By Robert Preidt
The clinical trial included more than 400 people who ate the so-called DASH diet (which features high amounts of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and low amounts of fats and saturated fats), or a typical American diet.
The findings suggest that dietary changes could offer an effective and safe way to lower uric acid levels. That would possibly prevent gout flare-ups for people with mild to moderate gout who can't or don't want to take gout drugs, the researchers explained.
"Results of this trial are good news to patients with high blood levels of uric acid or those at risk for gout. A dietary approach to prevent gout should be considered first-line therapy," said study senior author Dr. Edgar Miller III. He is a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.
"This study suggests that standard dietary advice for uric acid reduction -- which is to reduce alcohol and protein intake -- should now include advice to adopt the DASH diet," Miller said in a university news release.
The study was published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology.
Gout affects 8.3 million people in the United States. The disorder costs the U.S. health care system about $7.7 billion, the researchers said.