MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Stephen P. Juraschek, MD, PhD
Fellow, Division of General Internal Medicine
Johns Hopkins Hospital
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Diet has long been viewed as an important way to lower uric acid levels to prevent gout attacks; however, there is little evidence about whether a particular dietary pattern might be effective for lowering uric acid. For the first time we show that the DASH diet, an effective diet for lowering blood pressure, it lowers uric acid levels substantially in people with abnormally high uric acid levels.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Traditionally the DASH diet has been viewed as a wholesome diet to prevent heart disease and lower blood pressure for patients with hypertension. Now the DASH diet is applicable to patients with abnormally high uric acid levels, such as are seen in patients with gout. Patients with an elevated uric acid level can discuss starting the DASH diet approach to lowering uric acid with their primary care provider or rheumatologist. The DASH diet is extremely well-tolerated and palatable with minimal adverse effects.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Our study was not conducted in patients with gout and did not examine gout flares. This would be an important next step in looking at whether the DASH diet can prevent gout in addition to lowering uric acid levels.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: With regards to sodium, while reducing sodium intake from medium to low increased uric acid levels, increasing sodium intake from medium to high did not decrease uric acid levels. Thus, our study does not support the idea that people should consume excessive amounts of sodium to lower uric acid levels. Consuming excessive amounts of sodium could have harmful consequences on other aspects of health, like blood pressure. However, as sudden changes in uric acid levels (either sudden increases or decreases in uric acid) can trigger gout flares. Knowing that sodium can cause uric acid levels to fluctuate can help patients and physicians understand more about potential dietary causes of gout flares.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Effects of the Dietary Approaches To Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet and Sodium Intake on Serum Uric Acid
Stephen P. Juraschek MD, PhD,
Allan C. Gelber MD, PhD,
Hyon K. Choi MD, DrPH,
Lawrence J. Appel MD, MPH,
Edgar R. Miller III MD, PhD
Arthritis and Rheumatology Accepted manuscript online: 14 August 2016
Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.
More Medical Research Interviews on MedicalResearch.com