Soy and goutGout or inflammatory arthritis is affecting more than 3 million people in the United States. Gout is a disease created by a build-up of uric acid in the body fluids. The elevated level of uric acid results in the deposition of monosodium urate or uric acid crystals on the articular cartilage of joints, tendons and surrounding tissues. These crystals provoke an inflammatory reaction of these tissues. All cells contain purines, which are building blocks for RNA and DNA. During digestion the purines are converted into uric acid which is secreted by our kidneys and our gut. Defects in the functioning of the kidney that may be genetically determined are responsible for the predisposition of individuals for developing gout. Individuals with increased risk of gout should limit the intake of purine-rich food such as meat and seafood. Soy is considered as a food rich in purines and often considered less suitable for individuals with gout. But is soy really that bad for gout sufferers?
Studies about soy and goutDuring the "Fourth International Symposium on the Role of Soy in Prventing and Treating Chronic Disease" in 2001 there was a paper presented on the link between isoflavones an osteoarthritis. Researchers at the University of Washington conducted a study involving 225 women to measure the association of isoflavone intake with osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is prevalent in over 80 percent of adults aged 55 and older. The results of this study suggested that the regular consumption of soy may be associated with a lower prevalence of arthritis. The use of postmenopausal estrogen may be associated with a higher prevalence of arthritis. A Japanese study by Yamakita and co-workers of Hyogo College of Medicine concluded that tofu is a safe source of protein for gout patients due to its small and transient effect on plasma urate levels.
References(1) Yamakita J, Yamamoto T, Moriwaki Y, Takahashi S, Tsutsumi Z, Higashino K. Effect of Tofu (bean curd) ingestion and on uric acid metabolism in healthy and gouty subjects. Adv Exp Med Biol. 1998;431:839-42.
(2) Choi HK, Atkinson K, Karlson EW, Willett W, Curhan G. Purine-rich foods, dairy and protein intake, and the risk of gout in men. N Engl J Med. 2004 Mar 11;350(11):1093-103.
(3) Messina et al. Soyfoods, hyperuricemia and gout: a review of the epidemiologic and clinical data. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2011;20(3):347-58.