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The most exciting
area of research into tart cherries over the last couple of years
has been the work done by Dr. Russel Reiter,
the dean of melatonin research.
Dr. Reiter has been
painstakingly unlocking the secrets of Melatonin for over 30 years.
Investigations into the role melatonin plays in organisms and
how it is produced has led to many startling discoveries. Apparently
all organisms use melatonin and it influences wide variety of
processes in the body.
It now appears that
there is a strong link between diseases, particularly those associated
with aging, and melatonin. This could prove to be one of the most
revolutionary discoveries in the fields of nutrition, gerentology
and a host of degenerative diseases.
When the link between
diet and melatonin levels was discovered, Dr. Reiter began investigating
dietary sources of melatonin in edible plants.
Lowering the High
Price of Free Radicals
Endogenously produced melatonin may have a significant
role in deferring a number free radical-related diseases and some
pathophysiological changes associated with aging.
High Quantity of
Melatonin Identified in Cherries
Montmorency tart cherries contain significant
quantities of Melatonin. That was the surprising discovery made
recently at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San
Antonio. Dr. Russel Reiter, who has been studying melatonin for
more than 30 years, headed up the research team. "Tart cherries,
specifically the Montmorency variety, contain an extremely significant
quantity of melatonin, enough to produce positive results in the
body," says Dr. Reiter.
Tart Cherries Get
"We were surprised at how much melatonin was in
cherries, specifically the Montmorency variety," says Reiter.
The only other fruits that have been examined to date are bananas
and pineapples, and both have comparatively low melatonin levels.
"Cherry juice concentrate, which involves greatly reducing the
water content, has ten times the melatonin of the raw fruit."