Red meat, seafood increase gout risk

March 17, 2004 in Nutrition Topics in the News

Red meat, seafood increase gout risk

A high intake of purine-rich meat (particularly red meats) and seafood significantly increases the risk of developing gout, while a high intake of low fat dairy products, strongly protects against the painful joint condition, according to a study published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The researchers prospectively examined potential dietary risk factors for gout in 47,150 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. They used food-frequency questionnaires to assess diet every 4 years. Over a 12-year-period, 730 confirmed new cases of gout were documented among the participants in the study.

The risk of gout was 41% higher for men with the highest meat consumption compared with those with the lowest intake. For seafood consumption, the risk was 51% higher. Each additional daily serving of meat was associated with a 21% increase in the risk of gout, and each additional weekly serving of seafood was associated with a 7% increase in risk.

No increased risk was seen with consumption of purine-rich vegetables, which include peas, beans, mushrooms, cauliflower and spinach, or with overall protein intake.

Increased consumption of low-fat dairy products, on the other hand, appeared to reduce the risk of gout by 44% for men with the highest consumption versus lowest intake.

After taking into account these dietary components, other traditional risk factors had no effect - including being overweight, having high blood pressure, older age, alcohol use, use of diuretics, and chronic kidney failure.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.