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Gout Dugout.Issue#030.Gout and the Atkins diet; the progress of our gout remedy tests.
June 02, 2010
Welcome to the June 2010 issue of the Gout Dugout newsletter. The ten minutes' read that I hope gives you a couple, or more, useful gout ideas.
THE ATKINS DIET FOR GOUT
There are now five new pages on the website (and more to come) about this famous diet and gout. I'll try here to give you a short summary of what I learnt during my Atkins and gout investigations. There aren't any specific studies about the Atkins diet for gout (if only, if only). So one major factor I focused on was its effect on uric acid levels. And there aren't too many of those studies either.
Robert Atkins himself was not emphatic that uric acid would always fall on his diet, but to summarise his statements in various books - I still even have a copy of his 1977 SuperEnergy diet - about his diet and uric acid, he thought it usually fell, often to normal levels. But he never gave precise numbers.
Will uric acid rise and therefore be a potential cause of gout on a low carb diet? The Atkins website says it doesn't happen, and I only found one study, back in 1980, where this happened but the participants were on only 10 carbs a day. This isn't the Atkins diet.
There is evidence that fasts will raise uric acid, but fasts aren't the Atkins diet either.
Cautions for gout sufferers
Robert Atkins cautioned gout sufferers specifically, in some of his books, about going on the diet at its strictest level, the Induction phase of less than 20 net carbs a day, without a doctor's approval.
You should certainly discuss it with a doctor because you may have a medical condition that means you shouldn't do the Atkins diet, or another kind of diet for that matter.
He thought allopurinol would be necessary on his diet, at the strictest level of it. And I think you might need a stock of prophylactic (pain prevention) medicines like indomethacin or sodium diclofenac, or other NSAIDs (plus maybe colchicine if you've been taking this) in case the diet causes an attack. Again discuss it with your physician or rheumatologist. It's quite a normal procedure in the world of pharmaceutical treatment for gout.
Most posters to the gout forum on the Atkins website (see below)do not think the Atkins diet itself would cause a gout attack.
But a few do and these people are gout sufferers. Fast weight loss on any diet, dehydration and falling uric acid levels can cause gout attacks. There are details about the modifications to the diet that I suggest on this
Atkins and gout page
There are so many diets out there, you are spoilt for choice. The truth is that as long as you avoid crash diets the most important fact about gout and diets is to find one that works for you. Sounds obvious, but for over-weight gout sufferers the overriding need, above anything else, is to get to your normal weight, so the obvious is worth stating.
I give my definition of a crash diet in the gout and the Atkins diet pages. On Atkins you can avoid high purine foods, you will probably lose weight and your uric acid level will probably fall.
And there is something else about the Atkins diet for gout that could be just as important... One interesting thing about the diet is that even if you are among the tiny minority who can't lose weight on it, your markers of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) should improve. And the vast majority who do lose weight should get these improvements too. Why would this be good news?
MetS, of which insulin resistance is the major feature, may well be to-day's major cause of gout. Why? Because most gout sufferers are under excretors, not over producers, and high levels of insulin inhibit uric acid excretion by decreasing the kidney's ability to excrete it. There may be 25 studies that say this, but I quoted six.
The conditions of MetS are: high blood pressure, high total cholesterol, high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, high insulin, insulin resistance, high blood triglycerides, high blood sugar (glucose) and being somewhat over-weight or obese. There are two definitions of MetS, but if you have 3 of the above you have it.
So where is the Atkins advantage?
The Atkins diet is usually good at lowering insulin, improving insulin resistance, raising HDL (good) cholesterol, reducing triglycerides, and losing weight. A Chinese study in 2007 found that the top two MetS symptoms that were most strongly linked with high uric acid were high triglycerides and being over-weight (which they defined by waist circumference).
I have never seen a study of the Atkins diet (or other low carb diets) where triglycerides did not fall significantly. This, and the lost weight, bodes well for uric acid reduction. So too would an improvement in insulin levels and resistance.
Where does the Atkins diet have a mixed record?
In lowering LDL cholesterol, a type of which, VLDL, is the dangerous kind.
On this page, of the Atkins' pages, I've listed foods you could eat on the diet which help improve LDL cholesterol.
I currently have three of the MetS symptoms. And I have high uric acid (8.6 mg/dL or 0.510 mmol/L). So I am on the Atkins diet for the second time in the past few years. This time I have had a lab-clinic measure the blood MetS symptoms numbers and my uric acid before I started. My weight is reducing on schedule (2-3 lbs a week consistently), and when the time comes for new blood figures of MetS and uric acid I'll explain the numbers in this newsletter. We'll see if the Atkins diet gets my blood uric acid level down.
TESTS....BANABA FOR GOUT
If you read last month's issue, you read about the test we're doing to see if the tree leaf herb Banaba will lower the uric acid, and blood glucose levels of my volunteer. Banaba is found in the formula of a number of natural gout remedies such as Flamasil because it has been found in at least one study to lower uric acid.
Our banaba test is proceeding. My volunteer, a 47 years old male, has had his MetS markers and his blood uric acid level taken. On the way to the lab-clinic in Manila, Philippines, our taxi driver turned out to be a banaba drinker, not for gout or uric acid levels, but for blood sugar i.e. to stave off diabetes.
He gets the leaves off a banaba tree he knows, and makes a tea from them. Blood sugar reduction is the medical condition banaba is most noted for, and if it gets blood sugar down that can be good for gout too. It's the insulin and insulin resistance thing again.
We decided we'd try this for 3 months, at three cups a day, so the results will be announced in the August issue.
Below is an advertisement for Flamasil which contains Banaba, a super powered version of Turmeric, and more anti gout ingredients, most of which have been written up on www.best-gout-remedies.com. Click on the link below if you want to lean more about it.
Flamasil™ for Gout by Alternative Health Research. Utilizing Advanced Bio-Enhanced Technology to Stop Gout Attacks in Progress and Prevent Future Gout Attacks. 100% Money Back Guarantee!
There is a 90 day money back guarantee. If you don't live in the United States, there is shipping to Canada. For other countries use the contact us form on the Flamasil website to ask about delivery.
And if you'd like to read some Flamasil for gout testimonials click on the banner below.
FREE pH FOODS CHART AND RECIPES
The raising pH approach to gout treatment is thought to be alternative medicine, I suppose, in this era. The idea is to make uric acid in the blood more soluble by raising blood and body fluids pH. i.e. they become more alkaline. Dissolve more, and there's less to cause trouble.
But 150 years ago, alkaline remedies were the central feature of Sir Alfred Garrod's treatment for gout. Sir Alfred was the first to discover that an excess of uric acid in the blood was the cause of gout, not a consequence of it. He used certain alkaline substances, rather than today's pH of foods and alkaline supplements. And he had a lot of success with them. He ended his career as one of Queen Victoria's physicians. Nothing alternative about all that.
Our pH for gout pages start here.
My pantothenic acid test has only about 10 days to go. I'll explain what happened in next month's issue, among other items.
Thanks for reading, and all the best.
John Mepham BA.(Econ).
799,Infantry Street, Palar-Armor Village,Taguig,Metro Manila, Philippines
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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