Uncorking the Truth: Exploring the Relationship Between Red Wine and Gout

Red wine in a gout diet

You’ve probably heard of gout, that arthritis that brings a world of pain. Now, when it comes to dealing with it, you might wonder about enjoying a glass of red wine. I mean, some studies even say red wine has its perks.

Lots of studies have shown that having a moderate amount of wine can help lower the chances of heart problems and even dying from various causes. Research also says that drinking wine in moderation can make your body better at fighting off harmful toxins and protect your blood from harmful conditions.

These findings have caught a lot of research interest because they relate to problems like cancer, heart issues, and brain diseases that are linked to oxidative stress.

But here’s the kicker: Can you safely sip on that red goodness while dealing with gout? Well, in this blog post, we’re going to dig into the whole gout-alcohol thing and help you figure out if treating yourself to some red wine every now and then is a yay or nay.

What is Gout?

According to a recent study, about 8 million Americans suffer from gout, a common form of arthritis. In the past, it was linked to indulgent eating and drinking, earning it the name “disease of kings.” But experts found that while certain foods can worsen it, it’s actually caused by too much uric acid in the blood, called hyperuricemia.

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These uric acid crystals gather in joints, causing inflammation and intense pain. This happens due to an immune system glitch, where it mistakenly attacks healthy cells. Typically, gout targets joints at the extremities of your arms and legs – the ankles, fingers, toes, and notably, the big toe.

Lots of things can set off gout symptoms. It’s not only about what you eat – some medicines and foods with purine can also add to the problem. And surprise, surprise – drinking alcohol, even wine, has been connected to making gout worse.

Needless to say, it’s important to realize that it’s not just your diet that matters. Other things like medications and drinks can also play a role in whether you experience gout symptoms.

Gout and Alcohol

In 2015, researchers conducted a study involving 724 participants over a year, and they discovered that consuming any amount of alcohol, regardless of type, led to an elevated risk of experiencing a gout attack to some extent.

Their findings pointed out that having more than a single drink within a 24-hour span raised the risk of a gout attack by 36 percent. Moreover, they also noticed a connection between drinking and an increased likelihood of a gout attack occurring within 24 hours of consuming alcohol:

  • Wine: 1-2 servings (1 serving = 5 oz.)
  • Beer: 2-4 servings (1 serving = 12 oz.)
  • Hard liquor: 2-4 servings (1 serving = 1.5 oz.)

The study concluded with the recommendation that persons with existing gout avoid consuming alcohol to reduce their risk of repeated gout attacks.

How Wine Affects Gout

People often have mixed opinions on whether wine affects gout, mostly based on their own experiences. According to a study from 2006 that looked at 200 subjects, the results suggested that people with gout should steer clear of alcohol.

This study found that booze can kick off gout attacks, but here’s the twist: whether it’s wine, beer, or cocktails, the risk of these attacks didn’t change. It’s like all the blame goes to the ethanol in the alcohol, not the other stuff.

To put it simply, choosing wine over beer or cocktails doesn’t really cut down on the chances of gout attacks. Furthermore, it’s crucial to remember that folks who go overboard with drinking are way more likely to end up with gout than those who stay away from alcohol altogether.

That’s why, if you’re aiming to lower your chances of gout attacks, it’s smart to keep your alcohol consumption moderate and not overdo it.

Can People with Gout Drink Wine Safely?

If you’re dealing with gout, here’s the deal with alcohol: it’s packed with purines, which can be trouble for your gout situation. According to the Arthritis Foundation, it’s like a universal rule: all types of alcohol bring in those purines, and that’s not a friend to gout.

So, if you’re on team “keeping gout in check,” better keep an eye on that purine intake.

Now, let’s skip to 2021. Researchers did some digging and found that gout doesn’t really jive well with beer or strong stuff like spirits. They might just crank up your gout troubles. But here’s where it gets interesting: some studies also gave wine a side-eye, suggesting it could be a bit of a gout trigger too.

