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Blog author, Solai Buchanan is an experienced Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with an MS from Columbia Teachers College. She specializes in treating heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, polycystic ovarian syndrome,and other chronic diseases. She is a provider at a full-service cardiology practice accepting most insurance and staffed with a primary care MD, pediatrician, and cardiologist. Call: 718.894.7907. NYCC is lead by Interventional Cardiologist Sanjeev Palta, MD, FSCAI, FACC. He trained at Cornell-Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and the State University Hospital of Brooklyn. He currently is an Attending Cardiologist at New York Methodist Hospital and Maimonides Medical Center. He is also an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Having performed over 2000 invasive cardiac procedures Dr. Palta’s patients know they are in trusted hands.

Saturday, August 20, 2016


Gout is a painful arthritis that develops when uric acid crystals deposit in the joints.  A new analysis indicates that following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet plan can significantly improve gout by lowering elevated blood levels of uric acid.

The findings stem from a new analysis of the data collected in the original DASH diet randomized clinical trials conducted in the '90's.  The DASH diet emphasizes intake of vegetables, fruits, and fat-free/low-fat dairy products and includes healthy amounts of whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetable oils while limiting salt, sweets, sugary beverages, and red meats.  Nutritionally, this means DASH is low in sodium and unhealthy saturated fats while being rich in fiber and the blood pressure-friendly minerals potassium, calcium, and magnesium.  The landmark DASH trial reported in '97 revealed following the DASH diet markedly improves blood pressure in hypertensive persons. Now, an analysis of the original DASH study participants' blood uric acid levels reveals the diet also substantially reduces uric acid in the blood.  Impressively, among study participants with elevated uric acid levels, DASH lowered levels by nearly as much as typical gout medication treatment.

The underlying causes of gout remain poorly understood.  Alcohol intake (especially beer), meat intake, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, sickle-cell anemia, kidney disease, and diuretic medications are some of the known risk factors for gout.  Gout sufferers are advised to reduce their intake of proteins rich in purine which raises uric acid levels.  One reason DASH is likely good for gout is that it emphasizes lean dairy and plant-based proteins from beans that are naturally lower in purine than meat, fish, and chicken.  It is also believed that gout sufferers' benefit from the variety of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients found in the plentiful fruits and vegetables of the DASH diet.

What to do: If you suffer from gout eliminate alcohol and actively hydrate, drinking 8-16 cups of water daily.  Moderate your intake of meat, shellfish and other animal proteins, and instead get more of your protein from lean dairy, eggs, and beans.  And, given the promising results of this analysis, take steps to adopt the DASH diet.  Detailed information on the diet and meal plans are available online at:  www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/heart/new_dash.pdf

Juraschek SP, Gelber AC, Choi HK, et al.  Effects of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and sodium intake on serum uric acid.  Arthritis & Rheumatology.  Published online August 15, 2016. DOI: 10.1002/art.39813

Adapted from articles available at: