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Sugar sweetened drinks can increase painful gouty arthritis

Posted by Richmond Bergner on

World class New Zealand researchers have investigated how ones weight affects sugar sweetened beverage intake and gout. What they found is very interesting. Surprisingly, sugary drinks don’t just give you belly fat and overall weight but it actually increases uric acid levels in one’s blood and thereby increases gout risk.

The sugar sweetened beverages (ie. drinks with added sugar including: non-diet soft drinks/sodas, flavoured juice drinks, sports drinks, sweetened tea, coffee drinks, energy drinks, and electrolyte replacement drinks) have been shown to stimulate uric acid production. The result of increased uric acid levels are painful gout symptoms.

There is a lot of previous scientific work showing that being overweight can also drive gout symptoms, as such these researches wanted to see if being overweight and drinking sugary beverages together can mediate blood uric acid level and gout.

These researchers to look at too groups of people. One group with low BMI and another group with high BMI. They also adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, fruit intake triglycerides, hypertension and kidney disease will not affect the study results.

The initial analysis tried to investigate the effect of drinking sugary beverages on blood uric levels in 12,870 participants without gout. After the drinking the sugary beverages, the researchers found that uric acid was higher in the high BMI group. 

The second analysis involved 2578 people. 1210 people had gout whereas, 1368 had no gout. The researchers found that gout caused by drinking sugary beverages was more prominent in the high BMI group.

In conclusion, this study highlights that consistently drinking sugary drinks is associated with increased uric acid levels and gout (especially, if one is overweight)

 Take home message

Even though drinking sugary beverages is not good for anyone, Overweight individuals with gout should definitely avoid drinking sugary drinks. Being overweight and drinking sugary drinks will increase your uric acid levels and gout.

photo credit: Latte art - Rosetta via photopin (license)

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