Tea and gout. Tea drinking tips for gout sufferers

This is the second of three pages about tea for gout.

Visit page 1 – black and green tea for gout

Visit page 3 – which are the best grades of tea to drink for gout?

This page about tea and gout, page 2, was last reviewed or updated on 17 August 2015

Is five cups of black  as good as two of green ?

If you don’t like green tea it’s probable that someone drinking five cups of black tea daily – a fairly normal amount in countries where it is popular – could get the benefits of two equivalent amounts of green tea. See precise %’s below. Five cups of (black) tea would give you more of the gout positive flavonoid quercetin – possibly the best tea for gout flavonoid –  than two cups of green since the amount of quercetin in both is about the same.

And from black tea you get the theaflavin Theaflavin-3, 3'-digallate, (TF-3) which is not found in green tea, but which has inhibited xanthine oxidase. (The benefits of this are explained on tea and gout page.1)

Or you don’t like green tea but want its benefits? – you can take green tea leaves’  extract as a dietary supplement.

Caffeine – don’t count tea as water if you drink six cups a day.

Tea contains caffeine, although only about half as much as regular (non decaffeinated ) coffee. Since caffeine is a diuretic, but only if you drink about six cups daily.  If you do that it’s best not to count tea as part of your daily water drinking target. If possible, sweeten tea with sucralose or stevia. Limit fructose, fruit sugar, which is also found in table sugar and may be a cause of gout.

Speciality (specialty) teas – Earl Grey

Could a speciality (specialty) black tea such as Earl Grey cause gout? Its distinctive flavour (flavor) and aroma derives from oil extracted from the rind of the Bergamot orange. This would not be a producer of uric acid, and oranges are low purine.

Tea Grades – to inhibit xanthine oxidase and hopefully lower uric acid, get the best grades

Block/inhibit xanthine oxidase and you reduce uric acid.

The Broken Orange Pekoe tea grade was the best performer of 15 teas in inhibiting xanthine oxidase, the enzyme which is required to turn purines into uric acid, in a test tube Indonesian study (1) Broken Pekoe grade was almost as good. Teas varied in their performance in doing this. These are grades of tea, not types such as Darjeeling, Assam and Ceylon.

“Broken,” means the leaves have been ruptured. Pekoe tea is a fine grade of tea of high quality. Teas of this grade mainly comes from Assam (India), South India, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Java (Indonesia) and China. Since it is high quality it can’t be a coincidence that it performed best in the study.

But Broken Orange Pekoe and Broken Pekoe are not the kind of tea your average drinker drinks.  Although not widely available in supermarkets, Broken Orange Pekoe, and Orange Pekoe, can be bought – find retailers on the Internet.

Purines in tea

Tea is the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant and plants are low purine. Tea is low purine. Tea, black or green, will never cause gout.

Releasing the healthy flavonoids

Both black and green should be steeped (infused) for five minutes to release the flavonoids. You get the most flavonoids from teas by brewing your own from leaves in a tea pot in the traditional way. Loose tea will deliver more flavonoids than tea bag tea of the same quality Tea bag tea has been found to have less anti-oxidant potential. That probably means less xanthine oxidase inbhibition too. But then you knew there had to be a catch about the convenience of tea bags, didn’t you?

Do not use tea drinks, instant or decaffeinated versions. 

Note (1) In books, and articles about nutrition, flavonoids may be called polyphenols, phenols, phenolic compounds.

Study References

(1)  Dadan Rohdiana et al Xanthine Oxidase inhibitory and immunomodulatory activities of fifteen grades of Indonesia orthodox black tea  International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Volume 6, Issue 5, 2014

Related pages 

How well has tea performed ? Go to tea and gout first page

What else should you, or shouldn’t you, drink if you have gout? Go to our drinks for gout page. 

Make a drink from whey – that’s good for gout. 

Drink coffee to avoid gout and lower uric acid.


Note (2) Figures from the USDA National Nutrient Database. The only definition here is black tea, not specific types like Assam, nor grades like Orange Pekoe, nor growing conditions, nor size and age of leaves and leaf buds (tips). They are very averaged numbers.



(-)-Epicatechin 2.13 (25.6% of amount in green)

(-)-Epicatechin 3-gallate 5.86 (32.7% of amount in green).

(-)-Epigallocatechin 8.05 (27.6% of amount in green).

(-)-Epigallocatechin 3-gallate 9.36 (13.3% of amount in green).**

(+)-Catechin 1.51 (33.8% of amount in green).

(+)-Gallocatechin 1.25 (81.2% of amount in green).

Theaflavins – scarcely found in green tea

Theaflavin 1.58

Theaflavin-3, 3'-digallate 1.75 **

Theaflavin-3'-gallate 1.51


Thearubigins 81.30 (528% of amount in green).

Flavones – small amounts in green tea

Apigenin 0.00

Luteolin 0.00


Kaempferol 1.41 (107.6% of amount in green).

Myricetin 0.45 (44.1% of amount in green).

Quercetin 2.19 (88% of amount in green).

Tea Green, brewed mg/100 grams



(-)-Epicatechin 8.33 

(-)-Epicatechin 3-gallate 17.94

(-)-Epigallocatechin 29.18

(-)-Epigallocatechin 3-gallate 70.20

(+)-Catechin 4.47

 (+)-Gallocatechin 1.54


Theaflavin 0.05

Theaflavin-3,3'-digallate 0.01

Theaflavin-3'-gallate 0.01


Thearubigins 1.08


Apigenin 0.17

Luteolin 0.13


Kaempferol 1.31

Myricetin 1.02

Quercetin 2.49

 ** Best performers at inhibiting xanthine oxidase.

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