Choi, University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and Dr. Gary Curhan of Harvard Medical School in Boston, the food questionnaires used to assess the levels of consumption of soft drinks and fructose in 46,393 men enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study who were gout-free at baseline and were followed for 12 years.
During this period, 755 men developed gout, and the risk is directly related to levels of sugar consumption of sugary soft drink.
Compared to levels of soft drinks with less than 1 serving per month, consumption of 5 to 6 servings per week, 1 serving per day, and 2 or more servings per day increased the risk of gout by 29 percent, 45 per cent and 85 per cent, respectively.
Sweetened soft drinks contain large amounts of fructose, a sugar derived from fruit, which increase levels of uric acid.
However, no studies have examined the link between these beverages and risk of gout, Dr. Hyon K. Choi told Reuters Health.These results provide the first evidence that fructose and fructose rich foods are risk factors in gout.
A similar trend was noted with fructose consumption. Compared with subjects who consumed the lowest fructose levels, those who consumed the highest had an increased risk of gout percent.Consumption of 102 high-fructose fruits, like apples and oranges, was also associated with an increased risk of gout.
Alcohol is a "well-established, strong risk factor for gout," Choi noted.However, the sharp increase in risk associated with gout sugary soft drinks and fructose was "rather surprising, especially because dietary recommendations for gout on the restriction of alcohol and the amino acid purine, but have no restrictions on sugar sweetened soft drinks or fructose.
In light of these findings, Choi advises doctors to guide the drop of their patients and patients with uric acid levels away from sugary soft drinks.
As for recommending reductions in high-sugar fruits, he said that the risks and benefits must be considered on a patient by patient basis.
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