Arthritis

Updated 16 August 2016

Blood pressure diet may also help for gout

The DASH eating plan, normally used to lower blood pressure, also seems to relieve gout, which is an inflammatory arthritis problem.

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A diet that helps people reduce high blood pressure may also offer a non-drug treatment for gout – a type of inflammatory arthritis, a new study suggests.

Lowers uric acid

The clinical trial included more than 400 people who ate the so-called DASH diet (which features high amounts of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and low amounts of fats and saturated fats), or a typical American diet.

Along with lowering blood pressure, the DASH diet also significantly lowers levels of uric acid. Uric acid crystals are known to cause gout, the Arthritis Foundation says.

Read: Myths about gout are hampering its treatment

The DASH diet's effect for some people with gout was so strong that it nearly matched the effectiveness of drugs normally used to treat the painful condition, the study authors said.

The findings suggest that dietary changes could offer an effective and safe way to lower uric acid levels. That would possibly prevent gout flare-ups for people with mild to moderate gout who can't or don't want to take gout drugs, the researchers explained.

"Results of this trial are good news to patients with high blood levels of uric acid or those at risk for gout. A dietary approach to prevent gout should be considered first-line therapy," said study senior author Dr Edgar Miller III.

Read: Krystexxa Approved for Gout

He is a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

"This study suggests that standard dietary advice for uric acid reduction – which is to reduce alcohol and protein intake – should now include advice to adopt the DASH diet," Miller said in a university news release.

The study was published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology.

Gout affects 8.3 million people in the United States. The disorder costs the US health care system about $7.7 billion, the researchers said.

Read more:

Gout - from Natural Standard

Causes of Gout

Treatment of Gout

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Professor Asgar Ali Kalla completed his MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 1975 at the University of Cape Town and his FRCP in 2003 in London. Professor Ali Kalla is the Isaac Albow Chair of Rheumatology at the University of Cape Town and also the Head of Division of Rheumatology at Groote Schuur Hospital. He has participated in a number of clinical trials for rheumatology and is active in community outreach. Prof Ali Kalla is an expert in Arthritis for Health24.

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