Gout prevention


Want to reduce the risk of gout?
Mushrooms are an excellent choice

Gout Prevention ImageMushrooms are very low in kilojoules and help control appetite, making them ideal for weight control. As weight loss reduces gout attacks in overweight people, mushrooms can have an additional benefit for the gout sufferer.


It is important to note, despite much to the contrary, that there is no evidence that certain fruits, vegetables or mushrooms cause gout or make it worse. Evidence to date strongly indicates that non-animal foods like mushrooms, fruits, legumes, nuts and vegetables may be protective against gout and therefore should not be restricted in those that suffer from gout. In fact, a high consumption of fruit, vegetables and mushrooms is linked to a lower risk of gout.


In the past, the most common dietary advice was to avoid purine-rich foods like animal flesh and offal, seafood, yeast extracts, peas, legumes, lentils, spinach, asparagus and mushrooms. However, there is no evidence that a vegetable or mushroom with a modest amount of purine will raise uric acid levels and trigger a gout attack.


Research that supports the fact that mushrooms reduce the risk of gout:

  1. A study of over 47,000 men over 12 years (aged 40-75 yrs at the start of the study) found that a “moderate intake of purine-rich vegetables is not associated with an increased risk of gout”, whether purine-rich vegetables were considered as a food group or as individual vegetables (Choi 2004).
  2. Another study of 92 men with gout and 92 controls found no link between purine intake and the occurrence of gout, or between fruit and vegetable intake and gout (Lyu 2003). In fact, the authors state that: “Our data support the observation that increased consumption of foods from plant sources, especially fruit and vegetables, reduce the risk of gout development.”
  3. A review of the lifestyle evidence to reduce gout attacks specifically mentions to consume purine-rich vegetables “as they do not increase the risk of gout.” (Choi 2010). The review goes on to say that people who ate the most vegetable protein actually had a 27% lower risk of gout compared with those that ate the least.
  4. A study of over 2000 adults concluded that: “… we found no association between purine-rich vegetables consumption and plasma urate.” The authors said that their results reinforce the concerns about recommendations that restrict the eating of purine-rich vegetables.
  5. Two surveys of Taiwanese adults showed an inverse relationship between vegetables, mushrooms and gout risk (Chuang 2011). The more mushrooms consumed, the lower the average uric acid levels.
  6. A review of gout management by the American College of Rheumatology recognised that dietary changes alone did not sufficiently lower plasma uric acid levels for many people with gout, and specifically encouraged the consumption of vegetables and low-fat dairy foods (Khanna 2012).


Choi HK, Atkinson K, Karlson EW, Williett W, Curhan G 2004. Purine-rich foods, dairy and protein intake, and the risk of gout in men. New England Journal of Medicine; 350: 1093-1103
Choi HK 2010. A prescription for lifestyle change in patients with hyperuricemia and gout. Current Opinion in Rheumatology; 22: 165-172
Chuang SY, Lee SC, Hsieh YT, Pan WH 2011. Trends in hyperuricemia and gout prevalence: Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan from 1993-1996 to 2005-2008. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 29 (2): 301-308
Khanna D et al 2012. 2012 American College of Rheumatology guidelines for management of gout. Part 1: systematic nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic therapeutic approaches to hyperuricemia. Arthritis Care & Research; 64 (10): 1431-1446
Lyu LC, Hsu CY, Yeh CY, Lee MS, Huang SH, Chen CL 2003. A case-control study of the association of diet and obesity with gout in Taiwan. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 78: 690-701

Note: this information in this fact sheet is meant as general background information only. For specific, personal advice on any medical condition, please see your doctor.

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