This page about quercetin for gout, and bromelain for gout, was last reviewed, or updated, on 25 October 2016.
QUERCETIN - an anti-inflammatory and a possible xanthine oxidase inhibitor
It seems quercetin inhibits xanthine oxidase, the enzyme responsible for converting purines into uric acid, and thus reduce the body's production of uric acid. It has inhibited xanthine oxidase in test tube studies. Even the leaves of the Bougainvillea flower have yielded enough quercetin to inhibit xanthine oxidase reasonably strongly.
In a test tube study that examined certain flavonoid's effect on xanthine oxidase (XO) - quercetin was the flavonoid that performed best in inhibiting XO. (2) And in a couple of studies quercetin has reduced uric acid in mice by encouraging its excretion.
It has both reduced uric acid production and improved its excretion, in a 2009 Chinese study (1) on the effects of quercetin, rutin and allopurinol on rats. Metabolic syndrome from fructose intake and high uric acid was induced, humanely, in the rats. Quercetin improved their uric acid (as did rutin and allopurinol) but not as much as allopurinol, as you'd expect.
QUERCETIN STUDY ABOUT URIC ACID AMONG HUMANS IS POSITIVE
The March 2016 edition of the British Journal of Nutrition carried a study of healthy males (age 19 - 60), trying to learn if quercetin would lower their blood plasma uric acid.(3) It did. In the experiment participants took 500 mg of dietary supplement quercetin for 4 weeks. At the end their blood uric acid had fallen about 8% - down 26.5 µmol/L, which is 0.45 mg/dL.
That is encouraging, but more confirmatory studies are needed, especially among gout sufferers.
Rutin for gout? Possibly. It lowered uric acid too in this study. Rutin is a flavonoid, and is added to better preparations of Vitamin C, to aid C's absorption. It is widely thought Vitamin C improves uric acid excretion. It has also inhibited xanthine oxidase in a test tube study, (2) but not as well as quercetin, apigenin, luteolin and some of the others.
But aside from its possible effect on human uric acid, Quercetin is better researched as an anti-inflammatory. Both sweet and sour cherries contain a little. So does the high Vitamin C Acerola (Barbados) cherry. It is possible this is one reason why cherries can be anti-inflammatory.
Red onions - the best food source of quercetin
It is a five star dietary supplement, especially valued as an anti-histamine. It is also an antioxidant.
A good quality capsule of it will include a smaller amount of bromelain since bromelain aids its absorption.
Quercetin In foods The biggest sources are: onions (said to be the richest source; red have more than white and spring onions a little less than either red or white), apples (it’s in the skin not the flesh), watercress, pink grapefruit, green leafy vegetables, coriander (cilantro) and elderberries. And a small amount in sweet and sour cherries.
Quercetin In beverages Beverages containing it are tea (black tea), green tea, red wine and elderberry juice.
Dosage An average dosage is 250mg one to four times daily. Dr.Atkins' thought the more bromelain that's taken with quercetin the better. An equal amount of each, or 50% of bromelain with 100% of quercetin.
BROMELAIN FOR GOUT - an anti-inflammatory
Any nutrient which acts as an anti-inflammatory may help as a remedy for gout's inflammation. Bromelain is a well researched anti inflammatory. It can be taken as a dietary supplement – it's often added to preparations of glucosamine, a top anti-arthritic dietary supplement and to quercetin supplements.
Bromelain In foods Bromelain is hard to find in foods. A food high in it is pineapple, but the problem is that most of its bromelain is in the stem, not the fruit. So, neither the fruit nor fresh pineapple juice will give you much. The best source by far is a dietary supplement.
Tips for taking bromelain Buy a supplement which states the amount of GDU enzyme activity on the product label rather than a brand that doesn't. Aim for 2,400 GDU. The higher the better. Another tip - take it on an empty stomach. When the stomach is full, or somewhat full, bromelain will also act as a digestive enzyme, but you want the biggest anti-inflammatory effect you can get.
Dosage 400-600mg daily, during attacks, perhaps more if your doctor or health care professional agrees.
Related pages you may also enjoy
Coriander (cilantro) has lowered blood uric acid by 60% in a study. Read about it here.
(1) Allopurinol, rutin, and quercetin attenuate hyperuricemia and renal
dysfunction in rats induced by fructose intake: renal organic ion
Qing-Hua Hu, Chuang Wang, Jian-Mei Li, Dong-Mei Zhang, and Ling-Dong Kong.
State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China.
Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 297: F1080–F1091, 2009.
First published July 15, 2009; doi:10.1152/ajprenal.90767.2008.
(2) Inhibition of xanthine oxidase by flavonoids.Nagao A, Seki M, Kobayashi H. BiosciBiotechnolBiochem. 1999 Oct;63(10):1787-90.
(3) Quercetin lowers plasma uric acid in pre-hyperuricaemic males: a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial. Shi Y, Williamson G, British Journal of Nutrition 2016 Mar 14;
Subscribe to the free Gout Dugout newsletter. Published quarterly in 2016 - March, June, September and December.