The Gout and Beer Connection: Could GMO's Be to Blame?
For the most part, gout’s origin always comes down to what you’re putting into your body. Whether it’s organ meats like liver, high levels of fructose, whatever it may be, it’s affecting the purine levels in your body.
And there’s no greater culprit than--brace for it--beer.
I’m sorry, I never wanted to be the one to tell you, but if you’re a beer drinker who suffers from gout, you may be able to draw a line between the two.
Alcohol is one thing, but we’re going to explore just why it is that beer is the most dangerous alcoholic beverage when it comes to avoiding gout. Let’s dive in!
Why is beer so likely to cause gout?
It’s a question that can best be answered by understanding purines and how they break down within your body.
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Purines are found in many of the foods you consume and they break down into uric acid in turn. Too many purines put into your body means an excess of uric acid, which then develops into the crystalline shards that cause pain in your joints.
Beer, as you may have guessed is as purine rich as they come. It develops from the yeast that’s used in the brewing process, but we’re talking about a potent type of yeast here.
Brewer's yeast has about three times more purine in it than baker's years, meaning that beer drinkers are tripling their risk of gout than say, that of a regular grain consumer.
When put to a study, the findings were staggering. In a 1984 study conducted by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, 24 patients who were confirmed sufferers of gout were asked about their average alcohol consumption.
Broken down from Classes 1-5, 1 being abstention and 5 being repeated excessive drinking that interferes with their everyday life, those with heavy consumption of alcohol (Class 3-5) were more likely to have gout.
This test was conducted again in the 1990’s, this time with just 10 healthy men, 5 who drank and 5 who did not.
After being given 60 grams of alcohol a day, those who drank showed a rise in uric acid buildup within their bodies.
The findings were clear: those who drank regularly were more susceptible to gout’s effect.
But there’s more
Those of you familiar with purines know that beer isn’t the only thing to contain the compound. So why is beer so harmful? It can’t just be that there are that much purines in beer, can it?
No, purines just play one side of the damage that beer can cause towards uric acid build up within your body.
This is going to sound simple--because it is. Beer contains alcohol. Heck, that’s one of the only reasons beer even exists.
Alcohol needs to be filtered by your kidneys, just like everything else. While alcohol is in your system, your kidneys have to focus on filtering it out, it’s almost like a priority for our body.
While your kidneys are hard at work trying to filter out the alcohol, it’s not taking care of its other duties like fighting the rising uric acid levels within your body.
When beer is put into your system, not only are you greatly increasing the purine levels within your system, but you're also inhibiting your body’s ability to normalize the purine levels.
What follows next is gout, but also side effects like kidney disease and even kidney failure.
It may be hard to give up beer, but when you really think about how detrimental it is to your overall gout resilience, the choice should be an easy one to make.
I hate to say it, but it gets even worse
Really, I’m not here just to be the bearer of bad news, but there are some things you have to realize about some major beer brands that are just adding to the fire of gout-related inflammation.
Many beer commercials have their beautiful amber liquid sitting behind a sunset as friends party away on the beach. But for some, that amber hue isn’t entirely made from the brewing process. And that fresh, crisp taste? That also may come down to an additive.
Some major brands rely on a GMO corn syrup to give their beer a distinct color and taste.
Corona is a culprit of this. Those who have tried a Corona beer can attest to its sweet aftertaste. That’s a component brought into the beer through a corn syrup that’s not too far off from high fructose corn syrup.
Research has revealed men who drink more than two drinks a day could increase their chance of getting gout.
Some other brands that are guilty of including corn syrup into their alcoholic beverage include Michelob Ultra, Miller Lite, and even Budweiser.
This doesn’t go for all beer brands, though many of the big names that you’d find commonly in your local liquor store do have additives in their product that you’d otherwise never know about!
If you haven’t had a chance, you should read our article on high fructose corn syrup and its relation to gout. This probably doesn’t surprise you, but high fructose corn syrup with increase your chances of gout dramatically.
I want to be able to provide you, my readers with alcoholic substitutions for beer that you can indulge in while staving off gout, but from what we’ve covered above, you may see the problem with that.
Alcohol is alcohol is alcohol. While some won’t be as harmful as yeasty beer, all alcoholic beverages are moving your kidney’s direction away from filtering rising levels of uric acid within your body.
For a long time, it was believed that wine was an alright substitute, as it didn’t seem to rise the purine levels within those who drank it. However, there was a 2014 study in The American Journal of Medicine that would say otherwise.
There are believers that wine is the best alcoholic selection to make when choosing what to indulge in when fighting gout, but the decision really falls to the individual to try wine and see if there are any adverse effects in relation to gout.
At the end of the day, the best advice I can pass along to anybody who’s looking to completely lower their risk of gout would be to abstain from alcohol for the time being.
While this abstention does not have to be a full-stop for the rest of your life, the facts show just how harmful alcohols of all variations can be towards gout prevention. It may be a tough switch in the beginning, but it will be worth it in the long run!
Are you suffering from gout as we speak? Learn more about 9 Natural Herbal Remedies for Gout That Crush Your Flare-Ups Fast and be sure to get social with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.