Blood pressure diet may help prevent gout flares

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Scientists from Johns Hopkins University found that a healthy diet can effectively lower blood levels of uric acid, a known trigger of gout.

The research is published in Arthritis & Rheumatology and was conducted by Stephen Juraschek et al.

Elevated uric acid in the blood plays a key role in gout, an extremely painful form of arthritis that results in profound disability and healthcare expenses.

Diet has long been identified as an important determinant of blood uric acid levels, but there is virtually no clinical trial evidence to inform food choices by physicians and patients.

In the study, the team looked at the potential of the Dietary Approaches To Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, a diet with well-established benefits for lowering blood pressure, and for lowering uric acid.

The DASH diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods and reduces the consumption of saturated fat, total fat, and cholesterol. It also contains whole grains, lean meats, fish, nuts, and beans.

The team examined 103 adults with pre-or stage 1 high blood pressure. Participants were assigned to receive either the DASH diet or a control diet (typical of the average American diet) and were further fed low medium, and high sodium levels for 30 days, each in random order.

The DASH diet lowered uric acid on average by 0.35 mg/dL. In individuals with uric acid levels >7 mg/dL, however, which is common among patients with gout, the DASH diet lowered uric acid by >1 mg/dL.

The team also found higher sodium intake (which was about equal to the average sodium consumed in a typical American diet) decreased uric acid levels compared with low sodium intake.

The mechanism by which increased sodium intake decreases uric acid is unclear.

The findings suggest that the DASH diet may be an effective approach to preventing flares in patients with gout.

The team says doctors may now confidently recommend the DASH diet to patients with gout in order to lower uric acid levels.

The findings also show how sodium, or salt, can alter uric acid levels, which provides important insights into further understanding dietary triggers of gout flares.

If you care about nutrition, please read studies about snack food that may harm your heart rhythm, and eating this food linked to better waist size, blood pressure, blood sugar.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies that fermented-food diet can reduce inflammation, improve gut health, and results showing this common chemical in food may harm your blood pressure.

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