But here’s a twist from the past – back in 2004, there was a study that gave wine a thumbs-up, saying it doesn’t play nice with gout risk. And here’s a cool thought floating around: sipping wine in moderation could be a secret weapon.

How? Well, it’s all about the antioxidants in wine, which might just keep the uric acid level in check and shield you from those nasty gout attacks.

Taking a broader look, the majority of studies examined in the 2021 review reached a consensus. They seemed to suggest that occasional alcohol consumption might trigger gout flares. Whether it’s beer, strong alcoholic beverages, or wine, they all seem to contribute to the potential gout scenario.

Therefore, if gout is interfering with your well-being or if you’re taking precautions, the panel of researchers behind the review recommends moderating your alcohol consumption, irrespective of its type. This adjustment could potentially assist you in avoiding gout or its troublesome flare-ups.

The bottom line: Whether it’s red or white, both kinds of wine can increase the chances of gout flares. Cutting down on alcohol overall can be a smart move to lower uric acid levels in your blood and steer clear of gout.

7 Proven Health Benefits of Red Wine

When you stick to moderation—that’s about one 5-ounce glass for women and up to two for men per day—red wine can bring about some quite unexpected health advantages.

Now, to address the timeless query of whether red wine truly contributes to your well-being, let’s explore insights from a dietitian and the most recent research. They provide a glimpse into the acknowledged health perks of indulging in red wine and its potential effects on your overall wellness.

  1. Blood sugar regulation
  2. Enhanced memory and cognitive function
  3. Lower cancer risk
  4. Improved heart health
  5. Support for eye health
  6. Dental health maintenance
  7. Viral defense aid

Red wine can also support your microbiome, promoting a healthy gut. A balanced microbiome prevents diseases, while an imbalanced one weakens immunity, increasing susceptibility to illnesses.

Have Wine with Your Meals!

A recent study found something intriguing – when you enjoy wine, it seems to give uric acid a boost. It might sound a bit unusual, but surprisingly, it’s actually beneficial. Uric acid isn’t just there; it acts like a natural antioxidant, helping to keep your body in balance.

Think of it as your body’s own cleaning crew for harmful molecules. The study suggests that when you have wine, uric acid gets a bit more active, and that’s a noteworthy discovery. It’s like your internal defenders exchanging a positive nod.

When we put it all together, it seems that a short-term rise in uric acid after drinking wine isn’t likely to harm health like long-term high uric acid levels can. Instead, having wine with meals might actually help protect against stress on the body after eating.

Recent research shows that the best protective effects of wine against oxidative damage happen when you enjoy it with your meal. In fact, studies suggest that the heart benefits of wine are seen mainly in people who have it with their meals, not separately.

​​Other Lifestyle Changes to Consider

When it comes to reducing your risk of gout and gout flare-ups, there are lifestyle changes beyond adjusting alcohol consumption that you might want to consider:

  • Watch out for fructose: A study in 2008 concluded that fructose contributes to higher uric acid levels. This includes fruit juices and sugary sodas.
  • Embrace veggies and dairy: The American College of Rheumatology suggests having more veggies and low-fat or nonfat dairy. Surprisingly, veggies high in purines might not actually raise gout risk, as per these guidelines.
  • Be cautious with high-purine foods: The Arthritis Foundation advises limiting or cutting out certain high-purine foods like shellfish, organ meats, and certain red meats to avoid gout and flare-ups. Opt for leaner cuts of meat and control portion sizes.
  • Shedding excess weight: A review of studies in 2018 found that being overweight more than doubles the risk of gout.

The Key Point To Remember is…

You might have heard people say that wine is gentler on gout compared to beer or stronger spirits, but when it comes to research, there isn’t a big gap in how these drinks trigger gout attacks.

Remember, everyone’s situation is unique. It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about your gout and get their advice on whether enjoying a bit of alcohol in moderation is safe for you and how it might impact your gout.