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How Much Do You Know About Gout And Diet Prevention?

May 27, 2008
Recently, a gout and diet prevention study was published in by Dr. Hyon K. Choi and Gary Curhan in Arthritis Care & Research's June 2007 issue which examined the fact that, contrary to popular belief, coffee may not be as bad for gout sufferers as previously thought. Although gout patients have been told to stay away from coffee, there may be an ingredient in the beverage that can actually help to lower the uric acid levels in the body.

Though it is not yet known what part of coffee is responsible for lowering the uric acid levels in the body, it is known that it is not just the caffeine content, as the same results were not found from drinking caffeinated tea. Whatever the cause, when participants drank one to two cups of coffee every day, the levels of uric acid in the blood reduced dramatically. Furthermore, as coffee consumption increased, uric acid levels decreased.

A similar study in Japan looked into the same concept, but used decaffeinated coffee. Similar, though not equal, results were witnessed. This is why it is now thought that components of coffee other than soley caffeine are responsible for lowering the uric acid levels in the body.

Considering that until this study, gout sufferers had been discouraged from drinking coffee, many gout sufferers may now be wondering what other gout and diet prevention beliefs may soon turn out to be disproved. For example, though tea has not been found to reduce uric acid levels in the body as has now been demonstrated with coffee, tea is often thought to be unacceptable as a part of a gout and diet prevention strategy. Instead, tea can indeed be a part of a gout diet as long as it is consumed in moderation and as long as its dehydrating effect is compensated for by taking in additional water.

It was also believed at one time that eating rich foods was the root cause of gout. Indeed, some rich foods are high in proteins and purines and therefore may contribute to gout flare-ups, however low fat dairy products have now been shown to have a preventative effect. Also Gout is believed to be caused by many factors, including being heredity.

A similar belief was once applied to alcohol. It was thought that spirits, wine, and beer were the true cause of gout. Indeed, drinking to excess can be harmful to gout sufferers, especially due to the resulting dehydration of the body. Hydration is especially important to gout sufferers as it allows the body to flush the uric acid out of the blood, preventing its buildup as crystals on the joints. However, drinking alcohol is not a direct cause of gout.

It is important to speak with your doctor and dietitian about gout and diet prevention and what you should be eating to help to control your gout. However, it is also wise to keep up with the latest research, as the "truths" that we know about gout diets are always changing.
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