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Can Coffee Cause Gout?



Coffee does not cause gout.

More Info: Coffee does not cause gout. In fact, one study demonstrated that coffee may actually reduce the incidence of gout.  A 2007 study published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism, followed 46,000 medical professionals over the course of 12 years. The study found that those who drank four or more cups of coffee per day decreased their likelihood of getting gout by 40%.  Those who drank six or more cups per day decreased their chances of getting gout by a whopping 60%.

What Foods Cause Gout?

Foods that are high in purines and protein are often attributed to the development of gout. Gout is an overproduction of uric acid in the blood. The uric acid crystallizes and settles in the joints, tendons, and tissues of the body. Foods that increase the uric acid content in the blood can exacerbate an attack of gout. Some foods high in purines include herring, mussels, sardines, smelt, sweetbreads, and yeast. In general, foods high in fat and/or cholesterol should be avoided. Those with gout typically adopt a diet that contains less than 30% fat calories in the person’s daily dietary intake.

How Does the Body Process Purines?

The body processes purines, natural chemical compounds found in most foods, in the kidneys. Purines are components of nucleic acids such as DNA and RNA. Purine nucleotides acquired from diet are not required since the body can synthesize them as needed. Uric acid is an oxidative waste product of purine nucleotide degradation in the kidneys, and ingesting too many high-purine foods with inadequate water intake will predispose gout and other diseases. As the master balancer, the kidneys process purines and eliminate the uric acid. Excess uric acid in the bloodstream is stored as uric acid crystals and settles in joints.



“Coffee Lowers Gout Risk.” WebMD Arthritis and Joint Pain Center: Symptoms, Causes, Tests, and Treatments. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 June 2011. <>.

“HealthWise | NYU Medical Center.” Home Page | NYU Langone Medical Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 June 2011. <>.

“Gout – Introduction.” University of Maryland Medical Center | Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 June 2011. <>.

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