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Gout Dugout.Issue #056 strawberries good for gout? | body acidity-a personal story | alkaline diet
August 30, 2012

Hello and Welcome to the August 2012 issue of the Gout Dugout newsletter. It's the ten minutes' read that gives you ideas that may help you with your gout. If you have difficulty reading it from the screen, by all means copy and print.


I had planned that the latest higher-pH-of-urine-leads-to-greater-uric-acid-excretion study would be discussed in this issue. But I am still in correspondence with this study's researchers about it. I'll write up this important study when the correspondence is concluded. In the meantime I'll say this follow-on study,from researchers at a Japanese university, has reached many similar conclusions to the first.

This is the May newsletter article plus it has a link to the website page about the first study.

It was all done with food and mineral water. The alkaline diet excreted more uric acid than the acidic diet; there was more uric acid in the blood (serum) on the acidic diet than on the alkaline diet; there was less urine uric acid (and you want more) on the acidic diet, than on the alkaline, despite the fact that the acidic diet loaded more purines. These changes occurred in just 3 – 5 days on the diets.

Here's just one of my conclusions from the study. High urine acidity – that is a lower pH of urine – might be why methods of lowering serum (blood) uric acid are not working, or working well.

More about this, as I said, when the correspondence is concluded.


I have had the comments boxes on a number of pages on the website for some time – enough to get a feel for the kind of testimonials' feedback the website gets. On the whole I am very satisfied with the quality of response. They are usually well thought out, even if I don't agree with those who say protein causes their gout.

Occasionally someone tries to slip in an obvious product plug and sometimes I get a gout conspiracy theory. Yes gout, like national and international politics, has its conspiracy theories – ideas about its causes and treatment that are too outrageous to be true. Almost all responses are much better than two line comments you see in some places on the Internet. "I had an attack, drank some cherry juice left over in the fridge and it went away." I'm sure you want more detail and depth than that.

U.S. wins the most gout golds. Since the site is written in English you'd expect most comments to come from the English speaking countries plus the Indian sub continent and they do. Americans berate themselves for being the world's fattest people, and the most unhealthy. But more comments come from them, in a greater preponderance than the population size difference between the U.S. and the other English speaking countries. And they are almost invariably well informed comments.

So cheer up Uncle Sam! You may have the highest gout incidence in the world, but at least you know most about it. The silver medal goes to Canada. Great Britain won so many golds at the London Olympics, but here gets the bronze.

Cherries most popular Which natural remedies get the most positive testimonials? So far it's cherries, their juices and derivatives. More than baking soda (bicarbonate of soda), water and alkaline water, apple cider vinegar, all the vitamins, fish oil, all berries including elderberries, black bean soup, and celery seed extract. (Diets not included). If you want to read how others have dealt with gout using natural remedies, the index page for testimonials is here

Carl Linnaeus and gout To date I've heard nothing about strawberries, which is a pity. Whether this means they aren't helpful I don’t know. Strawberries for gout have a 5 star witness – the famous 18th century Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus. Even if he was exaggerating when he said strawberries cured his gout, they must have done something for it because he purposely ate a bowl a day for the rest of his life after his gout attack we are told. I don't think he would have done this for years if they had not helped. And, like cherries, strawberries have their anthocyanidins.

Is this why they worked? If strawberries really did cure his gout, meaning he never suffered another attack after beginning his daily strawberry regimen, how did they do it?

You can only control gout by getting your uric acid (urate) down to that level which never again stimulates the MSU crystals to form out of uric acid. For it is these crystals and the immune system's response to them, which trigger attacks What makes the crystals form depends on many factors explained on the website. One is the uric acid (UA) level. In Linnaeus's case I suspect his gout was triggered at only a slightly elevated uric acid level.

Therefore it didn't need to fall much. Strawberries' anthocyanidins plus possibly their Vitamin C, caused that fall. He kept eating them, which maintained UA at a lower, non crystal forming level. Hence no more attacks. How did he get strawberries in Sweden's cold winters? From the greenhouse of his friend, the Queen. Not Q.E.D. about Linnaeus, but the best I can say.

What can you say, positive or negative about strawberries? Please go to this page where there is a contact form.

Click on the Flamasil ad to go to the Flamasil website

Alternative Health Research/Flamasil™


You can read theoretical stuff and studies about body acidity and alkalinity till the cows come home, but still not grasp that it applies to you too. The urine pH and uric acid study

showed that participants (young women who weren't gout sufferers) excreted more uric acid with a more alkaline diet. So here's a personal story about acidity and some personal reflections. I assure you the story is true.

