Uric acid

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  • On 1st July 2014

What is gout?

It is an old disease recognized since antiquity characterized by sudden episodes of severe pain, swelling, redness, great tenderness and increased local temperature in one or more joints due to urate salt deposit within itself.

Why is it produced?

Urate crystals are formed when the uric acid level in the blood is high (hyperuricemia). While   hyperucemia is not uncommon (7% of the population), only a minority of cases come to form crystals and suffer from gout. The persistence of the hyperucemia causes more attacks, which affect the joints more and more. If through treatment the level of uric acid is reduced to normal range, crystals dissolve and disappear and the possibility of suffering new attacks is less.

This is because an alteration in the metabolism of uric acid, a product of the degradation of purines, constituents turn to nucleic acids, the genetic material accumulates in blood (hyperuricemia). When the serum exceeds certain values (6mg/dc in women and 7 in men) it deposits in joints, soft tissues, and the urinary tract in the form of urate microcrystals, that are the cause of inflammation and pain. In most cases, the hyperucemia cause of gout is due to a difficulty in kidney to eliminate the uric acid.

Why does it affect young men?

It is more frequent in men than in women before menopause age, because of the protection that estrogen confers. The patient prototype to suffer a first drop episode is a man between 30 and 40, mostly overweight. “The gout has a certain component of familial aggregation and sufferers probably inherit some genetic effect which contributes to in the elimination of uric acid thought the urine. The worst  results lead  to an increased level  of uric acid in the blood, if it persists  during a lot of time ,it results in urate shaped joints and  periarticular tissues and there appears a drop attack”, explains Mercedes Jimenez Palop, rheumatologist at the  hospital Puerta de Hierro  of Madrid and coordinator of gout at the Spanish  Rheumatologist Society.


cerveza y ácido úricoFood has a decisive bearing in the maintenance of high levels of uric acid in blood and in the appearance of drop attacks. It is essential to moderate animal proteins, except milk products: “people who eat a lot of red meat, blue fish, shellfish, game meat or entrails, increase the production of urate. However, it seems, from different studies, that fruits and vegetables don´t affect practically the elevation of uric acid because they haven´t got a lot of purines”. So it is advisable to follow a Mediterranean diet, based on the consumption of vegetable protein.

As well as controlling the diet, we have to moderate the alcohol consumption and particularly the high graduation drinks which contribute to hiperuricemia because they decrease the elimination of uric acid in urine. However, it seems that wine drunk in moderation doesn’t oscillate the level of uric acid in blood so much, explains the specialist. This isn´t the case beer, with including that without alcohol, in spite of its vegetal origin, beer can be a precipitant of the crisis, due to hops, an ingredient rich in purines, advises Jimenez Palop.

Even the refreshments can aggravate this pathology because they carry fructose like sweetener, which increase the level of uric acid of the blood.  Hence the summer is a period of time in which the drop shows more frequently, because with warm days you lose more water though sweat and when the conditions of ph and hydration of the joints change, it can provoke an attack. The sedentary lifestyle coupled with high levels of uric acid; increase the risk of the appearance of metabolic syndrome (high triglycerides, hypertension and hyperglycemia) relevant to a major incidence of cardiovascular diseases. Practicing sport and eating a balanced diet allow the control of this pathology, in some cases.


According to the professor Adolfo Fernandez Rodriguez, from the dietary point of view, we must give preference to vegetables (with the exception of cauliflower and asparagus), bread and pasta, while fat must be restricted. We should limit or abolish meat, entrails, mushrooms, sausages, cocoa, and alcoholic drinks (especially beer containing hops).


Rheumatologists oat the General Hospital of Valencia have warned  against increased episodes of drop in the summer, a problem suffered by   0,5 % of the male population older than 40 years, and they recommend that affected people  avoid shellfish and beer( including alcohol free). The chief of rheumatology services at this health center, Javier Calvo, has explained in a notice, that to avoid “painful episodes” provoked by drop it is recommendable to drink two or more liters of water per day to eliminate the uric acid. Also, he suggests not leaving a lot of time between meals, maintain weight, and control the consumption of food rich in purines. The gout is produced by excessive accumulation of uric acid in body, which increases with the decomposition of matter called purines. The purines are found in all body tissues and a lot of foods like liver, shellfish, kidney beams, fatty meats or entrails, as well as alcohol in all forms. According to Calvo, we have efficient treatments, but it is “essential” that patients collaborate to control their diet, and in this way “it is necessary to avoid any kind of alcohol, especially to be careful not to drink beer, including beer without alcohol, as it contains purines (product of the protein decomposition)”.

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Could we say that beers without hops aren´t harmful and dangerous to people with gout attacks, and are suitable for consumption by sufferers, always with responsible consumption?

We aren´t  specialists in this subject but before reviewing  different articles , we´d like to leave an open door to all lovers of this so appreciated juice who suffer this painful disease, in case  they want to drink a beer, the option is to choose a GRUIT. Gruit beers have different styles: Wit, Blond, Amber and Bruin- made WITHOUT HOPS.