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The Gout Dugout.Issue #045 | Gout's ignored topic | Celery seed extract for gout |
September 21, 2011

Hello and Welcome to the September 2011 edition of the Gout Dugout newsletter. In North America and Europe, autumn (the fall) has begun, but here in S.E.Asia we are in the rainy season which is just less hot than the dry season. We have no falling leaves and no golden brown colours (colors).

But we do have occasional typhoons heading our way. I'm glad to say, there has not been any direct hits yet this year on where I am in the Philippines. Our typhoons have to be taken seriously but a Katrina style event is very rare in this part of Asia. Perhaps I shouldn't have said that.

And now, to gout.


There have been countless studies examining the kidneys and gout. After all, the kidneys are the key to excreting most uric acid and when they don't there are problems.

But notice I said "most uric acid."

Uric acid is removed another way. It is dissolved in the intestines. As much as 30% it's been said, which is a lot, and a significant amount.

I was reminded the other day of just how significant when I was reading a study about protein and uric acid. The researchers thought protein stimulates uric acid removal. This is a fairly common belief among many of the gout cognoscenti but not among some gout sufferers. The researchers were trying to measure how much uric acid was departing in urine. But they could not relate this amount very accurately to the intake of protein in the study's participants because they had to guess how much was removed in the intestines. Maybe somebody knows how to measure uric acid dissolution in the intestines, but I haven't heard of it. Thirty per cent is a rough-and-ready number.

Colons and semi-colons (: ;) Not many gout sufferers know the small intestines remove uric acid. They are the ones with the smaller diameter that look like a huge coil of sausages inside the perimeter of the large intestine. Another sign of their anonymity in gout is that no one uses the words "intestines and gout" to search for gout information on websites.

A part of the large intestine is called the colon but the small intestines have not yet been called the semi-colons !

So this gouty topic is over-looked and this might be the reason why there aren't even any medications for improving intestinal removal/dissolution of uric acid. Psyllium husks are thought to do some good. They are worth using if you know that you are an under-excretor of uric acid, as are most people with gout. Thirty percent is a lot and boosting the intestines removal of uric acid might make the crucial difference. Even if they don't, they will do the intestines some good.

I plan to dig into this topic over the coming months to see if anything really useful can be learnt. Maybe I can find out where this 30% number comes from.


I came across a lovely story in the past month about a natural remedy for gout, celery seed extract. in a case of ankle gout. The lady in question was 92, not 22, 42, or 62. But the recent research about the growing incidence of gout in the U.S. and probably elsewhere - see the last issue of the Gout Dugout - highlighted as never before, that the risk of gout rises as both sexes grow older and it does not decline, as has been suggested, after 65-70.

Her tortuous ankle pain, which seemed to come after big toe gout pain, was confused by 3 podiatrists, a chiropractor and an Emergency Room (Accident and Emergency Unit) doctor. Any rheumatologist reading this will be glad to know she wasn't misdiagnosed by one of them. The five diagnosed osteoarthritis or plantar fasciitis, and this is not unheard of in ankle gout.

It demonstrates the need to get arthrocentesis (joint aspiration) done if you can, because this is the best, although not a foolproof way, of getting gout reliably confirmed. The sequence, toes then ankle, is common in gout and shows it's probably getting worse.

Her daughter researched ankle pain and discovered it could be caused by gout, and that celery seed extract might help. I don't know how much she took, but a celery seed extract label dosage is one 75mg capsule standardized to 85% of 3-n-butylphthalide, or 3nB, twice a day with water. After a week or two of celery seed extract the ankle pain had gone, but not the big toe pain. This was still occasional. Gout remedies of all kinds (and meds too) are often like this, i.e. they half work, but something is better than nothing and celery seed extract is not known to have any side effects. Let's hope it works favourably (favorably) on the big toe.

Extracts of celery seeds like these can be a gout remedy

Her daughter should definitely now be seeing a GP (PCP) to discuss the safest med, probably allopurinol or febuxostat, and discuss other gout diet foods. This isn't the first good gout story I've heard about celery seed extract for gout, but I suspect cherries in some form are better. And baking soda (bicarbonate of soda), if your doctor agrees.


In June's Gout Dugout I mentioned Gary Taubes's very interesting and excellently researched book "Good Calories, Bad Calories." Apparently a chapter on fructose and gout was to have appeared but for some reason it didn't. But Gary Taubes did write it. If you want to read or print that chapter you can do so free here.

I forgot to say in June that in many countries outside the U.S. and Canada, the book has a different, and I think a more incisive, more relevant, title "The Diet Delusion." Whatever those words make you think, I should say that it isn't a book saying it's impossible to lose weight, or that diets are bad. And it isn't a book that shows you how to lose weight directly, at least that's not its intention.

Taubes has picked up the low carb colours (colors) of Robert Atkins and flies them as vigorously as the famous diet doctor. If you do read it, I guarantee you will be surprised, and shocked when you read how thin is the ice on which many nutritional "certainties" stand. In many cases IMO there is no ice at all.

I did a bit of checking and learnt that it's called "The Diet Delusion" in these countries: Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Singapore and Ireland. (Sometimes both titles are in stock). In Hong Kong and the Philippines it's "Good Calories, Bad Calories."

There will be other countries with this second title. Be aware of this if you live elsewhere.

Can gout sufferers get anything specific from it? Definitely. If insulin resistance (IR) is your cause of gout, there is a lot in the book about IR and how it can be treated with diet.

Taubes spent five years on the research for this book. I've been reading Amazon book reviews for years, and I've never seen so many reviews for any book about food and diets, almost all with glowing praise. A whopping 640 pages in paperback. My hardback is 576. It requires 2 or 3 readings to better understand, but it is written for the lay person.


As expected, the U.S. FDA declined to approve Ilaris (canakinumab). After an Arthritis Advisory Committee voted in June not to recommend it to the FDA, by a large majority, the writing was on the wall.

Ilaris offers a different way of dealing with gout pain. And it might have competed with colchicine, which would have been an excellent thing, given colchicine's side effects. Ilaris isn't the only new gout drug that works by inhibiting one of the Interleukins so we must hope that Arcalyst (under development) works better and safer. Perhaps its developers will modify Ilaris, and its proposed gout treatment group.


I recently put up a new page on the site discussing whether whey is one of the useful gout diet foods. Read it here.

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 the United States and Canada, from Britain.


In October's Gout Dugout, I shall ask: "Can you sweat out enough uric acid to lower your serum (blood) uric acid by a useful amount?" That is, by enough to get the blood level down.

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Thanks for reading and all the best of health.

John Mepham BA.(Econ).

Makati City,

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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