April 1, 2009

Reduce your risk of the
worst joint pain by 93%

The ancient satirist Lucian once said, "I thought a cobra had bitten me, and filled my veins with poison; but it was worse, it was gout." Gout truly is one of the worst types of joint pain. But there's a simple way to lower your risk of getting the disease by up to 93%.

Gout is a disease of high uric acid in your blood. Uric acid is a necessary part of human physiology. But when elevated, it can crystallize in your joints. That sets off a painful and joint destructive response by your immune system.

A large well-done study followed 28,990 ostensibly healthy male runners for nearly eight years. They found that higher alcohol intake (15 gms per day) raised the runners' risk of getting gout by a whopping 93% compared to no alcohol. Meat raised the risk by 45%. Just two pieces of fruit reduced their risk by 50% compared to those consuming less than 1/2 piece of fruit per day. And those with a higher body mass index also had a high risk, 16 times greater than those with a BMI less than 20.

Another study found that those consuming the highest amounts of vitamin C had lower uric acid levels.

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When I treat patients with gout, I use all of these. It works extremely well. It can be hard to totally avoid attacks. But lessening a gout attack to any degree is welcome news to those with this painful condition. If you have gout, reduce how much meat you eat, as it's a prime source of uric acid. Eat plenty of fruit. Exercise daily. And take one gram of vitamin C every day.

Yours for better health and medical freedom,

Ref: "Effects of diet, physical activity and performance, and body weight on incident gout in ostensibly healthy, vigorously active men," Williams PT, Am J Clin Nutr, 2008; 87(5): 1480-87.

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