The myth of diet and gout

People who have a diet rich in urate-raising drink and foodstuffs are unlikely to be at higher risk of gout, despite the old wives tales. A large study published in the BMJ ( analysed the diets and measured urate levels in over 16 000 people of European origin.

Foods and drinks associated with raised serum urate levels included beer, spirits, wine, potatoes, soft drinks, and meat (chicken, beef, pork, or lamb) and foods associated with reduced urate levels included eggs, peanuts, cereal, skimmed milk, cheese, brown bread, margarine, and non-citrus fruits.

However, each of these established foods explained less than 1% of variation in serum urate levels. In comparison, 23.9% of variance in serum urate levels was explained by known genetic variants.

According to the authors, diet plays a very small part in variations in urate levels compared to genetic make-up.

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