About 17 years ago I woke up one night in a hotel room in Jakarta, Indonesia, at about 3AM with a burning sensation pain in the lower chest, above the stomach, that I'd never experienced before. 3AM is a time when the body is said to be more acidic, and the early morning is said to be a time when gout attacks tend to happen. I was in my mid forties at the time.


I headed for the bathroom and actually did the right thing..... I drank water. And the pain subsided and I went back to sleep.

Back in Singapore, where I lived at the time, I went to my doctor ASAP. After tests to check it wasn't other problems, he explained it was heartburn/acid reflux. Heartburn and acid reflux are very similar - stomach acid rises into the oesophagus (esophagus) and causes a burning sensation. I took his medicines, and for a few years used these to deal with any sudden attacks, carrying the medicine around with me because you never knew when you might get one. They would occur every few months out of the blue.

I still have to deal with it and it's a bit like dealing with gout. Over the years I have come to know what foods will trigger heartburn/acid reflux attacks. Funnily enough, I first learnt this as a by-product of being on the Atkins diet. I discovered that when on the Atkins diet I never got the attacks. Why? Not because of the much lower carb intake but simply because when on Atkins I don't eat bread. And I eat more alkaline dishes, especially salads and fruits and nuts instead of bread and other flour based foods. When off Atkins and if eating a couple of sandwiches a day, and toast at supper and breakfast, I guarantee that within 3 - 4 weeks, I will get an attack. Bread (i.e.grains) is acidic. I carry a bottle of Gaviscon, and water, around just in case but haven't used it for 18 months.

And just because I cut down on bread. Prior to this event, and up to the age of about 45, I ate as much bread as I wanted without any problems.

The UASure is a DIY home uric acid test kit. It measures the level of uric acid in the blood. Click on the link below to visit a company who can ship it world-wide, including to the United States and Canada, from Britain.


After an Arthritis Advisory Committee of the US FDA voted 11-0 against approving Arcalyst in May it was always on the cards it would not be approved. At the end of July the FDA asked its developers for more safety, chemistry, manufacturing and controls information. I expect the developers will have to provide safety data for longer than the 16 week study they submitted for the May enquiry. They will now have to decide how they want to proceed.

Arcalyst is an injectable biologic drug for the alleviation of gout flares which might one day be used instead of colchicines, NSAID's and corticosteroids in some gout cases. It has been approved for certain rare inflammatory diseases so I doubt we have heard the last of it as far as gout is concerned. It's the 2nd gout biologic drug whose initial approval request has been turned down by the FDA. And Krystexxa, the third, only got through on its second attempt.

Arcalyst has stalled but Levotofisopam - where do they get these names from - motors on. Levotofisopam isn't something you give chickens for their 'flu. It's a new gout drug, albeit some years from possible approval. Recently its developers announced the successful completion of a proof of concept trial. All participants brought their uric acid down to the key 6.0 mg/dL level, and over half got it below 4.0. But currently its developers need money to carry on development.


My request for photos has brought some excellent gout pictures which will be used. But I'd still like more.....Do you have any photos of your gout? Any part of the body - elbows, arms, hands, ankles, feet, wrists, fingers, toes and big toes, knees, ears, wherever. I know many like to keep their gout confidential so if you don't wish to be identified, don't send me faces – not likely anyway since gout of the ear isn't common. Or, on request, I could always crop out, or blur them.

Please email me at


There have been quite a few requests for the spreadsheet I prepared to do the calculations for calories, carbs and fructose in the foods used for the first pH of urine and uric acid study. The one that improved uric acid excretion. I hope it means we shall hear of success on this diet from the diaspora in the future. Just email me: There's no charge.

If you are not a subscriber to the Gout Dugout, this free monthly gout newsletter, you can sign up at this page - click on the link below.

Go to the home page by clicking on the link below.

Tip Use the website'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. There are currently nearly 200 pages, including all the back issues of this newsletter. It works. Use it!

Thanks for reading, and all the best of health.

John Mepham BA.(Econ).

799, Infantry Street,
Palar, Armor Vllage,
Makati City 1201,

P.S. You may distribute this newsletter freely and free-of-charge, providing any links in it remain unchanged and it remains intact. Partial copying is not allowed.

NB. The contents of this newsletter contain medical information, not medical advice. Please always discuss gout remedies with a doctor, or other health care professional, before implementing any treatment.

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