Just like your morning cup of Joe, this information is a real eye-opener — coffee can be good for gout!

But there are two sides to this story. Numerous scientific studies have shown that:

  • People who consume coffee on a consistent basis as part of their gout diet have fewer gout attacks; BUT
  • People who drink coffee intermittently have more gout attacks.

Let’s explore why your coffee consumption pattern can affect the frequency of gout attacks.

The Chemistry of Drinking Coffee for Gout

  1. Uric acid in the body is produced from the combination of two proteins — xanthine and hypoxanthine.
  2. Uric acid is constantly being created and then broken down to maintain uric acid levels within an acceptable range.
  3. Coffee contains three compounds from the xanthine family — caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline.

When you drink coffee every day, you give your body a regular supply of the xanthines needed for uric acid production. Initially, your body will create excess uric acid, but once your body senses the excess, it uses other mechanisms to suppress the production of uric acid. Therefore, lower uric acid levels result from drinking coffee daily.

However, if you only drink coffee every so often, you still supply the extra xanthine building blocks for uric acid production, and uric acid levels rise. Without a consistent supply, however, your body does not trigger the mechanism to reduce uric acid levels. Therefore, higher uric acid levels result from intermittent coffee consumption.

Important Facts About Coffee and Gout

  • Drinking decaffeinated coffee results in similar, but not as potent, gout-preventing effects.
  • An interesting connection exists between coffee, gout, and diabetes. People who drink coffee regularly have lower insulin levels, and insulin is known to block the excretion (elimination) of uric acid. In short, higher insulin levels lead to higher uric acid levels. Drinking coffee lowers both.
  • The type of coffee you drink matters. As always, you want to avoid toxins, so buy only organic coffee. Remember too that the oils in coffee go rancid quickly — it’s best to buy whole beans, keep them cool, and grind them fresh each morning.
  • And, for those tea-drinkers out there, green and black teas have no effect — good or bad — on gout.

   + Bottom Line: Drink the same amount of coffee every single day, and your gout will be better-behaved. Just drinking an occasional cup of coffee is asking for trouble!