10.11.07

Drinking Coffee Reduces Risk of Gout

It was reported in Arthritis & Rheumatism (June 2007) that there is a strong link between drinking coffee and a reduced risk of gout in men over 40. It is thought that coffee consumption may lower uric acid levels in the blood, the leading cause of gout.
The results of the 12-year study are based on 45,869 male participants, aged 40-76 in 1986. These participants were primarily white (91%) and in medical fields: dentists, optometrists, osteopaths, pharmacists, podiatrists, and veterinarians. These men had no history of gout at the start of the study. Validated questionnaires were used to measure the intake of coffee, decaffeinated coffee, tea, and total caffeine every 4 years for 12 years for each of the subjects.

After 12 years, there were 757 confirmed cases of gout, (a supplementary questionnaire was used to determine whether participants met the American College of Rheumatology survey criteria for gout,) and the results suggest that those who consumed coffee on a long-term basis were at a lower risk for developing the condition. It is important to note that there may be other lifestyle or diet factors that influenced gout risk, and that this study was self-monitoring and limited to a narrow spectrum of the population. It has also been suggested that the antioxidants in coffee and tea may contribute in part to the lower incidence of gout in this study group.

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