Gout surge blamed on sweet drinks

Sugary drinks have been blamed for a surge in cases of the painful joint disease gout.

Men who consume two or more sugary soft drinks a day have an 85% higher risk of gout compared with those who drink less than one a month, a study suggests. Cases in the US have doubled in recent decades and it seems fructose, a type of sugar, may be to blame, the British Medical Journal study reports. UK experts said those with gout would be advised to cut out sugary drinks.

About 1.5% of the UK population currently suffers from gout and there has been an increase in numbers over the last 30 years - although the condition is more associated with Victorian times.

The symptoms of painful, swollen joints, mainly in the lower limbs, are caused when uric acid crystallises out of the blood into the joints. US and Canadian researchers said the increase in cases had coincided with a substantial rise in the consumption of soft drinks.

Previous research had also shown that fructose increases levels of uric acid in the bloodstream.

Source - BBC

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