Help for arthritis may have arrived in the form of the red tart cherry. Research scientists have found a natural source of anthocyanins, the free radical fighting substance in red tart cherries, offering positive results for many arthritis sufferers. According to a study conducted by Michigan State University researchers, tart cherries contain 17 different antioxidant compounds and are up to 10 times more effective in fighting joint pain and inflammation than aspirin or many other NSAIDS, such as ibuprofen (statistics provided by the Cherry Marketing Institute). The tart cherries do not have the potential side effects associated with NSAIDS or prescription products. They have also been found to have substantial amounts of melatonin, a naturally-occurring antioxidant. The discovery, made by Dr. Russel Reiter and a team of scientists at The University of Texas Science Centre in San Antonio, means tart cherries can attack free radicals in the system and help protect against cancer, heart disease and regulate sleep patterns.