from lipid discussions felt well informed.

“We need to do a better job of educating patients about the dangers of cholesterol and triglycerides,” says Dr. Jerome Cohen of St. Louis University Health Center. “Doctors and patients need to work together to ensure patients understand the results of their lipid profile, and their appropriate goals and treatment options.”

High triglycerides, low HDL and high LDL levels are typically treated through a combination of healthy eating, increased exercise, and when necessary, one or more medications.

Visit to learn more about cholesterol and triglycerides or to find a lipid specialist who can assess your lipid profile and set up a treatment plan that’s right for you. The life you save could be your own.

Numbers To Know: LDL: Less than 100 mg/dL HDL: Above 40 mg/dL for men, above 50 mg/dL for women Triglycerides: Less than 150 mg/dL

Article courtesy of ARAcontent

Gender Role When Heeding Health Warnings

Filed under Health & Wellness

We’re all familiar with the saying ”A stitch in time saves nine” — in other words, take care of a problem when it first comes up so it won’t become overwhelming later on.

“Whether repairing a leaking faucet, mending a small tear or getting the car in to the mechanic, people understand the importance of recognizing symptoms and taking appropriate action,” says Denise Pozen, creator of the SO TELL ME … personal health organizer. “However, when it comes to medical symptoms, there seems to be a gender gap. Not only can symptoms vary by gender, but the response to those symptoms can also vary.”

For example, the classic symptoms of a heart attack — a crushing feeling on the chest, shortness of breath and pain radiating down the left arm — are now recognized as being more common in men. Women may experience more subtle symptoms such as:

• Mild or severe pressure in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes;

• Nausea, lightheadedness, or a sudden cold sweat;

• Extreme fatigue.

But both men and women may experience discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach and shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort.

While women’s symptoms may sometimes be more subtle than men’s, their “stitch in time” approach to health is not. According to the Centers for Disease Control, women are 100 percent more likely to visit the doctor for annual exams and preventive services than men. And men die at higher rates than women from the top 10 causes of death, possibly because they do not go to the doctor as often as women.

“Men may consider some symptoms to be the normal aches and pains of ‘weekend warrior’ activities or an active lifestyle, but it’s important for men as well as women to consult with their doctor when they feel something is ‘different’ or when they experience certain symptoms,” says Pozen. “By recording noticeable changes in your health, you will be better prepared to discuss symptoms with your doctor. You may even identify a symptom before the medical issue becomes severe.

” Maintaining a personal health record allows you to map out any changes in your health and provide a corresponding timeline to your physician. It can also prepare you to discuss what illnesses are part of your family’s health history. A. personal health organizer makes it easy to organize all your health information, including appointment histories and test results — and note any new symptoms.

Because of the often more strenuous and physical activities men engage in, they may tend to ignore many of the following symptoms and relate them to lifestyle. However both men and women should take very seriously symptoms like unintended weight loss, blood in the stool or urine, persistent abdominal pain, changes in urination habits, swollen extremities and skin lesions that change shape or color.

Be sure to take your health symptoms seriously. Create a personal health record that is specific to you, schedule regular check-ups with your doctor and ask how to recognize the warning signs for your gender.

Article courtesy of ARAcontent

Choosing the Right Heartburn Treatment

Filed under Health & Wellness

For the more than 60 million people that suffer from heartburn each month in the U.S,* finding an over-the-counter (OTC) treatment option that is right for them can be a challenge. “The key is to understand what type of heartburn you have, and choose a medication accordingly,” says Dr. Philip Miner, MD, Director of the Oklahoma Foundation for Digestive Research.

The Heartburn Spectrum

Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t just one type of heartburn, a condition that’s caused by stomach acid flowing up into the esophagus:

• Episodic is a common type of heartburn that occurs infrequently and is often predictable and manageable in the short-term.

• Frequent heartburn (FHB) is heartburn that occurs two or more days a week. People with FHB might also find themselves using multiple OTC medications more than two days a week to get relief.

• Persistent heartburn is heartburn that doesn’t respond to OTC treatment and keeps recurring. It could be an early warning sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, and should be evaluated by a doctor.

