Diet used to reduce blood pressure can minimise gout attacks

A fresh analysis of old data finds that a diet designed to help reduce blood pressure might minimise gout attacks.

Gout is a painful condition and, although diet is known to play a role, the exact reasons behind flare-ups are not understood.

Dr Stephen P Juraschek and his colleagues reopened data from a clinical trial carried out in 1997 called DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).

The landmark study demonstrated that the DASH diet – reduction in salt, an increase in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and less red meat, sweets, and saturated fats – significantly improved blood pressure and cholesterol.

Before the trial began and after each month, the researchers analyzed the participants’ blood for various chemical markers; these included uric acid.

Dr Stephen P Juraschek said that “When you get as high as the reduction we believe occurred with the original DASH diet in this study, the effect starts being comparable with gout medications. ”

These changes due to salt intake were small but significant.   The authors, however, do not recommend that people with gout start adding salt to their diet. “More than 70 percent of people with gout have high blood pressure,” says Dr Juraschek. “If one was to consume more sodium to improve uric acid, it could worsen blood pressure.”

The results of the analysis emphasized that having DASH diet can prevent or at least minimize gout flare-ups, it would be of substantial benefit for gout sufferers. A dietary change that controls gout while simultaneously controlling hypertension and cholesterol levels could make a significant difference to millions of lives.


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