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Health Condition

Gout

The right diet is the key to managing many diseases and to improving general quality of life. For this condition, scientific research has found benefit in the following healthy eating tips.

  • Cherries

    Soothe symptoms and prevent new attacks by eating a half a pound of cherries or drinking an equivalent amount of cherry juice per day.
    Cherries
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    According to a 1950 study of 12 people with gout, eating one-half pound of cherries or drinking an equivalent amount of cherry juice prevented attacks of gout.5 Black, sweet yellow, and red sour cherries were all effective. Since that study, there have been many anecdotal reports of cherry juice as an effective treatment for the pain and inflammation of gout. The active ingredient in cherry juice remains unknown, but a study in healthy volunteers found that eating about half a pound of cherries per day for four weeks decreased levels of C-reactive protein (a measure of inflammation).6

  • Low-Purine

    To keep uric acid levels low, eat fewer purine-containing foods, such as liver, shrimp, and dried beans and pulses
    Low-Purine
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    Foods that are high in compounds called purines raise uric acid levels in the body and increase the risk of gout. Restricting purine intake can reduce the risk of an attack in people susceptible to gout. Foods high in purines include anchovies, bouillon, brains, broth, consommé, dried legumes, goose, gravy, heart, herring, kidneys, liver, mackerel, meat extracts, mincemeat, mussels, partridge, fish roe, sardines, scallops, shrimp, sweetbreads, baker’s yeast, brewer’s yeast, and yeast extracts (e.g., Marmite, Vegemite).

  • Alcohol Consumption

    To help prevent new attacks, avoid drinking more than one alcoholic beverage a day.
    Alcohol Consumption
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    Avoiding alcohol, particularly beer, or limiting alcohol intake to one drink per day or less may reduce the number of attacks of gout.7,8Refined sugars, including sucrose (white table sugar) and fructose (the sugar found in fruit juice), should also be restricted, because they have been reported to raise uric acid levels.[REF] In addition, consumption of large amounts of fructose or sugar-sweetened soft drinks was associated with an increased risk of gout in one study.9

References

1. Stein HB, Hasan A, Fox IH. Ascorbic acid-induced uricosuria: a consequence of megavitamin therapy. Ann Intern Med 1976;84:385-8.

2. Huang HY, Appel LJ, Choi MJ, et al. The effects of vitamin C supplementation on serum concentrations of uric acid: results of a randomized controlled trial. Arthritis Rheum 2005;52:1843-7.

3. Bindoli A, Valente M, Cavallini L. Inhibitory action of quercetin on xanthine oxidase and xanthine dehydrogenase activity. Pharmacol Res Commun 1985;17:831-9.

4. Shi Y, Williamson G. Quercetin lowers plasma uric acid in pre-hyperuricaemic males: a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial. Br J Nutr 2016;115:800–6.

5. Blau LW. Cherry diet control for gout and arthritis. Tex Rep Biol Med 1950;8:309-11.

6. Kelley DS, Rasooly R, Jacob RA, et al. Consumption of Bing sweet cherries lowers circulating concentrations of inflammation markers in healthy men and women. J Nutr 2006;136:981-6.

7. Ralston SH, Capell HA, Sturrock RD. Alcohol and response to treatment of gout. BMJ 1988;296:1641-2.

8. Scott JT. Alcohol and gout. BMJ 1989;298:1054.

9. Choi HK, Curhan G. Soft drinks, fructose consumption, and the risk of gout in men: prospective cohort study. BMJ 2008;336:309-12.

10. Loenen H, Eshuis H, Lowik M, et al. Serum uric acid correlates in elderly men and women with special reference to body composition and dietary intake (Dutch Nutrition Surveillance System). J Clin Epidemiol 1990;43:1297-303.

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2019.