The efficacy of a tart cherry drink for the treatment of patellofemoral pain in recreationally active individuals; a placebo randomized control trial

Jonathan Sinclair, Philip Stainton, Stephanie Dillon, Paul Taylor, Cassandra Richardson, Lindsay Bottoms, Sarah Jane Hobbs, Gareth Shadwell, Naomi Liles, Robert Allan

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Abstract

Purpose
This study aimed to explore the efficacy of U.S. Montmorency tart cherry in treating recreationally active individuals with patellofemoral pain.

Methods
Twenty-four recreationally active participants with patellofemoral pain were randomly separated into either placebo (males N = 8, females N = 4, age = 43.30 ± 7.86 yrs, mass = 72.10 ± 17.89 kg, stature = 171.16 ± 10.17, BMI = 24.31 ± 3.75 kg/m2, symptom duration = 30.18 ± 10.90) or Montmorency tart cherry (males N = 9, females N = 3, age = 41.75 ± 7.52 yrs, mass = 76.96 ± 16.64 kg, stature = 173.05 ± 7.63, BMI = 25.53 ± 4.03 kg/m2, symptom duration = 29.73 ± 11.88) groups. Both groups ingested 60 mL of either Montmorency tart cherry concentrate or taste matched placebo daily for 6 weeks. Measures of self-reported pain (KOOS-PF), psychological wellbeing (COOP WONCA), and sleep quality (PSQI) alongside blood biomarkers (C-reactive protein, uric acid, TNF alpha, creatinine, and total antioxidant capacity) and knee biomechanics were quantified at baseline and 6 weeks. Differences between groups were examined using linear mixed-effects models.

Results
There was 1 withdrawal in the cherry and 0 in the placebo group and no adverse events were noted in either condition. The placebo condition exhibited significant improvements (baseline = 67.90 ± 16.18 & 6 weeks = 78.04 ± 14.83) in KOOS-PF scores compared to the tart cherry group (baseline = 67.28 ± 12.55& 6 weeks = 67.55 ± 20.61). No other statistically significant observations were observed.

Conclusion
Tart cherry supplementation as specifically ingested in the current investigation does not appear to be effective in mediating improvements in patellofemoral pain symptoms in recreationally active individuals.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSports Sciences for Health
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2022

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