DASH diet can help manage gout, study finds

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In a novel study led by Stephen Juraschek and published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, scientists from Johns Hopkins University unearthed significant data concerning the link between diet, specifically the DASH diet, and the management of uric acid levels pertinent to gout management.

Gout: A Painful Ailment Tied to Uric Acid

Gout, a particularly painful variant of arthritis, results in notable disability and healthcare costs, with elevated uric acid being a critical factor.

Recognizing diet as a substantial determinant of blood uric acid levels, there exists a palpable deficit in clinical trial evidence to guide dietary decisions for physicians and patients alike.

The DASH Diet: A Potential Uric Acid Modulator

The researchers zoomed in on the Dietary Approaches To Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, known for its efficacy in mitigating blood pressure, exploring its capabilities in uric acid management. The DASH diet underscores:

  • High intake of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods
  • Reduction of saturated fat, total fat, and cholesterol
  • Inclusion of whole grains, lean meats, fish, nuts, and beans

A Deep Dive into the Study: Methodology and Findings

Involved in the study were 103 adults grappling with pre-or stage 1 high blood pressure.

Allocated to either the DASH diet or a control diet (mirroring the average American diet), they were subject to low, medium, and high sodium levels for a duration of 30 days each, administered in a randomized order.

Key Findings:

  • The DASH diet triggered a mean reduction in uric acid by 0.35 mg/dL.
  • For participants with uric acid levels exceeding 7 mg/dL (common in gout patients), the DASH diet resulted in a reduction of uric acid by more than 1 mg/dL.
  • Elevated sodium intake, parallel to an average American diet, brought down uric acid levels compared to a low sodium intake, although the mechanism behind this remains enigmatic.

Practical Implications: A Dietary Approach to Managing Gout

The insights suggest that the DASH diet may potentially stave off flare-ups in gout patients, offering a dietary method to regulate uric acid levels. This allows physicians to confidently endorse the DASH diet to gout patients.

Moreover, the discovery of the relationship between sodium intake and uric acid levels enhances the understanding of dietary triggers in gout flare-ups, paving the way for further exploration and validation through subsequent studies.

For a more detailed examination of the research and its findings, consider exploring the full study in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

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