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The Gout Dugout.Issue #046 | Genetic cause of gout | shoes for gout | worth knowing about cancer |
October 23, 2011

Hello and Welcome to the October 2011 edition of the Gout Dugout newsletter. The ten minutes' read that can give you good ideas for dealing with gout.


To most of us the science of genetics is pretty arcane. But we've heard of the human genome project and we know our genes are not Levi's. But we wouldn't be able to describe exactly what gene is, at least I wouldn't.

2009's genetic gout discovery (Gout Dugout July 2009) was of a kidney gene whose malfunctioning would cause uric acid to rise. This month, a new genetic gout discovery was announced. Researchers in Iceland have found a gene which makes people susceptible to gout because it has an upwards effect on serum (blood) uric acid levels, and raises the risk of gout by 3 times.

The idea that gout might also have a genetic cause is one which has occurred to people since genes were first known, without their being able to prove it.

Projecting numbers upwards from the actual number of research participants (457 people), it was calculated that nearly 4% of Iceland’s population of 318,000 have this gout gene. This is nearly 13,000 people. They are more likely to get gout.

And down too 3% of the Icelanders and 1.5% of the Europeans from different nations who were tested, had another genetic variant which reduced the risk of gout by 50%. I have always thought until now, of genes causing the risk of gout to rise, not fall, so that's something new. In fact the same genetic association between this gene and uric acid was also found in populations from Norway, Denmark, Holland and the U.S.

The Icelanders however were the most prone to gout. The genetic risk of gout is less in some than in others. So it's likely to be a worldwide phenomena, and national populations may vary in the extent to which this gout gene exists among them.

What effect on gout treatment in some people might these genes have? Maybe they account for why some can't get their uric acid down below 6.0 mg/dL whatever they do. And probably why some others can make downwards adjustments to their uric acid from cherries, celery and the rest. And why people who eat and drink voraciously, never get gout, whilst others who consume less do. So if you've been having difficulty it might be in your genes, as you have probably already thought, but don't give up.

Will somebody start work on how to modify these gout genes in people who have them? Dr. Stefansson, from deCode Genetics in Iceland said:

"We are committed to turning discoveries such as this, as well as our recent findings in ovarian cancer and sick sinus syndrome, and our future discoveries, into real benefits for patients."

Let's hope they can. I'd like the one that reduces the risk of gout. Will more gout genes be found? Sounds very likely.

And now, from the top of the Earth, Iceland, to the bottom….. New Zealand.


Do you have any idea which world city has the most gout sufferers? If you don't know, it would be hard to guess.

It's not in the U.S. despite the news a few weeks ago that gout has risen in America. Nor in Britain or Japan, both among the other gout prone countries. In the southern districts of this city gout has reached a penetration of 15% of Maori and Pacific Islands men (1 in 6). That's much higher than the recently calculated 6% of U.S. men.

This city is now dubbed the gout capital of the world, no less. And the winner (or loser) is..... Auckland, on New Zealand's North Island.

Auckland has a large population of Maoris and they have been among the world's most prolific gout sufferers since probably the 1970's. One of Auckland's hospitals used to be (and maybe still is) expert at surgically removing tophi. When you see those big, burly Maori members of the New Zealand All Blacks rugby teams, it's hard to imagine they are people very prone to gout. Maybe it's in their genes too, and that may be partly true, but more likely I think it's diet - not purines, but too many carbohydrates. (The insulin resistance cause of gout).

Maoris - Watch out for gout

The Auckland University of Technology was the location of a recently concluded, and pioneering, study about footwear and gout. Fifty participants were drawn from long term gout sufferers.

Whilst the participants were good at identifying the footwear features needed for good gout shoes, they were less good at wearing these themselves. Nearly half wore poor gout footwear. Why? They seemed to forget what they knew when actually purchasing, and the cost of getting the right footwear was above their budget

The Auckland University of Technology probably didn't find it difficult to get their 50 participants for this recently published small study of shoes for gout. They said it was also the first one ever done on footwear and gout.

