Dark Sweet Cherry (DSC) Juice Consumption for Obesity-Related Inflammation and Cognitive Function in Obese Adults: A Human Clinical Pilot Trial Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract Objectives To assess the effects of DSC juice on biomarkers of obesity-related metabolic disorders, inflammation, and cognitive performance. Methods Eligible participants (<18, body-mass index (BMI) = 30–40 kg/m2, no history of chronic disease and/or medication/antibiotics), were assigned to cherry or placebo groups following a single-blind randomized design after a 2-week run-in period. Participants were asked to drink 200 mL cherry juice supplemented with 3 g DSC powder (n = 11) or placebo drink (n = 10) twice a day for 30 days. Wellness check, anthropometric measurements, cognitive function/psychological assessments, and fasting blood samples were collected at study days 1 and 30. Results Baseline data showed no differences in anthropometric measurements between experimental groups. Results from blood markers of liver and metabolic disorders showed no difference between end point and baseline values for both cherry and placebo groups. However, median (25%, 75% interquartile) values for erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) at day 30 (ESR = 6 (4, 13), ROS = 29 (13, 53) showed improvement compared to day 1 (ESR = 7 (2, 16), ROS = 33 (21, 65)) in cherry group, while in placebo group values showed less or no improvement (ESR = 12 (8, 24), ROS = 30 (20, 72) at day 30), vs (ESR = 10 (7, 18), ROS = 37 (29, 75) at day 1). These results suggest an anti-inflammatory cherry juice action and may be correlated with a trend for improvement in all of the cognitive tasks and physiological assessments in cherry group. The trail making tests (A and B), which assess executive functioning, improved (P = 0.0273 and P = 0.0342, respectively) as well as the Digit Span Forward task (DSF) (P = 0.0137), which examines short-term memory storage and executive control processes. The Digit Symbol Substitution test (DSST) used to assess processing speed, sustained attention and working memory showed improvement for cherry group, although non-significant (P = 0.0527). Conclusions These preliminary findings suggest that consumption of DSC juice rich in anthocyanins and other phytochemicals over 4 weeks may improve cognitive function in obese participants with possible link to lowered inflammation. Funding Sources This work was supported by the Northwest Cherry Growers.

author list (cited authors)

  • Arbizu, S., Talcott, S., Riechman, S., & Noratto, G.

publication date

  • January 1, 2021 11:11 AM