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Changing what you eat or drink

BMJ Group Medical Reference

We know that gout is more likely if you eat certain foods or drink beer or spirits. You may be able to prevent gout by changing what you eat and drink. But there hasn't been much research, so we don't know how much this can help.

And we don't know if it helps to change what you eat and drink, once you've already had an attack of gout.

A big study found that men eating more meat or fish than average had a higher chance of getting gout. [46] The study also found that men who ate low-fat dairy products, such as skimmed milk, were less likely to get gout.

The men were more likely to get gout if they drank beer or spirits. [47] But wine didn't seem to have any effect.

One study has found that sugary soft drinks, and even fruit juice, can increase your risk of gout if you have them every day or nearly every day. [48] There's no increased risk from diet soft drinks without any sugar.

Gout is caused by having too much urate in your blood. Doctors think that eating lots of meat and fish, and drinking lots of beer and spirits, increases the amount of urate in your blood. So it would seem that cutting down on these things might stop you getting gout.

There's no evidence to prove that changing what you eat and drink can stop you getting another attack of gout. But the following changes are recommended in guidelines for doctors and you may want to try them: [49]

  • Losing weight on a calorie-controlled diet (if you're overweight)

  • Eating less meat or fish

  • Drinking wine instead of beer

  • Drinking more skimmed milk.


For references related to Gout click here.
Last Updated: June 20, 2012
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.

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