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Gout Dugout. Issue #021.New data on colchicine;Carl Linnaeus's gout;the little known gout diet study
September 03, 2009

A warm welcome to the September 2009 edition of the Gout Dugout newsletter, and to those readers who have signed up since the August edition.


At the end of July a colchine preparation, Colcrys, was approved by the U.S. FDA. It seems that Colchicine has been used in the U.S. for a long time but had never been approved, as a single ingredient by the FDA. It was approved in a combo product.

And with the approval came new data on Colchicine from the Colcrys trials. What is apparent is that Colchicine requires very careful prescription, and the less that's prescribed the better.

If you've taken Colchicine for gout pain and attacks, or think you might need it in the future, I think you'd be well advised to read the new data on Colchicine. I have revamped the Colchicine page on, and it now includes a link to the new Colcrys website. From this website you can download a Colcrys medication guide and a prescription guide. So to do this, go to the Colchicine page

Read this information, and I suggest discuss it with your doctor/rheumatologist/health care professional. Of particular importance is the list of medications that cannot be taken with Colcrys and one food you shouldn't eat when taking it - grapefruits (and grapefruit juice).

If you don't live in the U.S., it's possible your doctor hasn't heard of this new Colchicine data. The most significant conclusions were those about its inter-actions with other medicines; also that less Colchicine than previously thought may do the job; and that there were fewer adverse events when less was prescribed.


Everyone wants a nice and easy, and preferably drug free, solution to their gout problem, and from the testimonials you read a few probably do get it. They get their uric acid level down and keep it down with diet and all the other ways described on the website, and possibly some that aren't (yet).

Eating strawberries may the the nicest and tastiest method of all, although there have been no studies on strawberries for gout. It's all testimonials.

The strawberries page on has a lot to say about the famous 18th century Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus's gout - and his use of wild strawberries. Was he successful? What I've said on the website is somewhat uncertain about how much success he had because there are conflicting reports about it.

However, the other day I came across a quote from Linnaeus himself about his use of strawberries in a respected biography of him. In the 1750 gout attack he describes, he ate strawberries after seven sleepless nights. He thought they had some positive effect on the eighth day, so he ate more, probably a lot more, and on the ninth day the gout pain had gone. That's what he said. Of course a gout attack might well end on the ninth day, without any taken medicine or good food for gout.

But Linnaeus suffered repeat attacks in 1751 and 1752. He said these attacks were milder and that wild strawberries always cured him i.e. that's three times he said they had done it. That makes strawberries a better bet than just a single event testimonial. (His cure became big news and the price of strawberries, in Sweden I guess, rose ten times).

The website page about strawberries speculates why strawberries are a good food for gout. I shall have to update it and make the Linnaeus section somewhat more definitive about the success he reported with wild strawberries.


If I was asked to name my favourite pages on the website it would probably be the page about the restricted carbohydrate diet used in a South African study about 10 years ago. The study was designed to learn what effect this diet had on markers for gout and uric acid levels. And the pages about fish oils are also favourites.

I last said something about this diet in february last year, and I'm referring to it again in this issue because the newsletter has so many more readers now than then, and many new readers will not have read the website's page about this anti gout diet. If you have, please bear with me.

But if you haven't heard of this diet before here's a few pointers about this anti gout diet. The diet was based on Barry Sears' Zone diet, nothing to do with restricting purines.The idea was that insulin resistance was the cause of gout among the study participants and that if the diet overcame this, a positive effect on gout markers (including the uric acid level) would occur. The main disadvantage of the study was that it involved only 13 men (not many) and no women.

Go to the webpage for a fuller description - you can also download the study itself free.

The results of the study were in line with the researchers' expectations. And there WAS a significant degree of success. If you can get your doctor, rheumatologist or health care professional to establish the cause of your hyperuricemia, and if insulin resistance - the pre type 2 diabetes condition - is it, this diet must give you a good chance of reducing your uric acid level below 6.0 mg/dL (357 mmol/L), and keeping it there. Gout attacks may then end. Visit the gout sufferers diet page

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Thanks for reading and all the best.

John Mepham BA (Econ)

165,Union Street, Maidstone, Kent, United Kingdom ME14 1EY

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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