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Originally published August 21 2008

Soft Drink Consumption Boosts Risk of Gout by 85 Percent

by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Men's risk of gout increases along with consumption of sweetened soft drinks and fructose, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of British Columbia and Harvard Medical School, and published in the British Medical Journal.

In the disease known as gout, excess uric acid accumulates in the blood and is then deposited in the form of uric acid crystals around the body's joints, leading to swelling and extreme pain. It particularly tends to affect men over the age of 39.

The incidence of gout in the United States has doubled over the course of the last several decades. According to the recent study, this increase might be linked with a corresponding increase in fructose and soft drink consumption.

Researchers gave food frequency questionnaires to 46,393 men who had no signs of gout, then followed those men for 12 years. In that time, 755 cases of gout developed.

Men who consumed five or six servings per week of sugar-sweetened soft drinks had a 29 percent higher chance of developing gout when compared with men who consumed less than one serving per month. Men who consumed one serving per day had a 45 percent higher risk, while men who consumed two or more servings per day had an 85 percent higher risk of developing gout.

The researchers also observed that as the contribution of fructose to the diet increased, so did the risk of gout. Compared with men who acquired less than 4.5 percent of their calories from fructose, men who acquired between 4.5 and 5.3 percent had a 41 percent higher risk of developing gout. Men who got between 5.4 and 6.6 percent of their calories from fructose had in 84 percent higher risk, while men who got more than 6.6 percent of their calories from the sugar had a 102 percent higher risk of developing the disease.

The researchers noted that fructose is known to increase uric acid production within the body.

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