The diet recommended to lower high blood pressure and prevent heart disease also seems help prevent gout. This plan, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), has been found to reduce uric acid, a compound found in blood that causes gout. To determine whether the diet could protect against gout a U.S.-Canadian research team analyzed data on more than 44,000 men aged 40 to 75 with no history of the disease. The men completed detailed food questionnaires when they entered the study in 1986 and updated their answers every four4 years through 2012. All were assigned a “DASH” score reflecting their consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes as well as whole grains, low-fat dairy products, salt, red and processed meats and sweetened beverages. They also were assigned a “Western” score reflecting a higher intake of red and processed meats, French fries, refined grains, sweets and desserts. During 26 years of follow up, a higher DASH score was linked to a lower risk of developing gout, while an increased risk of gout was associated with a higher Western pattern score. Because this was an observational study, it did not prove cause and effect. But the researchers noted that the dietary effects were independent of other known risk factors for gout, including age, body mass index, high blood pressure, and alcohol and coffee intake.
Susan Mayor, “Diet high in vegetables, fruit, and whole grains may reduce risk of gout.” BMJ, 2017; j2238 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.j2238
Also in this week’s bulletin:
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