How to Reduce Uric Acid

Baking soda goutSome people have asked how to reduce uric acid even more effectively than just by a low uric acid (low purine) diet. Are there any things we can do to help manage and reduce the uric acid we already have in our bodies?

Well, as luck would have it, yes there are. First, stick to a low uric acid diet, and for some help see if you can’t try the following:

Baking Soda

No surprise here. Baking soda is the miracle powder already, for everything from upset stomachs to brushing teeth to doing the laundry. If you are worried about uric acid levels or suffering from gout, you can now look at baking soda in a whole new light.

Sodium bicarbonate makes your blood more alkaline. It does this (for you science buffs) by removing hydrogen ions. The alkalized blood is able to manage more uric acid without it crystallizing. And fewer uric acid crystals mean less pain and less likelihood of gout. Even more interesting, the already existing crystals often begin to dissolve in blood with increased alkalinity. This is accomplished with just one teaspoon of baking soda per day. All good news so far.

There are some caveats, though. You shouldn’t start ingesting baking soda to relieve uric acid crystals until you have discussed it with your doctor. The reason for this is that baking soda is high in sodium, and that may be an issue for you already. It could also raise your blood pressure, and is contraindicated for many prescriptions and medical conditions. So do check with your doctor before making baking soda your new best friend.

Cherries and Cherry Juice

While even a teaspoon of baking soda can be difficult to swallow for some, here’s a remedy Cherries and uric acidfor uric acid levels that is absolutely sweet! Cherries have been used for generations to treat gout as a home cure. Until recently, there have been few studies of their effects, but that is changing.

Tart cherries have grown a devoted fan base of arthritis sufferers who routinely consumed the fruit (particularly as juice) to help soothe symptoms. In 1950, a study by (Blau 1950) found that daily cherry consumption helped to relieve gout attacks and arthritis pain. After eating the cherries, the patients in the study were found to have lower blood levels of uric acid.

Several studies have confirmed this since then, including a study from the USDA’s Human Nutrition Research Center at the University of California, Davis where researchers found that healthy women (ages 20 to 40 years) who consumed two servings or 280 grams of cherries after an overnight fast showed a 15 percent reduction in uric acid levels, as well as lowered nitric oxide and C-reactive protein levels (Jacob 2003). The researchers concluded that compounds in cherries may inhibit inflammatory pathways associated with gout.

Vitamin C

A 2008 study at Harvard University showed a strong link between moderate vitamin C usage and uric acid levels.

Greater intakes of total vitamin C were significantly associated with lower serum uric acid concentrations… An inverse dose-response association was observed through vitamin C intake of 400-500 mg/day, and then reached a plateau.

In other words, about 400mg or 500mg of vitamin C daily should help reduce the levels of uric acid in your bloodstream. There was no additional benefit found by taking any more than that.

Alfalfa

Alfalfa for uric acidThough fewer studies have been done on this, there is strong evidence to suggest that alfalfa has minerals and nutrients that effectively lower the uric acid levels in the blood. Alfalfa supplements are inexpensive and easy to come by, and by all accounts very good for you with no negative side effects. Certainly the fiber content alone is beneficial. A recommended dosage might be 2000 to 3000mg daily, though you should of course consult with your doctor before starting any program.

These few things should help you get started in reducing uric acid and dissolving uric acid crystals.

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How to Get Gout

Gout Candidates Tweedledum and DeeGout is the new black. Luxury abounds. Once upon a time, only a select few had luxury cars and luggage. Now everybody does. Once upon a time, gout was an illness that afflicted only the wealthy who could afford to eat a meat-heavy diet. Now gout is on the rise everywhere.

So, how can we keep up with out rich neighbors and get gout for ourselves? After all, if we are the only people without gout, others might start talking about us. How can we keep up with the latest luxury disease?

Despair not. Follow this simple guide, and you will greatly increase your risk of getting gout. Get gout before you get left out, I say…

