If you start your day with coffee, you’re in good company. According to the results of a survey commissioned by the National Coffee Association, 64 percent of Americans 18 or over drink it every day.1 Everyone knows that coffee is warm, comforting and can help you feel energized, but is there a link between drinking coffee and gout?
Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis caused by a build-up of uric acid crystals in the joints and other areas of the body and surrounding tissues.2 Adults with gout can suffer from episodes of pain, redness, swelling and/or extreme tenderness in one or more joints, most commonly the big toe.2
How diet can affect gout
Purines are chemical compounds found in some foods and drinks that the body breaks down into uric acid.2 Generally, the body can process the uric acid that results from purine-rich foods and drinks such as meat, seafood and alcoholic beverages.2 In some people, however, consuming foods and drinks with too many purines can raise the uric acid level and increase the risk of gout and gout flares.2
The potential effect of coffee
While more research is needed, studies suggest that drinking coffee is associated with a lower risk of gout.3,4 One study of more than 45,000 male medical professionals found that the group who drank the most coffee had the lowest risk of gout.3 The risk of gout was 40 percent lower in participants who drank four to five cups of coffee each day, and nearly 60 percent lower in those who drank six or more cups each day.3 The potential benefits of coffee were less pronounced in participants who drank one to three cups per day—these individuals saw just an eight percent reduction in their risk of gout.3
Data from a separate review of a nationally representative sample of American adults (men and women) also suggest that coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of gout.4 It is not exactly clear why or how drinking coffee may reduce the risk of gout.3,4 However, researchers from both studies agree that coffee is a major source of a strong antioxidant that may affect gout risk.3,4
Talk with your doctor
While the potential benefits may be appealing, drinking more coffee may not be healthy for everyone. If you are thinking about changing your morning beverage habits, be sure to first ask your doctor how much coffee is okay for you.
NOTE: This article was not written by a medical professional and is not intended to substitute for the guidance of a physician. These are not Hikma’s recommendations for gout flare prevention, but rather facts and data collected from various reliable medical sources. For a full list of resources and their attributing links, see below.