Caffeine May Cause Gout

caffeine could cause goutArthritis experts recently met to discuss recent studies conducted regarding gout. Some of the studies showed that caffeine can increase a person’s risk for contracting gout.

Gout is an inflammatory disease similar to arthritis, where uric acid builds up in the joints and tendons causing swelling and pain.

Since 1984 reported gout attacks have increased 45% and 8 million Americans were diagnosed with gout in 2008 alone.

But, is caffeine really to blame?

Gout and Caffeine Studies

Since gout is on the increase there have been many studies which seek to identify the cause(s) for this dramatic increase.

Below are just a few of the studies that have looked at caffeine, coffee, tea and their influence on a person developing gout.

  • A study sponsored by the American College of Rheumatology found that men who are coffee drinkers actually decrease their risk of experiencing gout.  src.
  • A study from the American Society for Nutrition showed that women who are coffee drinkers also had less risk of developing gout. src.
  • Another study showed that people who binge on caffeine are more likely to have a gout attack. This means that people who usually have little caffeine daily but occasionally have a lot of caffeine in one day are at risk.
  • A related study looked at the lifestyles of 79,000 women over a 25 year period and found that women who consumed at least one sugary beverage daily were twice as likely to suffer with gout than women who very rarely drank sugary beverages. This study didn’t list caffeine as a factor, but just the sugar content of the beverage. src.

What Can We learn From This?

  1. It looks like if you want to reduce your chances of getting gout, caffeine should be consumed at a consistent amount daily instead of binging.
  2. Also, choose sugar-free energy drinks or unsweetened coffee and tea as a way to get your caffeine fix without increasing your risk of a painful gout attack.
  3. Daily coffee consumption may decrease risk of gout since it lowers the uric acid concentrations in the bloodstream. src.
  4. Your dominate beverage should be water, especially if you have a history of gout.

It seems like most of the studies show that caffeine consumed in the form of coffee actually decreases gout risk.

It is most likely that sugary drinks are the most dangerous as far as gout risk is concerned, which is independent of caffeine content. Gout treatment includes many dietary restrictions but so far moderate caffeine seems to be ok.

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Last Modified: September 17, 2014