“The good news is that once you know what type of heartburn you have, then you can pick the type of treatment that is most appropriate for you,” says Dr. Miner. “Heartburn medications are all effective, but knowing the differences between them can increase the chances of keeping heartburn in check.”

Different Medications Make a Difference

The stomach is lined with millions of acid producing pumps which rely on three chemical signals that tell them to produce stomach acid. The key point of difference between the categories of over-the-counter heartburn medications happens at a cellular level in the stomach:

• H2RAs (histamine-2 receptor antagonist) block one of the signals, thereby reducing the amount of acid produced. One dose works relatively quickly and can generally last from 8-12 hours.

• PPIs (proton pump inhibitor) shut down the active pumps themselves. When used as directed, one daily dose can suppress acid for a full 24 hours.

• Antacids don’t affect acid production itself; they work to neutralize existing stomach acid. While they work the fastest of all treatments, their effects usually last only about 2 hours.

New Study Underscores Importance of Knowing Your Heartburn

A recent study, published in the “Journal of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics,” directly compared two widely-used OTC heartburn medications, Prilosec OTC omeprazole magnesium, a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), and Pepcid AC famotidine, a histamine-2 receptor antagonist (H2RA).

Researchers found that both medications worked as well to suppress stomach acid over the first day of use. However with daily use, Prilosec OTC worked better for acid suppression for the remainder of the 14 day study, while the H2RA acid suppression decreased after just a few days.

“Different OTC heartburn medications have different uses and work in different ways,” advises Dr. Miner. “People who find that heartburn keeps coming back while using OTC treatments should talk to their doctors to make sure they are using the right medication for their type of heartburn.”

For more information on heartburn and how to treat it, visit the National Heartburn Alliance at

Article courtesy of ARAcontent

Constipation as a Side Effect of Medications

Filed under Health & Wellness

It’s a problem no one wants to talk about, much less admit they are dealing with, but according to the American Journal of Gastroenterology, constipation is a common gastrointestinal complaint affecting more than 65 million Americans. That’s double the number of people who suffer from seasonal allergies.

Adults over the age of 50 are particularly susceptible since constipation is a side effect of many medications. According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 90 percent of adults 50 and older take medications daily, and nearly half of them are on at least 5 different medicines.

“Constipation is a symptom, not an illness. However, it’s important for patients to question their physician or pharmacist about the prescriptions they are given and what to do if they suspect constipation is a side effect. Most constipation is temporary and easily treated,” says Dr. Cynthia Yoshida, a gastroenterologist and former associate professor of clinical internal medicine at the University of Virginia.

She points out the number one doctor-prescribed laxative, MiraLAX, is an option available to everyone with occasional constipation since it is now only available over the counter. However, before deciding on any treatment option, she recommends you ask yourself these questions:

1. What is constipation? According to the National Digestive Diseases Clearinghouse, constipation is defined as having a bowel movement fewer than three times per week with stools that are hard, dry, small in size and difficult to eliminate. “Many people assume they are constipated if they don’t have a bowel movement every day,” says Dr. Yoshida, “but bowel movement habits are personal and can vary greatly. What’s important to look for is significant or prolonged change.”

2. What causes constipation? As food moves through the colon, the colon absorbs water from the food and what remains becomes “stool.” Muscle contraction in the colon then pushes the stool toward the rectum. By the time the stool reaches the rectum, it is solid because most of the water has been absorbed.

3. What medicines am I taking? Dr. Yoshida advises consumers to make a list of all the medications they are taking and share it with their doctor or pharmacist, who will be able to tell them if constipation is a side effect of a single drug, or of a combination of medications they are taking. If this ends up being the case, your doctor may be able to switch you to different medications that don’t have constipation as a side effect.

4. How is constipation treated? Although treatment depends on the severity and duration of the constipation, in most cases a mild laxative taken orally will bring relief.

Dr. Yoshida acknowledges that talking about constipation can be uncomfortable, but she recommends asking your doctor or pharmacist these four simple questions to help you become your own best advocate for receiving appropriate care.

Article courtesy of ARA Content

Arthritis Advances Provide Hope for the Future

Filed under Health & Wellness

Cutting-edge biologic therapies and a predictive marker for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are among the top 10 arthritis advances of 2004, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Exciting discoveries of the past year also include a novel treatment that slows bone erosion and a common genetic link to autoimmune disorders such as RA, lupus, diabetes and thyroid disease.

