Gout and Dairy
Researchers have known for years that dairy foods like milk, cheese and yogurt help increase the excretion of uric acid in the body. There is a substance in milk called orotic that helps uric acid to be removed by the kidneys. In addition, it has also been suggested that dairy products do protect against gout development due to something called the “uricosuric effect” of the milk proteins casein and lactalbumin. That’s why milk products have been recognized lately by the medical community as an important dietary factor in decreasing the risk of gout development. For existing gout sufferers it is also recommended to consume dairy products to manage this condition.
The evidence that dairy lowers gout risk
There is plenty of evidence to prove this. In a 2011 study that examined the evidence on the effects of dairy products on hyperuricemia and gout observing the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS) and the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), the researchers found that in both studies the decreased risk of gout development was primarily linked with low-fat dairy products! On the contrary, high-fat dairy products were not linked with the risk of gout. The data also suggested that dairy products have a protective effect against gout especially low-fat dairy products.
On a follow up study in 2012 the researchers conducted a 3 month study with 120 gout patients who suffered from reoccurring gout flares. The gout patients were separated in 3 different groups. The first group was given lactose powder, the second group was given skim milk powder and the third group was given skim milk powder enriched with glycomacropeptide and G600 milk fat extract. What was observed was in all three groups there was a decrease in the frequency of gout flares but a significant decrease was noted more in group 3 over all other groups, the group that received the enriched skim milk powder! The third group noticed bigger improvements pain-wise as well and joint stiffness! Cow’s milk has been found to be an acute urate-lowering effect since it’s low in purines and it can it can reduce the activity of xanthine oxidase, the enzyme involved in the production of uric acid. Furthermore, cow’s milk has anti-inflammatory properties that can help you during a gout attack.
A 2004 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine also concluded that dairy increases the excretion of uric acid and the development of gout. Foods included milk, cheeses and yogurt. A 1991 study which studied milk and soy consumption also found that uric acid levels decreased as quickly as after 3 hours of consuming milk! Ain’t that something? Unfortunately, for soy milk lovers, it did not have the same effect and soy actually increases uric acid levels but only slightly.
Finally, drinking 4 cups of milk a day can decrease gout risk by up to 40%! Try and drink one glass of milk daily. In a study of about 15,000 Americans who drank a glass of milk daily for a minimum of 6 years had a significant improvement of their uric acid level of about 25 mg/dl lower on average! In the same study, folks who ate all kinds of cheese also experienced lower uric acid levels. Also note yogurts with live cultures in them like probiotics are also good for your gut bacteria where up to 1/3 of uric acid is dissolved. Whatever the case, rest assured that dairy products should be part of a gout diet.
Posted by Spiro Koulouris
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