From the available research results, a large part of high uric acid is due to genetic factors from birth.
However, in this regard, eating less seafood and drinking less beer is right, but many people are likely to overlook another very important detail: sugary drinks!
The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Recommendations for the Management of Gout (2016) gives dietary recommendations for gout and hyperuricemia to “eat less”, in fact, there are a total of three, in addition to the well-known alcohol and high purine foods, there is also a sugary drink (sugar-sweetened drinks).
Sugary drinks are also familiar cola, milk tea, fruit tea, etc.
1. Uric acid is not only related to the purines you eat
Uric acid is a metabolic product produced by the body after processing purines. What determines the level of uric acid in the blood is the balance between the synthesis and excretion of uric acid in our body.
In a healthy person, the liver processes useless purines into uric acid, which is then excreted through the kidneys and intestines, and the whole process is within a stable range.
But once anything goes wrong here, uric acid may rise. Simply put, either there is more purine in the raw material, or there is less uric acid excreted. The problem of less excretion is more influenced by genetic factors.
That is, some people’s bodies are inherently less able to handle uric acid in the blood than others, and some people can only be relieved by medication.
The problem of too much raw material is partly related to diet, which is why people with gout and hyperuricemia are advised to control their purine intake.
But another major source of purines that many people are unaware of is our own production of purines, which the body itself metabolizes even if you don’t eat anything into it.
The scary thing is that some foods are so “smart” that they don’t contain purines themselves, but they contain certain ingredients that promote the body to synthesize more purines, thus causing uric acid to rise. Sugary drinks are a typical example of this.
2. Sugary drinks may also increase the risk of gout
Sugary drinks don’t just increase purines and uric acid in the body, but some studies have confirmed that people who consume more sugary drinks have a higher chance of developing gout, even if they don’t have gout in the first place.
Two studies by Harvard scientists, published in the top medical journals BMJ and JAMA, followed 46,393 men and 78,906 women for more than a decade or two, respectively, and came up with five conclusions worth sharing.
Men who drank an average of 1 sugary drink per day (about 250 to 300 ml, less than a Coke) were on average 44% more likely to develop new gout compared to those who drank essentially none.
Women who drank 1 sugary drink per day had twice as many new episodes of gout as men
On top of that, if sugary drinks are consumed more, then the increased risk is even higher
even if sugary drinks are replaced with pure fruit juices that contain no sugar, the risk is still increased, and the risk-increasing effect may even be greater than with sugary drinks
Sugar-free beverages that do not contain fructose artificial sweeteners are the ones that do not increase the risk.
In other words, sugary drinks may not only keep uric acid down, but may further induce gout, and fruit juices need to be equally wary.
3. Fructose may be the culprit of elevated uric acid
Why is a small bottle of sugary drink so harmful? From the known studies, it may be fructose that is responsible for the problem.
Fructose is a special presence among all sugars. When the liver processes all other sugars, it has various mechanisms to regulate the speed of processing these sugars to ensure that things are done in an unhurried and orderly manner. Only when processing fructose, it’s a frenzy where the throttle is pressed and the brakes are not applied. This frantic processing will eventually promote the production of more purines.
And the liver will not stop taking these piles of purines to synthesize uric acid, and as a direct result, the blood uric acid will rise.
And some studies have also found that the molecular structure of fructose is similar to uric acid, which may cause a decrease in the kidney’s ability to excrete uric acid.
Some people may ask. There is a lot of fructose in fruits, too? Then we should not only be careful of drinks but also fruit to eat less?
Don’t panic if you love fruit, fresh fruit can still be eaten normally.
From the very limited research results available, other than fructose, other beneficial ingredients in fruits, such as dietary fiber, vitamin C, flavonoids, catechins, and other ingredients, may alleviate the harm of fructose to some extent, so that fructose can not be as powerful as in sugary drinks.
Especially dietary fiber, which can slow down the absorption of fructose, thus putting the brakes on the process of fructose entering the liver, and vitamin C, which may somewhat promote the excretion of blood uric acid from the urine.
And some fruits are low in fructose, so they are less likely to cause problems, and with the other ingredients mentioned earlier, they may even have a drop of uric acid-lowering effect. In short, according to existing research, eating half a pound of fruit a day is not a big problem. If you are still worried, try to choose low fructose fruits just like mulberries, strawberries, grapefruit, etc.