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Gout Dugout.Issue #083 | yoghurt is good for gout |
November 23, 2018

Hello and welcome to the late Autumn (Fall) 2018 edition of the Gout Dugout newsletter.

The Gout Dugout is the 10 minutes' read from that gives you useful ideas that may help you with your gout. Copy and print if you prefer to read a version on paper. If you are extra busy now you could bookmark it for later.

Yoghurt (yogurt) is eaten world wide and is very popular. So the whole issue of this edition is devoted to why yoghurt is good for gout


You may well be among the huge numbers of people, worldwide who eat yoghurt (yogurt) and therefore have wondered if yoghurt is good or gout, or bad for gout.

You know it's mainly made from milk, and you know about milk for gout being useful. So you probably think that yoghurt is a good food for gout. It is low purine.

And you’d be right

No one has done an intervention study about yoghurt for gout. That is where a group’s consumption of yoghurt and its blood uric acid level are measured, before and after.

However, the evidence is fairly good that yoghurt (if eaten for a long time and regularly, say once every 2 days), both lowers the risk of gout, and uric acid somewhat too. The evidence mainly comes from large population studies where yoghurt has been included. If you want to read them, they are listed below.


Firstly, the milk proteins casein and lactalbumin - most protein in yoghurt is casein; the lactalbumin is in whey in milk but is removed in the process of making yoghurt. Specifically it is alpha-lactalbumin.

Although they have been shown to lower uric acid. you need a lot of them to do this. In one study (1) women ate 30 grams daily for 4 weeks but did not lower blood plasma uric acid. But in another study, (2) 10 healthy trialists – men and women - who ate 80 grams did lower blood serum uric acid. And quickly, in 3 hours. Lactalbumin lowered it 11% and casein (as calcium caseinate) by 10%.

Yoghurt with added blueberries - not quite a gout killer, but pretty good.

80 grams indicates you need to eat about four cups of high protein Greek yoghurt a day which has 18 grams per cup. That is 2 or 3 times more than regular yoghurts. Rather a lot to eat. Only yoghurt addicts will do this but note instead if you don’t want to eat that much, that in a well known gout study (3) people who ate a cup every other day, had much lower uric acid than those who did not eat yoghurt.

Instead of eating so much yoghurt, you can buy casein in vanilla, or chocolate flavoured powders at online health food shops. With one brand a heaped scoop serving contains 24 grams of time released protein. And you can purchase whey protein powder which contains a useful amount of lactalbumin – about 20-25% of whey protein. Make a shake with these to drink with your yoghurt or instead of. Or mix them into yoghurt for a tasty protein-powerful yoghurt. That makes yoghurt better for gout

But one snag is the form of casein in protein powders you use would not be calcium caseinate, used in study (2) above but it in the form of sodium caseinate, or potassium caseinate which were not used in the study. However, the lactalbumin will almost certainly be the same form.

After the proteins, the other nutrients in milk and yoghurt that may help, lack evidence and not likely to do much. But here they are.

Milk’s orotic acid may also contribute a bit to lower uric acid by promoting uric acid excretion. But how much orotic acid is in yoghurt? It has been found that during the preparation of commercial yoghurt from milk the concentration of orotic acid fell from 8.2 mg/100ml in milk to 4.6 mg/ 100 ml in yoghurt.

By another measurement it fell by about half too. That still seems to leave enough to have an effect, probably small.

Vitamin D in milk and yoghurt might help. Low levels of Vitamin D in gouty folk have been associated with high levels of uric acid. But milk does not have much Vitamin D. Moreover it could be that the uric acid was the cause of low Vitamin D (4) In the USA, milk is fortified with vitamin D – so there will be more - but it is not in most other countries.

Additionally yoghurt also contains pantothenic acid and folic acid, both of which have been found to lower uric acid, and that is supported by testimonials from experts. But not a lot of these nutrients. Yoghurt does not have much of either

Finally, there’s calcium. But there are conflicting studies about calcium lowering uric acid.


You can make high protein yoghurt yourself using milk with the highest protein content. If you remove the whey remember to add it back in some form for its lactalbumin. There is plenty of advice on the Internet on how to make yoghurt. You can also test for milk proteins – just whether they are present; search the Internet for “test for milk protein” to get the explanation.

Which dairy cows would produce high protein milk? These cows are likely to be Jersey, Guernsey or Brown Swiss, all of which are known internationally. Or there may be a dairy cow that is a high protein milk producer, but a lesser known one, in your country.

Greek yoghurt for gout . Greek yoghurt is the yoghurt with the most protein. In one cup of full fat Greek yoghurt there are around 18 grams of protein. i.e. about 4 cups a day would deliver almost the 80 grams eaten by those in a study who lowered their uric acid , initially in three hours (2). There is more protein in Greek yoghurt than other yoghurts. About 2-3 times more.

However, Greek yoghurt is also high in saturated fat. This fat might have a deleterious effect on the work of the protein in reducing uric acid. So a low fat Greek yoghurt is your best bet.

In the gout and uric acid studies on dairy foods and milk, it is evident that those containing saturated fat do not perform as well as the low fat, or skimmed versions.

So choose low fat Greek yoghurt. And add whey protein powder to your yoghurt for its lactalbumin. And calcium and potassium.

Another tip for boosting yoghurt’s ability to lower uric acid – add fruits such as cherries and strawberries, or other berries like blueberries and blackberries. And nuts. And eat it every other day. That should not be hard and achieve something over time as it did for those in the study.

We do not know how much yoghurt might lower uric acid. All we have is the positive information from the population studies. And there are the positive dairy studies and widespread belief that dairy foods are good for gout.

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Finally, another reason why regularly eating yoghurt is good for gout, and its prevention.

High quality yoghurt, especially, contains scores of beneficial bacteria that boost your gut health. Since the intestines dissolve about 30% of your uric acid it makes sense to keep them in good shape.

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Next issue - Winter 2018, end December.

Thanks for reading and all the best of gout free health.

John Mepham BA (Econ)
Makati City

Yoghurt for Gout Study References

(1) Abstract Ghadirian P, Shatenstein B, Verdy M, Hamet P. The influence of dairy products on plasma uric acid in women Eur J Epidemiol. 1995 Jun;11(3):275-81

(2) Garrel DR, Verdy M, PetitClerc C, Martin C, Brulé D, Hamet P Milk-and soy-protein ingestion: acute effect on serum uric acid concentration Am J Clin Nutr. 1991 Mar;53(3):665-9.

(3) Choi HK, Liu S, Curhan G. Intake of Purine-Rich food Protein and Dairy Products and relationship to serum levels of uric acid: the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arthritis Rheumatism. 2005 Jan;52(1):283-9.

(4) Takahasji S. et el Decreased serum concentration of 1,25 (OH)20-vitamin D3 in patients with gout Metabolism 1998 Mar 47(3): 336-8

I am pictured here with my Filipina wife who helps me with my gout researches for this website. In 2006 it was her belief that she had gout that began my enquiries into "the disease of kings." However, as it turned out, she happily did not !

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