Arthritis advocates also scored successes in 2004 with the introduction of the first arthritis-specific legislation in more than 30 years and the implementation of a Medicare pilot program allowing thousands of Americans with RA and psoriatic arthritis to obtain life-changing biologic medications at a reduced cost.

“As the number of people with arthritis reaches epidemic proportions, advances in research, public health and public policy are more important than ever to preventing, controlling and eventually curing the nation’s number one cause of disability,” says John H. Klippel, M.D., president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation. “Breakthrough advances in 2004 offer hope to people with arthritis and provide a glimpse of what is possible in the future.”

Other advances include:

• Effectiveness of weight loss and physical activity confirmed
• First-ever set of quality indicators for arthritis developed
• Measures to prevent wrong-site surgery mandated
• Antibiotic shown to slow progression of knee osteoarthritis (OA)

To develop its annual list of the top 10 arthritis advances, the Arthritis Foundation sought input from clinicians with expertise in different forms of arthritis, scientists from various research disciplines, as well as from the American College of Rheumatology, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Advances: A Glimpse of the Future

Advances in 2004 showed that in the near future, people might benefit from therapies targeted at the root causes of serious forms of arthritis rather than those aimed at treating disease symptoms. It also could become routine to screen patients to determine who is at risk for severe disease progression and, therefore, who is most likely to benefit from early and aggressive treatment.

The foreseeable future also promises a greater quality of life for patients with arthritis and related diseases through
increased government funding for research and public health activities, advances in quality care standards for people with arthritis, and improved preoperative processes in joint surgery. An increased understanding of the benefits of weight loss and exercise in reducing pain and improving physical function, as well as promising research into antibiotic treatment to slow disease progression, will lead to relief for millions of Americans suffering from debilitating knee OA.

With one in every two Americans over 50 facing fractures from osteoporosis or low bone mass by 2020, advances made in slowing the progressive loss of bone and increasing bone mass have never been more important. Research conducted in 2004 will serve as the launching pad for bone health advances in the coming year, with researchers poised for even more breakthroughs in 2005 and beyond.

The Arthritis Foundation is the single largest nonprofit contributor to arthritis research in the world and the only nationwide, nonprofit health organization helping people take greater control of arthritis by leading efforts to prevent, control and cure arthritis and related diseases — the nation’s number one cause of disability. For free arthritis information, contact the Arthritis Foundation at (800) 283-7800.

Article courtesy of ARA Content

Heart Failure: Are You at Risk?

Filed under Health & Wellness

More than a half million Americans will be diagnosed with heart failure this year, and the number of people suffering from the syndrome is expected to double during the next few decades as the U.S. population ages. So the chances are good either you or someone you know will one day be diagnosed with heart failure.

If allowed to progress without treatment, heart failure has a great impact on quality of life and can shorten life expectancy. In the United States, it is the single most frequent cause of hospitalization for people over age 65, and more people die from heart failure than from all forms of cancer combined. It is the only cardiovascular disease on the rise.

Although the word heart failure has an ominous ring, it does not mean that the heart has stopped or is about to stop suddenly. Heart failure means that the heart is not pumping blood as well as it should through its chambers to the rest of the body. Heart failure is a common condition that can be caused by a heart attack, long-term high blood pressure, a heart valve abnormality, a viral infection of the heart or a genetic condition that runs in families. Sometimes the exact cause of heart failure is not known.

In its advanced stages, heart failure limits a person’s ability to do even simple everyday tasks; but new treatments can be very effective in slowing and stopping the progression of the disease and in some cases can even reverse the process. The key is early diagnosis and treatment. People with risk factors such as high blood pressure, blockages in their coronary arteries, damaged heart valves, family history or diabetes should ask their doctor about their risk of developing heart failure.

No matter the initial cause, the effect tends to be the same. The weakened heart must work harder to keep up with the demands of the body and this is why people with heart failure often complain of feeling tired and why they develop symptoms of congestion.

