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Gout Dugout.Issue #075 Quercetin lowers uric acid in humans
November 03, 2016


It is always good news when we get a new study that shows a nutrient/dietary supplement, or a food, actually lowers uric acid. This is news so many people who hope to cure their gout naturally, are waiting to hear. So it’s with pleasure that I can report a new study about quercetin and uric acid.

In March this year, the British Journal of Nutrition carried a report of a study into whether quercetin could lower uric acid in humans.(1)

There has been a page about quercetin on for years but the evidence has been test tube, mice and rats studies up to now. Now there’s a humans' study, and it supports what the test tubes, mice and rats have "said." It's study among 22 healthy males. But they were not gout sufferers.

The healthy males consumed a 500 mg dietary supplement of quercetin for 4 weeks. At the finish their blood plasma uric acid had fallen about 8% - down 26.5 µmol/L which is 0.45 mg/dL. This is not a staggering reduction, but it's quite good.

Quercetin is a flavonoid found in onions, which are said to be the richest source - red onions have more than white and spring onions a little less than either; apples (it’s in the skin not the flesh), watercress, pink grapefruit, green leafy vegetables, coriander (cilantro) and elderberries. And there is a small amount in sweet and sour cherries. These also contain some Vitamin C which could help a little since Vitamin C often lowers uric acid. Although more than the amount in them is needed.

Beverages containing it are tea (black tea), green tea, red wine and elderberry juice.

You can also buy dietary supplements of quercetin. Use a quercetin supplement with added bromelain. The reason is that bromelain aids quercetin’s absorption. Visit our Quercetin for gout page

Red onions are the best food source of quercetin

So it’s easy to get quercetin into your diet - onions, apples, tea and red wine are liked by most people. Perhaps you’d want more quercetin daily from say a couple of apples, or from another of the quercetin foods and drinks mentioned above. But you would need a dietary supplement to get 500 mg daily.

When medications work to lower uric acid they will lower it between 2 – 5 mg/dL. When natural remedies lower it, they will do so by under 1 mg/dL, except you could expect more from a diet that reduced your weight.

Quercetin in this study fit this pattern too. The reduction of 26.5 µmol/L is the same as 0.45 mg/dL This means quercetin on its own is not going to lower uric acid sufficiently to control gout. You may need reductions of 3 – 6 mg/dL, or even more in some cases.

But use it with medications and other remedies and it may help you. We need more confirmatory studies to be more certain about it.


I came across a dalmation dog the other day. Dalmations are those distinctive black spotted and white coated pedigree dogs, not as spotted as leopards, but much friendlier ! What’s this got to do with gout?

The owner didn’t know, so I explained the very unusual fact about dalmations. They are the only dogs that can get gout. Like humans, but unlike other dogs, they are unable to convert uric acid into allantoin which is more easily excreted than uric acid.

We humans lost the ability to do this aeons ago. The gout drug Krystexxa works by converting uric acid into allantoin.

Therefore, as I explained to the owner, dalmations should not eat high and perhaps medium purine foods especially offal (organ meat), which is all high purine. Owners would be easily tempted to give their dalmations canned or fresh offal. But they shouldn't! Visit the first purines-list page.

A dalmation can get gout and kidney stones


I am gradually building up the pages about brassica vegetables (cabbage, brussels sprouts, spinach, broccoli etc) for gout. The first two kale for gout and broccoli for gout have been up on site for a few months. The latest are cauliflower for gout and spinach for gout.

Cauliflower and gout is complicated by the rumours and stories surrounding cauliflower - about it causing gout. I still think it probably does not, unless you eat an awful lot of it, because it isn’t so high in purines.

If you have any experience with cauliflower and gout could you drop me a line, use the form on this Contact Us page (see below). More info is definitely wanted. There is a tendency for people to respond in the affirmative – yes the damn stuff did cause me a flare ! But not if nothing has happened. However, that is just as important to know, especially if you like cauliflower and eat a lot, as well as suffering gout. So please let me have anything you think is useful. It will help put an end to the cauliflower puzzle.

Visit the Contact us page

Visit Cauliflower for gout


Which are the absolute top two most healthy vegetables? Without a detailed analysis I’d say spinach and kale. Kale is slightly ahead of spinach for the basic vitamins and minerals but spinach catches up because it is one of only two vegetables that contain the vital nutrient CoQ10 – broccoli is the other.

As far as gout is concerned spinach is, I’d say, gout neutral. That is to say it is not likely to raise or lower uric acid. But gout sufferers need to be as healthy as can be, so spinach should be a regular.

This is our new page about spinach for gout


You may be confused by the different ways blood uric acid measurements are described, so here’s an explanation.

The uric acid measurement, mg/dL means milligrams per decilitre ( dL). A decilitre is 100 millilitres. Sometimes when you are reading about gout, especialy old material, you will see the amount expressed as mg/100 millilitres. This is the same as mg/dL.

Precisely, both are a measurement of the concentration of uric acid in a decilitre or 100 millilitres of blood. The higher the mg of uric acid in a dL (100 ml) of blood, the higher the uric acid level. And vice versa

The concentration of uric acid in the blood may also be expressed using SI units - mmol/L - millimoles per litre. mmol/L is also expressed as µmol/L . This is pronounced “mewmole.”

mg/dL is a popular measurement in the U.S and is used in others. In Europe and other countries mmol/L or µmol/L is more commonly used.

On the website my first preference is to use the mg/dL measurement, because the numbers are smaller and therefore I think more easily grasped and understood.

Alternative spellings: millilitres = milliliters; decilitres = deciliters; litre = liter

How to convert mg/dL to µmol/L ?

Multiply the mg/dL figure by 59.48 eg. 6.0 mg/dL x 59.48 = 357 µmol/L (rounded).

Or µmol/L to mg/dL ? Divide the µmol/L number by 59.48 eg. 357 µmol/L divided by 59.48 = 6.0mg/dL

How to convert µmol/L to mmol/L?<>

Divide the µmol/L figure by 1,000. eg 357 µmol/L divided by 1,000 = 0.357 mmol/L

Or mmol/L to µmol/L ? Multiply the mmol/L number by 1,000. eg. 0.357 mmol/L x 1000 = 357 µmol/L

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Use's search box, located towards the bottom of the Home Page, to find site references to any word you enter into it. It is a good way to find out where and what the site has to say about any gout topic. For example, want to know more about Rasburicase for gout? Type – Rasburicase - in the site search box.

There are currently around 250 pages, including all the back issues of this newsletter. It works. Use it!

Thanks for reading. Wishing you the best of gout free health !

John Mepham BA (Econ)
Makati City Philippines

(1) 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;

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