Fructose-rich beverages and the risk of gout

Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine examined the relationship and reported a “modest” increase in risk.

First, the details.

  • 78,906 women with no history of gout provided information on their intake of beverages using validated food frequency questionnaires.
  • These women were participants in the Nurses’ Health Study, which spanned 22 years (1984-2006).
  • Cases of gout that met the American College of Rheumatology criteria were recorded.

And, the results.

  • There were 778 cases of gout were reported.
  • Sugar
    • Compared with the drinking less than 1 serving per month of sugar-sweetened soda, drinking 1 or at least 2 servings per day was associated with a significant 1.74- and 2.39-fold increased risk for gout, respectively.
  • Orange juice
    • Drinking orange juice was associated with a significant 1.41- and 2.42-fold increased risk, respectively.
  • Diet drinks
    • Drinking diet soft drinks was not associated with the risk for gout.
  • Fructose
    • Compared with the lowest fructose intake, the risk for gout in women with the highest intake was a significant 1.62.
    • This indicates a risk difference of 28 cases per 100,000 person-years.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Consumption of fructose-rich beverages is associated with an increased risk of incident gout, although… the risk of gout … is likely modest given the low incidence rate among women.”

The overall negative health effect of fructose is expected to be larger in women with a history of gout.

The authors explain that fructose induces uric acid production by increasing the reaction of adenosine triphosphate (ATP; stores chemical energy) to adenosine monophosphate (AMP), which is precursor to making uric acid.

11/19/10 19:25 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.