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    Gout (Holistic)

    Gout (Holistic)

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    About This Condition

    The ache in your toe may be enough to knock you off your feet. Gout, a form of arthritis, often strikes without warning. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
    • Check out 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

    • Rest for relief

      During acute attacks, rest the affected part to reduce pain and inflammation

    • Pass up high-purine foods

      To keep uric acid levels low, eat fewer purine-containing foods, such as liver, shrimp, and dried beans and pulses

    • Put a limit on alcohol

      To help prevent new attacks, avoid drinking more than one alcoholic beverage a day


    About This Condition

    Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs when crystals of uric acid accumulate in a joint, leading to the sudden development of pain and inflammation.

    People with gout either overproduce uric acid or are less efficient than other people at eliminating it. The joint of the big toe is the most common site to accumulate uric acid crystals, although other joints may be affected.


    The pain of gout can arise suddenly and is often very intense. The affected joint is usually red, swollen, and very tender to the touch. A low-grade fever may also be present.

    Healthy Lifestyle Tips

    People who are overweight or have high blood pressure are at greater risk of developing gout.1 However, weight loss should not be rapid because restriction of calories can increase uric acid levels temporarily, which may aggravate the condition.

    Eating Right

    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.

    Recommendation Why
    Check out 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.

    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.2 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).3

    Watch what you drink
    To help prevent new attacks, avoid drinking more than one alcoholic beverage a day.

    Avoiding alcohol, particularly beer, or limiting alcohol intake to one drink per day or less may reduce the number of attacks of gout.4 , 5Refined 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.6

    Pass up high-purine foods
    To keep uric acid levels low, eat fewer purine-containing foods, such as liver, shrimp, and dried beans and pulses

    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).


    What Are Star Ratings?

    Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

    For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

    3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.

    2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.

    1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

    Supplement Why
    2 Stars
    Vitamin C
    0.5 to 8 grams daily
    Supplementing with vitamin C might reduce the risk of gout attacks, as it appears to help reduce uric acid levels.

    In one small study, people who took 4 grams of vitamin C (but not lower amounts) had an increase in urinary excretion of uric acid within a few hours, and those who took 8 grams of vitamin C per day for several days had a reduction in serum uric acid levels.7 Thus, supplemental vitamin C could, in theory, reduce the risk of gout attacks. However, the authors of this study warned that taking large amounts of vitamin C could also trigger an acute attack of gout by abruptly changing uric acid levels in the body. Another study showed that taking lower amounts of vitamin C (500 mg per day) for two months significantly reduced blood levels of uric acid, especially in people whose initial uric acid levels were elevated.8 For people with a history of gout attacks, it seems reasonable to begin vitamin C supplementation at 500 mg per day, and to increase the amount gradually if uric acid levels do not decrease.

    1 Star
    Refer to label instructions
    In test tube studies, quercetin, a flavonoid, has inhibited an enzyme involved in the development of gout.

    In test tube studies, quercetin , a flavonoid , has inhibited an enzyme involved in the development of gout.9 , 10 However, it is not known whether taking quercetin by mouth can produce high enough quercetin concentrations in the body to achieve these effects. Although human research is lacking, some doctors recommend 150-250 mg of quercetin three times per day (taken between meals).


    1. 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.

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

    3. 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.

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

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

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

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

    8. 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.

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

    10. Busse W, Kopp D, Middleton E. Flavonoid modulation of human neutrophil function. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1984;73:801-9.

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