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What May Surprise You About Some Foods High In Uric Acid

Nov 22, 2007
One of the first warnings you may get from your doctor when diagnosed with gout is to watch out for foods high in uric acid producing properties known as purines. Purines, when metabolized, lead to the development of uric acid. When excess levels of uric acid are reached it can result in the formation of uric acid crystals in the joints. As you know this can make your condition worse and multiple the number of attacks you have to suffer through. Some doctors may provide you with a list of common gout trigger foods that can exacerbate your condition. While following the list recommendations should offer relief, there are new thoughts about the different types of foods that are known to be higher in purines. Some foods high in purines that previously where on the 'do not eat' list are now considered safe additions to your diet.

The foods high in purine that should still be avoided are those that fall into the meat category. But even here there are degrees of avoidance. The most important meats to avoid due to their likelihood of triggering a gout attack are any type of organ tissue. Seafood is also best avoided, especially shellfish. Red meat, game and fatty meat are also best avoided but a small amount infrequently maybe okay. Remember, purines are only part of the total equation when it comes to experiencing or controlling a gout flare-up.

There are many foods high in purines that were once thought to be as bad as organ meats, red meats, and seafood, but following recent research are now considered to form an acceptable part of a gout sufferers diet.

In 2004, the New England Journal Of Medicine released findings stating that vegetables which are high in purines do not have the same effect as the meats and seafood that gout sufferers are advised to avoid. The same report found that low fat diary products are beneficial to those who suffer from gout, and may offer a measure of relief in the long run.

During studies that measured the effects of foods high in purines, many vegetables with higher levels of purines did not bring on gout attacks, as they were not processed in the same way by the body as meats and seafood. The studies also confirmed that meats, organ meats, and especially seafood were most likely the common culprits for raising uric acid levels with the body, and may directly increase a gout sufferers risk of experiencing a gout attack. Diets low in dairy products were also seen to increase the risk of suffering from a gout attack.

As a result, the food recommendations for gout sufferers have been revised. It is still recommended that patients with gout, or who are prone to gout due to family history and other issues, maintain a low consumption of red meats, yeast breads, seafood, alcohol, and organ meats. These foods are all still potent foods high in purine that lead to increased uric acid levels. However, many of the high purine vegetables like peas, spinach, and mushrooms that were once on the list of foods to avoid are now items that gout sufferers can reintroduce to their diet without much concern about the affect they will have on uric acid levels. Dairy and these vegetables may in fact aid a gout sufferer in their quest for better health.
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