Acute gout is a painful condition that typically affects one joint.
Chronic gout is repeated episodes of pain and inflammation, which may involve more than one joint.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Gout is caused by having higher-than-normal levels of uric acid in your body. This may occur if:
Your body makes too much uric acid
Your body has a hard time getting rid of uric acid
In a study of over 600 people with gout, those who ate a ½-cup serving of cherries a day, the equivalent of about 10 or 12 cherries, or consumed cherry extract, had a 35 percent lower risk of a subsequent gout attack. Those who ate more cherries, up to three servings in two days, had an even lower, 50 percent reduction in risk.
- Cherries contain powerful compounds like anthocyanins and bioflavonoids, which are known to fight inflammation and may help lower your uric acid levels; gout occurs when the metabolic processes that control the amount of uric acid in your blood fail to do their job effectively. The stiffness and swelling are a result of excess uric-acid-forming crystals in your joints.
- If you have gout, it’s very important to restrict your fructose intake to below 25 grams a day, including from fruit, as fructose drives up uric acid levels in your body.
Gout occurs when the metabolic processes that control the amount of uric acid in your blood fail to do their job effectively. The stiffness and swelling are a result of excess uric-acid-forming crystals in your joints, and the pain associated with this condition disease is caused by your body’s inflammatory response to the crystals.
Past studies have found:
- Eating two servings of cherries after an overnight fast lead to a 15 percent reduction in uric acid, and lower nitric oxide and C-reactive protein levels (which are associated with inflammatory diseases like gout.)2 The researchers noted the study supports “the reputed anti-gout efficacy of cherries” as well as “evidence that compounds in cherries may inhibit inflammatory pathways.”
- Consuming tart cherry juice daily for four weeks may lower your levels of uric acid3
Be careful not to overdo it on cherries. I know from personal experience because they are my favorite fruit and I could easily eat a pound of them in one sitting.
For more on Gout visit the following resources:
- J Nutr. 2003 Jun;133(6):1826-9.