Tomatoes May Trigger Gout

A type of arthritis, gout is often characterized by acute attacks of sudden burning pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint.  The condition is caused by an excess of uric acid on the blood, leading to the formation of hard crystals in joints. Tanya Flynn, from the University of Otago (New Zealand), and colleagues analyzed data collected on 2150 New Zealand residents with clinically confirmed gout. Participants were surveyed for their food habits, with 71% reporting that they had one or more to gout food triggers. The researchers then analyzed data collected on 12,722 objects participating in the Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities (ARIC) Study, Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS), and Framingham Heart Study (FHS).  Data analysis revealed that tomato consumption linked to higher levels of uric acid in the blood.  Writing that:  “the positive association between tomato consumption and serum urate levels suggests that the self-reporting of tomatoes as a dietary trigger by people with gout has a biological basis,” the study authors submit that tomatoes may be the fourth most common gout trigger food, after seafood, alcohol, and red meat.

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