If you’ve ever woken up at night to a sudden attack of pain in your big toe (ankle, knee, wrist, or fingers) then you are probably already familiar with the intense and unforgiving pain of gout. The intense joint pain is usually accompanied by swelling, redness and tenderness, and sends many people to the emergency room for relief. Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs when an accumulation of uric acid crystallizes in the joints. Uric acid is produced when your body breaks down purines (substances that are found naturally in your body). Purines are also found in certain foods such as steak, organ meats and seafood. Alcoholic beverages (especially beer) and drinks sweetened with fructose also promote higher levels of uric acid. Suggestions for keeping gout at bay include staying hydrated, limiting or avoiding meat, fish and poultry, and reducing your intake of alcohol and drinks sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup. Maintaining a desirable body weight is also recommended. Medications are commonly used to treat flare-ups of gout, however certain foods and supplements have also been studied for their potential to lower uric acid levels which may help reduce the risk of gout.
Coffee: Studies have found an association between drinking coffee— both regular and decaffeinated — and lower uric acid levels
Low-Fat Dairy Products: Research has found that low-fat dairy products may have a protective effect against gout
Vitamin C: According to research, vitamin C may reduce the blood levels of uric acid in men
Cherries: Cherries have been reported to lower levels of uric acid, as well as reduce the number of gout attacks
Fish Oil Supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), may help to support healthy levels of inflammation, a hallmark of gout. Supplements are preferred as some types of fish contain higher levels of purines, which raise uric acid levels.
Folic Acid: Folic acid is thought to break down high levels of homocysteine, which is often correlated with high uric acid levels
Magnesium: According to some research, magnesium is associated with low and healthy levels of uric acid
Ginger: Studies have found ginger may help to reduce pain associated with gout as well as reduce uric acid levels
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