Sunday, April 06, 2008

Fructose and Recent Increases in Gout cases

Recently, the British Medical Journal released a report that indicated men who drink two or more sweet drinks per day are eighty-five more likely to develop gout than men who drink under one fructose sweetened drink per month.

For those of you who are saying that there is no way to give up your sugary soft drinks, you may want to consider the alternative. Gout sufferers experience painful, swollen joints mainly in the lower extremities, although gout can also affect the fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, and spine.

Researchers studied forty thousand men with no history of gout for twelve years by routinely questioning them about their diet. During the life of the study about seven hundred and fifty new cases of gout were diagnosed. Of these gout cases, researchers found that there was solid link between excessive sugary soft drink consumption (five or six non-diet soft drinks per week) and the development of gout.

Sadly, this study also points out that high fructose fruits such as apples and oranges consumed regularly may increase the risk of gout as well. However, researchers are quick to point out that this finding should be weighed against the obvious health benefits that fruit and vegetables provide in the prevention other diseases such as cardiovascular disease and chronic heart failure.

Current standard dietary advice for gout suffers is to avoid the consumption of red meats, beer, and other high purine content foods; however there has been no mention of restricting fructose intake. Considering the findings of this study medical professionals should consider mentioning the detrimental affects of fructose consumption.

Dr. Hyon Choi of the University of British Columbia suggested that treatment resistant cases of gout might be improved if patient restrict their consumption of high fructose fruits such as apples and oranges. Of course it goes without saying, that gout patients should eliminate fructose-sweetened soft drinks from their diets. Interestingly, this same study found that diet soft drinks did not increase the risk of developing gout. Consequently, gout sufferers should eliminate soft drinks or switch to the multitude of diet soft drinks available today.

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