Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs when there is a build-up of uric acid crystals in the joints. This leads to inflammation, pain, and swelling. Gout is most found in the big toe but can also affect other joints such as the knee, ankle, and elbow.
What are the foods that cause gout?
Certain foods can contribute to the development of gout by increasing the level of uric acid in the body. The most identified foods that cause gout include:
Organ meats: Organ meats such as liver, kidney, and sweetbreads are high in purines, which are naturally occurring substances that break down into uric acid in the body. Consuming large amounts of these meats can lead to an excess of uric acid in the joints, leading to gout.
Seafood: Seafood such as anchovies, sardines, and mussels are also high in purines, and have been linked to an increased risk of gout.
Yeast products: Yeast products such as beer and bouillon are also high in purines. Studies have shown that consuming large amounts of beer is associated with an increased risk of gout.
Legumes: Legumes such as beans and lentils are also a source of purines, but they are generally considered to be lower in purines compared to organ meats, seafood, and yeast products.
Does alcohol intake contribute to gout?
Alcohol intake, particularly beer and spirits, has been linked to an increased risk of gout. This is because alcohol, particularly beer, is high in purines, and can also increase the production of uric acid in the body. Additionally, alcohol can interfere with the body's ability to eliminate uric acid, leading to a build-up in the joints. Studies have shown that men who consume more than two drinks per day are at a higher risk of developing gout than those who drink less.
What are the references to scientific research?
Here are a few references to studies that have investigated the relationship between diet and gout:
- Cho E, et al. "Purine-rich foods, dairy and protein intake, and the risk of gout in men." N Engl J Med. 2004 Apr 8;350(15):1093-103.
- Janssens HJ, et al. "Elevated serum uric acid is associated with a high intake of purine-rich foods and alcohol in women." Ann Rheum Dis. 2002 Oct;61(10):946-9.
- Perez-Ruiz F, et al. "European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) recommendations for the management of gout. Part I: diagnosis." Report of a task force of the EULAR Standing Committee for International Clinical Studies Including Therapeutics.
In conclusion, gout is a type of arthritis caused by a build-up of uric acid crystals in the joints. Consuming foods high in purines such as organ meats, seafood, yeast products, and legumes can contribute to an increased risk of gout. It's also important to limit alcohol intake as it can increase the risk of gout. If you have gout, it's best to avoid these foods and limit your alcohol intake. It's also important to maintain healthy weight and manage other medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes to lower the risk of gout.