If you have been diagnosed with gout, you have probably been told to cut down on acidic food like meat, which is not bad advice.
But a study published in the latest edition of JAMA Network Open reveals the #1 cause of gout. Without addressing this one factor, all other methods are in vain.
The good news is that this factor can be fixed easily, using simple lifestyle changes to completely reverse gout.
A team led by researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School examined previous studies finding that a high blood urate level was the primary causal factor behind gout.
In addition, they reviewed studies showing that high urate levels could be lowered by tackling obesity, unhealthy diet, alcohol consumption, and diuretic use.
These two facts prompted them to examine exactly how many gout cases could be prevented by addressing these four factors. They designed a new study to find out.
They mined the Health Professionals Follow-up Study for data. This is a study of 51,529 male health professionals who were recruited in 1986 and had submitted a questionnaire every two years on their health, diets, and lifestyle habits.
The authors of the new study excluded subjects who had gout at the beginning of the study and for whom information was incomplete. Eventually they had a sufficiently large sample of 44,654 subjects.
They checked which of these subjects developed gout between 1986 and 2015.
1. Obese men with a BMI of 30 and up were 265% more likely to develop gout than those with BMI scores lower than 23.
2. Compared to those with BMI scores below 23, those with a BMI of 25–29 had an increased risk of 90% and those with a BMI of 23–24.9 had an elevated risk of 29%.
3. Diuretic use increased the subjects’ risk of gout by 210%.
4. Men who consumed at least five grams of alcohol per day were 20–110% more likely to develop gout, depending on the amount they drank.
5. Those who ate the perfect DASH diet with vegetables, fruit, low-fat dairy, and very little red meat were 26% less likely to develop gout than those who scored the worst on the DASH diet.
This means that 77% of these gout cases could have been prevented by having a BMI below 25, following the DASH diet, and refraining from diuretics and alcohol.
But here are the most important findings. DASH dieting and abstaining from diuretics and alcohol could have prevented 79% of cases among men with a BMI of less than 23, 69% of cases among men with a BMI of 23–24.9, 59% of cases among men with a BMI of 25–29, but only 5% of cases among men with a BMI over 30.
This shows clearly that weight is the single most important thing you must tackle to prevent gout. If you do everything else right but are still obese, your efforts will most probably be in vain.
And if you need to lose weight, you can do that in a breeze using the third element of weight loss. I explain this all here…