The footwear of gout sufferers attending rheumatology clinics in Auckland was examined and in nearly half the cases found to be lacking. Interestingly, a link was discovered between the type of footwear worn and the severity of foot impairment.

If you haven't given any, or much, thought to gout footwear in the past, there's a new page on on shoes for gout.


This newsletter is about gout and it's not really intended to be about general health or any other medical topic. But just occasionally something significant crops up, which I'm sure would benefit readers to hear about.

Recently there was one such occasion. I'm offering up the following on an "as is" basis because I think you'd benefit from knowing this, if it's news to you. You are probably interested in cancer. Most people are.

All I really know about cancers is that I'm afraid of them and relatives have died from them. And that the basic treatment for most is chemotherapy drugs, immunotherapy and radiation. I am aware that the war on cancer has been dismally unsuccessful - 40 years without a result - and occasionally one has wondered whether there is someone out there who has a remedy that's based on good science.

There was a German doctor, Hans Nieper, who used Calcium AEP, a remedy which was respected by other doctors such as Robert Atkins, but not by the U.S. FDA. Although, reportedly, Ronald Reagan was treated for three cancers by him, and Reagan lived to 93. How Calcium AEP worked I have no idea, but you can look it and Hans Nieper up.

Perusing the Dr. Mercola health newsletter, which I do almost daily to see if he has said anything about gout a few weeks ago, I came across the story of Dr.Burzynski as told in "Burzynski, The Movie" and in a couple of lengthy articles by Dr.Mercola.

This is an incredible story. It turns out that this doctor has had a remedy for some cancers since I think 1977, a remedy which has been more successful than chemotherapy and radiation, but not 100% and not for all cancer types.

No surprise there.

If you think that Dr.Burzynski works out of a couple of rooms above a shop in a run-down area, think again. This is his website and "clinic."

This kind of success only comes from getting results. To watch "Burzynski The Movie" (about 108 minutes) visit YouTube here. Ignore the message that this free version has expired. I checked just before dispatching this issue, and it's still working as of 23 October.

Or, to read more about Dr.Burzynski go to the Mercola website and enter Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski to read about his cure. There are shorter videos that focus more on Dr.Burzynski's remedy on the Mercola website.

Whilst on the subject of alternative treatments for cancer, here is another, Dr.Gonzalez, who has achieved good results.

Alternative Health Research/Flamasil™


In April I covered the claim that therapeutic Thai fish farms offered a gout cure. Last month 15 villagers in a mountainous area of Nepal were arrested for eating the meat of a dead leopard – an endangered species – because one of the villagers, who suffers gout, believes leopard meat would cure him. The meat that is, not the hide or bones. It's good to know the Nepalese police were alert, although the poor leopard was dead.

Naturally I had to investigate. Could there be any properties in leopard meat which makes it dissolve uric acid and melt gout crystals? Leopard meat, the holy grail of gout cures at last! Why didn’t I think of it, even if Sir Alfred Garrod didn't?

Of course..... you cover you big toe in a leopard skin, and hey presto… the swelling subsides, the crystals dissolve, the skin is re-born and uric acid plummets. All because of this fearsome remedy. Qualms about using leopard skin? Just have a leopard burger and all will be well.

And why just leopards? Lions, tigers, cheetahs, your family cat, they are all cats too. Can they cure gout?

Larry the Leopard won't cure your gout.

But before you head off to your nearest zoo's A & E (ER) unit, or Nepal, I have to say that it's only the leopards in this village which cure gout and shrink tophi, and I can't name it for legal reasons. Leopards are indeed an endangered species and must survive. And all the other surviving leopards have "changed their spots" and no longer offer the gout cure. They want the species to be saved. So it's back to the celery and colchicine.

Seriously, unless leopards have the gout provoking gene mentioned above, (completely unlikely of course), and as with Thailand's toe sucking fish, it's hard to see why leopard meat cures gout. Sounds like what in the English language we call "an old wives tale." I wonder how the gouty man from Nepal came to think this. Just something that popped into his mind I expect.

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.


Sweating out uric acid. I said this would be in this month's Gout Dugout but I am still working on this subject. I plan for it to be in next month's edition.

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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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