  1. Eat a purine rich diet that causes uric acid crystals to form and encourages gout. Get started with the foods on this list of high purine foods.
  2. Eat more. Eat all the foods that cause uric acid, and eat more of them. Fatten up!
  3. Diet sometimes. Not a normal diet, but a crash diet where you starve yourself for a week or two, brag about your weight loss for a week or two, and then balloon right back up to where you were again.
  4. Repeat steps 1 to 3 regularly.
  5. Drink. Get drunk. Have fun. Especially drink beer. Beer is purine rich, associated with gout, and helps make you fat, which is also associated with gout.
  6. Don’t drink water. Dehydration is gout’s friend.
  7. If you must drink something besides beer, make it soft drinks. Sweetened soda water. Gout loves corn syrup.
  8. Break a leg. Joint trauma greatly increases your chance of getting gout. If your knees are weak, try jump more often.
  9. Cholesterol and blood pressure. The higher the better. Low cholesterol and blood pressure mean less chance of gout – and more chance your neighbors will think you aren’t rich enough to have gout.
  10. Get older, get menopause. Your chances of getting gout increase after menopause. I know it’s tough to wait, but aging has its advantages.
MArtini drinker James Bond

007 probably had gout

Keep it up. Enjoy yourself. Have a martini, shaken or stirred. Eat purine rich foods. You’ll greatly increase your chances of being part of the in-crowd with gout.

And, just in case you haven’t figured it out. This was tongue in cheek. Nobody really wants to have gout, anymore than they want bunions. 

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Fructose and Uric Acid

Fructose and uric acid - the fruit basket holds danger?Fructose, even that from fresh fruits, may have an impact on your uric acid levels that you should know about. Dr. Richard Johnson, the author of “The Sugar Fix,” available at Amazon and other bookstores, was interviewed by Dr. Joseph Mercola last year regarding fructose and uric acid, and particularly the effects of fructose consumption on uric acid levels. Dr. Richard Johnson is chief of the division of kidney disease and hypertension at the University of Colorado.

First off, he discussed ideal uric acid levels for men and women..

DM: It was a real surprise in our first discussion to learn of the impact of fructose on uric acid… You had mentioned in the last interview that there are a number of researchers who believe that uric acid is actually needed in small quantities because it serves as an antioxidant. So if your levels are too low, it’s a problem.
You had mentioned the range. It should be somewhere between 3 and 5 or 5.5.  And I’m wondering… if you think that the optimum should be closer to the 3 and really further away from the 5.5.
DJ: Sure. Well we do think that the safest range of uric acid is between 3 and 5.2 or 5.5 milligrams per deciliter and it does look like there is a steady relationship between uric acid levels and blood pressure and cardiovascular risk down to the range of 3 to 4. I would suggest that the ideal uric acid is probably around 4 for men and probably around 3.5 for women. I really think that’s probably correct.

 

Dr. Mercola went on to say that two thirds of Americans are overweight, and that uric acid levels for most overweight people were over 5, and often closer to 10. While Dr. Johnson acknowledged that uric acid levels that were too low could be a problem, many more of us were in danger because our levels are too high, and that high uric acid levels “increase the risk for diabetes and high blood pressure, kidney disease and obesity.”

He then made the point that, while fructose could increase uric acid levels, the unnatural added fructose that is found in so many processed foods and almost all sweetened foods was much worse. And more:

We actually have some evidence from our laboratory that uric
acid actually regulates the sensitivity to fructose. So the higher 
your uric acid, the more sensitive you are to the effects of
fructose.

He continued to comment that fresh fruit in moderation was probably fine, and is very healthy in many ways. Yet he cautioned about drinking packaged fruit juices, which are often very misleading and containing many additives. They do not compare to fresh fruit juice made at home.

To keep your uric acid levels down, it’s probably a very good idea to avoid sweetened foods, particularly soft drinks and branded juices. These “100% pure” juices are often made from heavily processed concentrates that require artificial flavorings. They lose many of the benefits in fruits that might counteract the negative effects of fructose on your uric acid levels. Stick to fresh fruits, and squeeze your juices to keep those levels down. Fructose and uric acid have a potent relationship, but one that is well managed by wholesome and natural foods.

Source

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Low Purine and High Purine Foods

Purines are actually formed by your own metabolism when it breaks down nucleoproteins in the food you eat. So, high purine foods are, strictly speaking, foods that cause your body top produce more purines. Low purine foods, of course, are the opposite, resulting in fewer purines in your body. Some people have disorders that cause the mostly insoluble purine called uric acid to build up in the joints. The most common of these disorders in gout.

Low purine food and high purine food

In this case, it can be very good idea to restrict your intake of high purine foods.

Food with Highest Purine Levels (150-825mg/100g)

Sweetbreads (825mg/100g)
Anchovies (363mg/100g)
Sardines (295mg/100g)
Herring
Mackerel
Scallops
Game meats
Beef liver
Brains
Meat Extracts
Gravy

As you can see, the main foods to watch are meats, particularly internal organs, and small oily fish.

