Gout and Ketogenic Diet

Gout and Ketogenic Diet

How Gout and the Ketogenic Diet Affects You

A ketogenic diet is a diet with extremely low or no carbohydrates diet which makes the body go into a state known as ketosis. When the body is in the state of ketosis, the carbohydrates levels are low and this causes the blood sugar levels to drop and the body begins to break down fat to produce energy. Normally, the body relies on dietary energy sources as well as on the stored energy, which in most cases is always in the form of stored fats.

When the body is exposed to ketogenic diet, it implies that the dietary carbohydrates will be kept very low, thus leaving the body to rely on stored fats to provide the primary source of fuel, a process which also ends up producing ketones from the stored fats. It should be noted, therefore, that a ketogenic diet is a high fat diet and not a high protein diet as has always been portrayed.

Studies have suggested that high fat low carb ketogenic diet can help to alleviate the symptoms of gout. Gout symptoms are normally triggered by the NLRP3 inflammasome with the aid of neutrophilis. What happens is that the NLRP3 activates the 1L-1B pro-inflammatory cytokine which then leads to bouts of intense pain at the joints, fever, as well as the destruction of the joints.

According to the studies conducted on rodent models, researchers induced gout in rats by injecting 1.25mg of monosodium urate on the knee, after which the knee’s thickness was measured and pathology analysis performed on the menisci and the ligaments.

Human subjects were also used during the research where steroid free adults between the ages of 18 and 45 years and adults above the ages of 65 years. All the participants in the studies were not fasting at the time when there peripheral blood was collected.

The studies concluded that ketogenic diet had the ability to raise the levels of BHB in the body. BHB in turn inhibits NLRP3 inflammasome and consequently alleviating the symptoms of urate crystal induced gout. This happens without the immune system being impacted negatively or without hindering its ability to fight bacterial infections.

Additionally, the studies concluded that BHB had the ability to block 1L-1B in both humans and mice subjects irrespective of the age and since 1L-1B is responsible for the bouts of pains experienced during gout attacks, it can effectively be concluded that ketogenic diets can help alleviate gout pains.

The conclusions of the studies thus promotes the notion as well as the adoption of ketogenic diets are a means of alleviating or providing relief to gout sufferers. Previously, there have been debates all over about the safety and the efficiency of the diet, especially in weight loss, but all the studies and researches have continuously pointed to the fact that it is indeed a viable method to lose weight safely, since all you will be avoiding is the use of diet carbohydrates as source of energy for the body and instead relying on the stored fats to provide the energy. It is during the breakdown of fats that ketones are produced which then sets off a chain reaction that will ultimately help in alleviating gout pains.

It should, however, be noted that, there may be a temporary increase in risk of gout for the first six weeks when you resort to ketogenic diet. But after this period, the diet may be protective as described above when it comes to doubt. A lot of studies is still on going with regards to the effects of ketogenic diet on gout, but until conclusive results are in, it is safe to say that low carb diet may help in alleviating gout pains in gout sufferers.

But Is This Safe And Should Gout Sufferers Use It?

In my opinion, no gout sufferer should use the ketogenic diet due to the fact that it is not a healthy diet. We all fall prey to quick fix wacko diets but the truth is that there is no quick fix! Eating mostly complex carbohydrates as in fresh vegetables, beans, legumes, whole grain breads, pastas and rices with very little protein and fat is what will keep you healthy long term. Not some fad that will last couple of years and die off until everybody moves to the next one on the list.

Yeah sure, it may alleviate gout pain but at what cost? Besides losing weight quickly in such a diet can spark more gout attacks and inflammation. There is no way that a diet that asks you to consume more meats and high fat dairy is good for you as a sufferer from gout. Stick to my gout diet plan as outlined on this website and my book and you’ll see optimal results as many of my readers have found and testified.

Posted by Spiro Koulouris

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6 Comments

  • Andrew DeMario

    Reply Reply June 18, 2017

    I had gout for eight years. My attacks increased over that time until I was getting at least one major attack every month. I quit all alcohol, stopped eating honey and became a lacto/ovo vegetarian. I also took 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 6 ounces of water every night before I went to bed. The result is that I didn’t have an attack for over a year. I began to eat as much meat and fish of every variety I wanted to every day. It is now six months and I have had no attack. It is my belief that my high uric acid forming crystals came about from the large amount of sweet red wine and honey that I consumed daily, i.e., high fructose, and not purines from meat and fish. I will let you know if I suffer an attack again, but I am confident that I have beat gout.

  • Pat Kenyon

    Reply Reply June 15, 2017

    Hi Spiro
    I have to agree with Megan, HFLC can be good and no need to go overboard with the meat and animal fat. I also agree about fad diets. Low Fat high carb, … Fad since the 1970s? Ancel Keys, hero or villan?.John Yudkin? definitely a hero! Now people are fatter and sicker! Before that low carb was the tried and tested weight loss method. Spuds- Fattening! (what about Banting in the 1800s) Plenty of places where high fat low complex carbs and long life rule! too(sometimes the same places – depending on the reviewer). Whatever the diet, I think the best rules are: Real+unprocessed and low sugars (even from fruit). On hflc I have cut down my allopurinol dose a bit and lost a stone in weight (no gout attack). In my opinion HFLC is better for inflamation and health. I am a little unconvinced about going totally ketogenic though.

