The study that linked drinking beer and gout

Gout is a disease linked to overindulging in food and drinks. Beer, unfortunately, has been singled out among all the alcoholic beverages known to man—quite ironic that the most common drink is the culprit linked to the “disease of kings.”

A large study conducted in the U.S. followed 47,150 men aged 40 to 70 in a span of 12 years—yes, that is definitely a big study. Dr. Hyon Choi and her colleagues at the Massachusetts General Hospital released the results in 2004 which documented 730 cases of gout among men who drank alcohol. Take note, none of the 47,150 men had out before the study. Even more interesting is that the risk of developing gout increased with the daily average amount of alcohol the person was consuming.

Beer may not be the drink of "kings" but it causes gout nonethelessAccording to the study, people who consume two to four beers a week are 25% more likely to get gout. Strong drinkers who average at least 2 beers a day have a 200% risk of developing gout. The more beer you drink, the higher your risk, but as little as 1 beer a month is enough to increase your risk.

As we’ve said, beer has been singled out among the other alcoholic drinks. It was believed that alcohol was a major contributor to gout but it came as a surprise to Dr. Choi and her team when the wine and spirits drinkers of the control group did not show alarming risks. At 4 ounces per day, wine drinkers risk falls at 1.04 wheres 1 bottle a day drinkers are at 1.32.

Dr. Choi believes it is the amount of purines found in beer. Purine is a chemical that breaks down into uric acid, which we all know causes gout. Wine and spirits also contain purines, but the levels are negligible.

So there you have it. Beer is no good for gout. I guess it would be a wise advise to all to regulate beer and alcoholic drinks consumption anyway, but for those interested on how it relates to gout, this is it. By the way, for those interested in the official press release of the study, see The Lancet (or click here for the link).

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