Foods with Somewhat High Purine Levels (50-150mg/100g)

Asparagus
Cauliflower
Green peas
Mushrooms
Spinach
Wheat germ and wheat bran
Beans and legumes
Bread and cereal grains

Meat and poultry of all types
Meat soups/broths

Shellfish, including lobster, oysters and crab

Now you can start to see why gout was formerly seen as a rich person’s disease. Until not too long ago, only wealthier people could afford to indulge heavily in meats and shellfish.

Food that are Lowest in Purines

Coffee, tea, soda and most beverages
Breads and cereals that are not whole grain
Cheese
Eggs
Fats
Fish eggs
Fruits and fruit juices
Gelatin
Milk
Nuts
Sugar and sweet syrups
Vegetables except those listed above

By now, you may have noticed that several foods usually seen as healthy (spinach, whole grains) are seen with increasing purine levels. Meanwhile, a lot of the “fun” foods, such as sugars and cheeses, are just fine. No wonder a low uric acid diet is so tough.

Do notice that vegetables, except those listed in the middle section, are all fine.

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Uric Acid Diet

High uric acid crystals

Image via Wikipedia

Diet to Eliminate High Uric Acid

High uric acid is the major sign of gout. We’ll talk about what the symptoms of this are, and what the causes are, the long-term effects of chronic gout, and discuss high uric acid diet and treatment, both natural and pharmaceutical approaches.

HIGH URIC ACID SYMPTOMS (GOUT)

For an attack of gout, the symptoms include redness, swelling, inflammation and intolerable pain in the affected joint. The big toe usually the most affected area in a gout attack, but any joint can be affected. So look for these symptoms in your knees, elbows, wrists and fingers as well.

This pain may prevent you working or even sleeping, and is not easily ignored.

CAUSES OF HIGH URIC ACID

The immediate cause is the inability of your kidneys to process and flush out excess uric acid from your system. But that begs the question, where does all that acid come from in the first place? The short answer is it comes from you. It is created naturally as a byproduct of your body’s normal functions, as part of the system that provides you with the protein and energy that you need to survive.

The uric acid process revolves around chemical compounds called “purines,” which are vital to the conversion of food to energy and genes to protein. The purines break down during this conversion process, and uric acid is released as a byproduct into your bloodstream. Purines are also present in our food, which is why diet plays such an important role in reducing high uric acid levels.

Normally, your kidneys will process the uric acid and flush the excess from your system, and the levels left in your blood will cause no problems. But if too much uric acid is produced, or the kidneys process it too slowly, the excess uric acid will be retained and accumulate in your blood. It can then settle in your joints and surrounding tissues in the form of sharp little crystals which then cause the symptoms of your gout. See the picture above. Just imagine glass shards in your joints. Acid glass shards, to boot.

THE EFFECTS OF HIGH URIC ACID  AND CHRONIC GOUT

In the long run, frequent attacks of gout can lead to permanently damaged joints. The frequent deposits of acid crystals in and around the joints and surrounding tissue cause permanent harm after a while.

Also, excessively high uric acid levels may cause the acid to crystallize in your urine, finally resulting in painful kidney stones that block the route between your kidneys and your bladder.

Once you have suffered gout, you are likely to continue to suffer recurring attacks if you get your high uric acid levels under control.

HIGH URIC ACID TREATMENT

The vast majority of those with gout  are prescribed drugs to manage the inflammation, pain and high uric acid levels present in the bloodstream and urine. Typically, anti-inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDs, colchicine and corticosteroids are used.

While these can be an effective way of treating the immediate symptoms, they do have side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, bleeding, stomach ulcers and diarrhea. And all drugs taken over time have both negative effects on your health (and your pocketbook).

These drugs don’t address the important underlying issues such as your overall health, weight, family history, diet and lifestyle. These all can contribute in one way or another to your high uric acid levels.

HIGH URIC ACID DIET

Or should I say low uric acid diet? The point is to reduce the high levels of uric acid, anyway. People around the world use herbs, supplements and diet to control their uric acid levels. Here are just a few dietary suggestions:

1 – Eat cherries. Cherries have proven anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

2 – Drink at least 2 liters of water daily. Water helps the kidneys function more effectively and also helps to flush uric acid out of your system.

3 – Drink undistilled, raw, apple cider vinegar, which helps adjust your blood pH to reduce high uric acid levels. Take it straight, or mix with water and honey. Some juices go well with vinegar as well. Drink a few tablespoons a few times a day.

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