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A healthy diet may be key to preventing gout flares

The diet used to lower blood pressure can also be effective at reducing gout attacks.
Healthy diet

The diet used to lower blood pressure can also be effective at reducing gout attacks, says researchers.

Avoiding saturated fats and concentrating on fruit, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods may be the most effective non-pharmacologic way to combat gout, say researchers.

While diet has long been known to affect uric acid levels, a trigger of the painful form of arthritis, clinical trials by researchers at Johns Hopkins University have gathered more evidence.

They assessed the potential of the Dash (dietary approaches of stop hypertension) diet used for lowering blood pressure to also lower uric acid levels in blood. The diet includes lean meat, fish, wholegrains, nuts and beans.

A randomised trial of 103 adults with hypertension were placed on either Dash or a typical American diet, and were further fed low, medium and high levels of sodium.

The

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The diet used to lower blood pressure can also be effective at reducing gout attacks, says researchers.
Balanced diet
A balanced diet. Picture: Alamy

Avoiding saturated fats and concentrating on fruit, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods may be the most effective non-pharmacologic way to combat gout, say researchers.

While diet has long been known to affect uric acid levels, a trigger of the painful form of arthritis, clinical trials by researchers at Johns Hopkins University have gathered more evidence.

They assessed the potential of the Dash (dietary approaches of stop hypertension) diet used for lowering blood pressure to also lower uric acid levels in blood. The diet includes lean meat, fish, wholegrains, nuts and beans.

A randomised trial of 103 adults with hypertension were placed on either Dash or a typical American diet, and were further fed low, medium and high levels of sodium.

The Dash diet lowered uric acid on average by 0.35 mg/dL. However, further reduction by reducing sodium intake did not happen, to researchers’ surprise.

Counterintuitively, the high sodium levels typical of American diets actually decreased uric acid levels compared to low sodium intake.

'Physicians may confidently recommend the Dash diet to patients with gout to lower uric acid levels,' said lead author Dr Stephen Juraschek.

Juraschek SP et al (2016) Effects of the dietary approaches to stop hypertension (Dash) diet and sodium intake on serum uric acid. Arthritis and Rheumatism. doi: 10.1002/art.39813

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