There is always a big concern about purines causing gout.  And if you’ve been getting gout for any length of time at all, you’ve found out that most high protein foods are rich in purines.  So the big dilemma for everyone struggling with gout, is how to take care of our essential protein needs, without triggering a gout attack.

The Dilemma About Gout and
Protein Solved!

I wrote a post a few weeks ago and got a fabulous response to it from one of my great LinkedIn connections.  His name is Subhasis and he is a very accomplished health practitioner and wellness researcher.  What I was putting forward in my post – which was about using sardines for protein, and are generally thought of as the wrong thing to eat in regards to gout (check out the recipe) – is that we can get very targeted nutrition in the way of good fats and proteins, if we go about it in the right way.

But the important thing is that Subhasis introduced me to a new concept: the “Protein Pull”, which sent me scrambling to Mr. Google to try learn more.   Read below to see what Subhasis has to say:

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Hi Bert,

I read your article on sardines for gout and the apprehensions surrounding high purine foods. Very interesting!

My experience with Gout (my dad who is 85) is that nutrient dense fish can be eaten in moderation if accompanied by low intensity, eccentric weight training with weights in the range of 4 lbs in each hand done slowly (1 rep in 10 seconds or more). I call it the “Protein Pull” approach, where the weight training creates the “pull” towards better protein metabolism.

In the previous 3 weeks, due to reduction of protein intake and gout medication as advised by a doctor, he had lost about 7 kg and become really frail, weak and shaky. The pain in his feet and wrist was so intense that he required a wheelchair and was unable to feed himself when I met him, post this incidence.

I immediately prescribed weight training (as above) every alternate day with the fish diet (I was using river carp) and deep relaxation training on the other day. I purchased a wrist brace to help with wrist pain and asked him to do the workout lying down on a mat to avoid pressure on feet. The introduction of fish and weight training helped him regain 6 kg in 4 weeks, with a substantial muscle percentage which I believe then restored in him the ability to process protein/purine. He was 90% pain free in 4 weeks and 100% in about 7 months.

He has been gout free and gout medication free and pain free for the past one year and also in better health and fitness. He does his exercises regularly, is fully mobile, and very active.

If it helps, do tell people about the resistance training connection to diet in gout, especially for those who are above 75 years of age. Cheers!

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Pretty amazing huh?  85 years old – gout free and gout medication free and in better health and fitness!  I hope you are as inspired as I am about this!

The reason I thought it was important to bring this to your attention and why I asked Subhasis if it was alright to publish this, is because, understanding that it’s not the foods necessarily that we are eating that is causing gout, rather it’s our body’s ability to process those proteins and therefore the purines.

Protein Pulldown Assay

In my Google search, I came across what is called the “protein pull down assay”.  Honestly, this discussion is WAY above my pay grade.  Subhasis response (below) confirms that protein pull assays do come into play, but he is talking about protein and how it is used in the body in a different way.

Again, I am very grateful for Subhasis explanation of all of this because he brings to light, in a much better way, the “hunch” that I have been feebly trying to put into words for quite a while now – read his explanation below:

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Hi Bert,

Yes by all means please share with your readers if you feel it is useful. BTW, sorry about all the typos in my previous message. Just noticed them 🙂

Yes, pull-down assays do come into play but before that I think is the effect of mechanobiology. Tissues when stressed or moved around become very dynamic especially as people age. Not just muscle tissue but bone, vascular and nervous tissue all get invigorated creating a sort of new “protein hunger” in the body…and hence I use the word “pull”. I feel protein is best taken if coupled with mild resistance exercise done slowly like in eccentric training….so that deeper stabilizing muscles are also engaged along with mobilizer muscles closer to the surface of the body. This is one of the basic principles why yoga and taichi are done slowly….people feel it is to relax but actually it is to stress at a deeper level.

While I think this will help anybody, I see this as particularly helpful for elderly people who cannot afford to go low in protein due to gout, as they will lose muscle and become frail very quickly.

Keep up the good work, Bert! God speed.


* * *

So if Subhasis can restore the health and vitality of his 85 year old father, and keep him free from gout and free from gout drugs, do you think  you can do that too?  Using proteins wisely and combining them with targeted exercise is something I also talk about in my video program.

Gout and Protein Intake In Summary

In the book, “Why Stomach Acid Is Good For You”, Dr. Jonathan Wright believes that roughly 90% of everyone is critically deficient in stomach acid.  Hydrochloric acid production/expression is sorely compromised by our modern day, nutrient devoid diet, other poor lifestyle habits, and over-exposure to toxic substances. (including pharmaceutical drugs)

Production of, and proper functioning of hydrochloric acid is essential to protein metabolism.  Did you ever think that, one day you got gout, but you had never had it before?  What do you think changed?  For one thing, your digestive capabilities had diminished.  And that only led to complications further down the line…like how well your kidneys then either held on to, or let go of uric acid.

In closing, we all need to stop blaming the food for gout specifically – we’re looking in the wrong place.  Start the process of improving your overall health by improving your digestion (which involves eating nutrient dense whole foods) and rebuilding your microbiome (healthy gut bacteria).  This is a huge step in the right direction for becoming gout free.

  Bottom-line:  It’s not the food that’s causing you to have gout attacks, it’s how well your body ISN’T working.

(I’ve left the discussion box open below, I would like to here what you have to say)


Bert Middleton

“I know your pain. Let me help you kill your gout for good!  And teach you to advocate for yourself and take ownership of your gout recovery, by showing you how to live the gout-free lifestyle.” Two decades ago, Bert Middleton found himself diagnosed with gout. Like 8.3 million other people in the United States (approximately 4% of the population), he struggled helplessly with the physical, emotional, social, and financial impact that gout left unchecked can have on your life. Prescription drugs were of limited help… And the terrible pain of regular gout attacks left him unable to enjoy even the simplest daily pleasures. His marriage was suffering. His finances were spiraling due to the impact gout had on his ability to work. And maintaining a social life was often nearly impossible. Tophi surgeries left him in terrible pain.  And he found himself depressed … and angry … that gout was stealing years of his life.

Until one day, after hundreds of hours of research and self-experimentation, Bert finally had a breakthrough and created a blueprint for a way of living that would prove to be “the answer” to living gout-free for nearly a decade now. Today, Bert and his “Gout Wife” Sharon devote their evenings and weekends to educating other gout sufferers on how to live the gout-free lifestyle. Showing others his 911 Emergency Response Gout Recovery Plan for getting PAINFUL gout attacks under control in as little as 4 hours. And then, how to make daily choices that keep gout under control for GOOD! So you can finally start LIVING again!