Gout and Milk: Should You Drink Milk if You Have Gout?
A bowl of cereal and whole milk makes is a quick
and easy breakfast, but if you have a history of gout, milk can be a
problem. Whole milk, like other full-fat dairy products, is high in
purines. Purines are broken down to uric acid, which can bring on a
gout attack in people prone to this painful condition. So when it
comes to gout and milk, do you have to give it up your favorite
dairy products? Fortunately, you do not.
Risk of Gout and Milk: All Dairy Products Don’t
Increase the Risk of Gout
If you’re a dairy-lover at high risk for gout,
you don’t have to give up all dairy products – as long as they’re
low-fat. Skim milk contains a compound called orotic acid that helps
to ferry uric acid out of the blood and into the urine where it can
be flushed down the toilet.
One small study carried out at Boston University
School of Medicine showed that volunteers who drank skim milk
lowered their uric acid levels by 10% within three hours of drinking
it. So if you’re at high risk for gout but don’t want to give up
milk - switch over to fat-free milk instead.
Another Dairy Product That May Be Good for Gout
Low-fat yogurt is another dairy product that
won’t raise uric acid levels and may satisfy a taste for dairy
without causing your big toe to throb and swell. Take it one step
further, and add some tart cherries to your yogurt. A study out of
Michigan State University showed that eating as few as 20 tart
cherries a day lowered the levels of cyclooxygenase enzymes that
contribute to pain and inflammation. They think that tart cherries
could help to ward off painful attacks of gout and arthritis. Look
for tart cherries in cans at your local supermarket.
What about soymilk? Hold the soymilk. The Boston
University School of Medicine study found that drinking soymilk
raised uric acid levels by 10%.
Risk of Gout and Milk
You don’t have to give up dairy if you’re at risk
of gout. Switch over to fat-free milk and yogurt – and don’t forget
to drink more water. Drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water a day helps to
flush uric acid out of the body through the kidneys – and that’s a
good thing when it comes to the risk of gout. Enjoy milk, but make
sure it’s skim.