Other symptoms of heart failure include:

• Shortness of breath, which can happen even during mild activity

• Swelling in the feet and legs from fluid retention (results in weight gain)

• Cough with frothy sputum

• Difficulty breathing when lying down which may waken you from sleep at night

Although heart failure can be a serious and progressive disease, individuals with heart failure can live active and fulfilling lives with proper intervention and treatment. Once diagnosed, it’s important to work with your health care provider to develop a treatment plan and to follow it. Proper medications in the right doses, careful monitoring and self-care are the basis of effectively managing heart failure.

Better understanding of the disease has led to development of new treatments and management strategies — from medication to implantation of devices to surgery.

In addition to taking medicines exactly as directed, persons with heart failure should:

• Weigh themselves every day
• Follow a low-sodium (salt) diet
• Get regular physical activity
• Quit smoking
• Avoid alcohol or drink sparingly
• Control body weight
• Monitor symptoms and learn when to consult a doctor or nurse

Friends and family members can help by learning about heart failure and the patient’s treatment plan.

The Heart Failure Society of America has taken the lead in developing a series of modules on heart failure because education plays such an important role in helping patients manage their care successfully. By reading these modules, patients and individuals at risk can learn more about medications they are taking, following low-sodium diets, the importance of remaining active, managing their feelings, and learning how to evaluate treatments available.

All educational materials developed by the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) for patients, families, and individuals at risk can be found on the HFSA Web site: Copies can be downloaded, or a complimentary hard copy can be ordered.

The Heart Failure Society of America is a nonprofit organization of health care professionals and researchers who are dedicated to enhancing quality and duration of life for patients with heart failure and preventing the condition in those at risk.

Article courtesy of ARA Content

Cherries Offer Natural Joint Pain Relief

Filed under Health & Wellness

(ARA) – Are cherries truly fruit for a healthy you? These days people want to take care of themselves and cherries can help. Tart cherries naturally pack a health-promoting punch that provides pain relief for many people. Recent studies have revealed that tart (sour) cherries offer an assortment of health benefits including the ability to offer natural relief from joint pain caused from gout and other joint inflammation symptoms.

According to ongoing research, daily consumption of tart cherries has the potential to reduce the pain associated with joint inflammation. Tart cherries naturally contain anthocyanins and bioflavonoids which may prevent inflammation in the body. To date, no other fruit or vegetable has been found to have the pain relieving properties of tart cherries.

Leading researchers believe that the pain relief may not come from a specific antioxidant in the cherries, but from the synergistic effect of all the natural compounds in cherries. The skin of the cherries holds most of the essential antioxidants vital to their health benefits.

Antioxidants are vitamins, mineral and other compounds found naturally in everyday food, especially fruits and vegetables. Some of the best known antioxidants include vitamin A, C and E. These powerful antioxidants fight free-radicals within the body and potentially slow down the natural oxidation process that occurs in the body.

So with the increasing popularity of tart cherries, what should consumers look for in selecting tart cherry products? For best results, industry experts recommend consumers check the product label to make sure that it contains significant quantities of tart (sour) cherries.

One significant source of tart cherry is Fruit Advantage Tart Cherry dietary supplement. The entire cherry, except the pit and stem, is used to make Fruit Advantage Tart Cherry – even the skin. “Just two capsules a day give you the benefits of this amazing fruit. Each daily serving provides 850 mg of 100 percent pure tart cherry,” says Andy LaPointe, of Fruit Advantage. (

Although more research is needed to unlock all of the amazing natural benefits of tart cherries, Linda L. Patterson is a living testimony of the soothing affects of cherries on her joint pain. “I enjoy crocheting and lately my hands have been so painful, I couldn’t crochet for more than about 30 minutes,” says Patterson. In an attempt to find relief from her pain, a friend recommended Fruit Advantage Tart Cherry, a dietary supplement made from tart cherries. “Within the first week of taking the tart cherry capsules my hands felt so much better,” says Ms. Patterson. “I am now able to crochet without the pain in my hands.”

Another significant find within tart cherries is the presence of natural Melatonin. “Tart cherries contain high amounts of Melatonin, which can help to regulate the natural body clock to promote better sleep,” says LaPointe. “Many take our capsules in the evening and find they sleep much more soundly during the night.”

As more people are living more active lifestyles and looking for natural remedies for health issues, it’s a rare treasure to find a simple fruit to provide so many different benefits.

Article courtesy of ARA Content

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