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply June 16, 2017

      Hi Pat!

      Thank you for your comment!

      Guys here is another dietary fad that has been now disproven –> http://www.bbc.com/news/health-40300145

      Fat should only consist of 10% of your daily calories, it doesn’t matter what fat you choose from salmon to avocados to coconut oil. That’s it! Any more can harm your health down the road. Let’s not look at the short term benefits, it’s the long term benefits that count.

  • Jason

    Reply Reply June 9, 2017

    I am a long time gout sufferer (16 years), and have tried every diet out there to try and fix my gout. I have had bad reactions to prescription meds in the past so that was not really an option for me, so diet and lifestyle changes had to be the answer.

    I am happy to report I seem to have finally found a diet that works for me. I want to reiterate, for me. Everyone is a little different. But it might work for you too.

    Without going into all the history and details of how I got here, my diet is simple, Very low gluten, very low fructose. Without the scientific analysis, I think the fructose , especially high fructose corn syrup and other artificial sources cause similar and possibly worse liver issues than alcohol. That and the mild inflammation I get from gluten react together to give me gout attacks. As of 6 months ago, very severe ones. Since then when I tried this combination, I have been the longest without an attack in 10 years.

    I’m not celiac or allergic to gluten, so the amount in soy sauce or other trace amounts is fine. Fructose is similar in the sense that there seems to be a level I need to stay under to keep the gout away. A couple granny smiths a week in my juice or a handful of berries and cherries in my smoothies seems to be fine. I mostly avoid things with high fructose corn syrup like ketchup, bbq sauces, etc. In general I also keep my sugar low because sucrose is 50% fructose. Mostly I look for glucose such as brown rice syrup and white rice in general as well as potatoes, yams, legumes etc. and the occasional corn product.

    Hope this helps someone. There was a lot of personal trial and error to get here and I have no agenda. Just what worked for me.

    PS, on this diet I eat all the meat, red, white or other I want and drink as much as I want as long as it isn’t beer. Beer is almost an instant trigger.

    Cheers and thanks for making it this far.

  • Megan

    Reply Reply June 8, 2017

    The ketogenic diet is not a wacko unhealthy diet. In fact it’s very healthy. It consists of mostly plants, non starchy vegetables, moderate amounts of high quality proteins, and healthy fats. Because fat contain twice as many calories as protein/carbs, it doesn’t take much to make it most of your calorie needs. Fats to not really stimulate an insulin response, so it’s a great way to nourish your body, give your body your cholesterol needs for cells and hormones without contributing to hyperinsulinemia. Someone on a ketogenic diet may have raised cholesterol, but what’s important here is that the blood lipid tests show BETTER ratio of HDL to LDL, and the LDL turn to be more of the good “fluffy kind.” In the end, because the ketogenic diet is more appetite suppressing, one can lose weight, and not be hungry at all, and in the end be eating less, so it’s a lot easier to do intermittent fasting to reverse diabetes/obesity and starve cancer. Healthy fats are a prefered fuel source for our mitochondria – it’s a cleaner fuel than glucose (which drives more inflammation.) Ketones also turn off inflammatory cytokine, NF Kappa-B. Your body receives more energy per oxygen molecule when running on ketones and so your body becomes very efficient. It’s anti-aging as your mitochondria product less reactive oxygen species, but still the ketones help to oxidize cancer cells (which feed on fermentable glucose alone). I don’t think that healthy carbohydrates are bad at all, but we are learning in science more and more that the biggest contributor to longevity is your body being able to burn more fat than glucose over a period of a lifetime. I do think that a diet high in glucose but LOW in fat is very dangerous and causes more inflammation, more insulin, higher IGF-1, low cholesterol (which is not a good thing as your body needs it), on and on. I recommend you research this more on the benefits of fueling your mitochondria with fat. Good books you might start with are: “Fat for Fuel,” “Eat Fat Get Thin,” and research dietdoctor.com for more information as it is a great resource.

    • Hi Megan!

      Whenever I write about diets, I always get long comments who argue against my opinion the matter but this diet is not ideal for gout sufferers but the diet consists of eating mostly fat and protein then vegetables unless you have a different approach to the ketogenic diet. Lots of protein and fat is what harms gout sufferers, since the organs of the body take a much longer time to break down protein and fat then complex carbohydrates which burn clean and quickly in the body. The ketogenic diet will raise uric acid levels, I know it, that is why the research only talks about helping gout sufferers only when experiencing pain and inflammation during a gout attack or flare-up.

      Following this diet will make it worse for gout sufferers long term, that is my point here. Insulin levels is not something that really concerns gout sufferers more or less, it is uric acid that concerns more and following this diet will raise it without a doubt! As with the Atkins diet which is also high in fat, this diet can lead to other health problems. It’s just amazing how people change from diet to diet every few years based on supposedly sound research and then fade away cause many people will try it and see it doesn’t work. It’s a whole new business industry that needs something new to continue to thrive. I want to see long term health studies on this diet and see what results come about it. I’d bet that the ketogenic diet wouldn’t stand to do that well at all. If you look at the so called blue zones where people live the longest, it’s all about eating complex carbohydrates mostly and some protein and fat. That’s my take on it!

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