Nature Blessed Cherry Juice Concentrate is a product of Coloma Frozen Foods, located in Michigan. Coloma does not provide a nutritional label on their website. However, the company does state that its cherry juice concentrate contains “very high levels of natural melatonin” and “25 mg of anthocyanins per serving.”
In October 2005, the Food and Drug Administration sent warning letters to a variety of companies that sell cherry-based products and were making illegal disease-related claims on their packaging or on their websites. Coloma Frozen Foods was among the 29 companies that received warning letters. According to the FDA letter, some of the following claims appeared on the Coloma website: “A natural remedy if you suffer from arthritis, gout, cancer, lupus, fibromyalgia ... or heart problems,” and “The same chemicals that give tart cherries their color may relieve pain better than aspirin and ibuprofen.”
Tart Cherry Nutrition
Tart cherries contain high levels of antioxidants, as well as the following nutrients: vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, beta-carotene, iron, folate and fiber. Cherries are a nutritionally dense fruit, which makes them a healthy snack or breakfast addition. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Pyramid, adults should consume at least 1.5 to 2 servings of fruit daily. One cup of fresh cherries or cherry juice, and 1/2 cup of dried cherries, each provide you with a single serving of fruit.
According to MayoClinic.com, melatonin has been shown to effectively “reduce the number of days required to establish a normal sleep pattern,” associated with jet lag. A number of clinical trials have shown that melatonin helps sleep latency, can improve alertness and diminish daytime drowsiness associated with jet lag. Although melatonin has been shown, through clinical trials, to help some individuals ease the symptoms of jet lag, it was less effective for other individuals that participated in the studies. More research needs to be performed to determine if consuming foods that contain melatonin could benefit travelers who suffer from jet lag.
The Department of Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Maryland performed a study to investigate the effects of anthocyanin-rich extracts on the growth of colon cancer cells. All of the tested extracts were successful in prohibiting the growth of cancerous cells. During the study researchers exposed the colonic cells to varying amounts of anthocyanin extract, from 10 to 75 mcg. The lower doses of anthocyanin extract were effective in prohibiting cancer cell growth, while they did not prohibit the growth of non-cancerous colon cells.
If a food product claims to cure or treat symptoms of a disease or multiple diseases, the manufacturer is breaking labeling codes and laws enforced by the FDA. Medications or drugs are the only consumer products in the United States which can state such claims. Manufacturers must submit an application that provides all of the scientific research they have to back up their claims, before the drug is released to consumers. If you come across a product that advertises such health claims, investigate any scientific research that supports their claims and consult your doctor before purchasing the product.