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Gout and Milk: Should You Drink Milk if You Have Gout?


A bowl of cereal and whole milk makes is a quick and easy breakfast, but if you have a history of gout, milk can be a problem. Whole milk, like other full-fat dairy products, is high in purines. Purines are broken down to uric acid, which can bring on a gout attack in people prone to this painful condition. So when it comes to gout and milk, do you have to give it up your favorite dairy products? Fortunately, you do not.

Risk of Gout and Milk: All Dairy Products Don’t Increase the Risk of Gout

If you’re a dairy-lover at high risk for gout, you don’t have to give up all dairy products – as long as they’re low-fat. Skim milk contains a compound called orotic acid that helps to ferry uric acid out of the blood and into the urine where it can be flushed down the toilet.

One small study carried out at Boston University School of Medicine showed that volunteers who drank skim milk lowered their uric acid levels by 10% within three hours of drinking it. So if you’re at high risk for gout but don’t want to give up milk - switch over to fat-free milk instead.

Another Dairy Product That May Be Good for Gout Sufferers

Low-fat yogurt is another dairy product that won’t raise uric acid levels and may satisfy a taste for dairy without causing your big toe to throb and swell. Take it one step further, and add some tart cherries to your yogurt. A study out of Michigan State University showed that eating as few as 20 tart cherries a day lowered the levels of cyclooxygenase enzymes that contribute to pain and inflammation. They think that tart cherries could help to ward off painful attacks of gout and arthritis. Look for tart cherries in cans at your local supermarket.

What about soymilk? Hold the soymilk. The Boston University School of Medicine study found that drinking soymilk raised uric acid levels by 10%.

Risk of Gout and Milk

You don’t have to give up dairy if you’re at risk of gout. Switch over to fat-free milk and yogurt – and don’t forget to drink more water. Drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water a day helps to flush uric acid out of the body through the kidneys – and that’s a good thing when it comes to the risk of gout. Enjoy milk, but make sure it’s skim.


WebMd. “Fighting Gout with Skim Milk and Water”

Andrew Weil website. “Goodbye to Gout”



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