Gout is caused by a high uric acid level. Everyone knows that, right?
But according to a new study published in Clinical Rheumatology this is not the case. It’s actually caused by a common type of fat.
Cut out this fat and literally watch your gout melt away.
Triglycerides are fats that appear in your blood and are usually tested alongside your cholesterol.
Free fatty acids are long chain acids that are attached to nothing else. In other words, they are free, and bound to nothing.
A triglyceride is an ester built up from glycerol and three fatty acids. In other words, three free fatty acids and glycerol bind together to form triglycerides.
When you eat, your body converts the calories that it doesn’t need immediately to triglycerides, which are then stored in your fat cells to provide you with energy later. Triglycerides are normally thought of as the main constituent of body fat and, therefore, they are a very harmful substance.
But this new study now suggests that the free fatty acids, before linking with glycerol to form triglycerides, might be involved in gout attacks.
The scientists recruited 60 people with acute gout, 60 in gout remission, 60 with high uric acid that showed no symptoms, and 60 healthy controls.
They then drew and tested their subject’s blood for free fatty acids – triglycerides, cholesterol, and a variety of other health markers.
From the analysis, they drew two strong conclusions:
1. The free fatty acids in the blood of the acute gout patients was much higher than in that of the subjects in the other three groups.
2. The four groups did not differ on triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, even though triglycerides are considered to be harmful and LDL cholesterol is normally called bad cholesterol.
This means that doctors can use blood tests for free fatty acids to monitor your gout.
It also means that you should probably reduce the amount of fat in your diet if you have gout.