A couple of days ago, I was discussing nutritional advice for gout with our dietitian-extraordinaire, Monica Kubizniak.
A risk factor for gout is increased drinking of soft drinks. The research for this has been generated in the states, where soft drink consumption is huge. In the USA, sugar-sweetened beverages are predominantly sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.
Fructose is an issue. By the way, so is glucose. Most of us just consume too much.
As your body breaks down fructose, chemicals called purines are released. The breakdown of purines produces uric acid, and this is substance that forms the crystals in the joints, leading to gout.
Drink high fructose corn syrup-sweetened soda and your uric acid levels rise.
I’m sure you all appreciate it’s more than gout we worry about. Sugary soft drinks contribute strongly to obesity, which is something that worsens many of the rheumatic disease we treat and which you might be aware of or suffering from. Fructose intake increased fat (triglyceride) production in your liver.
Back to my discussion with Monica. We were both remarking that, at least in Australia, we have less sugar content in soft drinks, and in particular, less fructose.
Today, I flicked through the latest Medical Journal of Australia.
Mmm. We still have very high sugar content in soft drinks in Australia.
Does this stimulate you to do something about your soft drink intake?
Disclaimer: I do like my Coke Zero (not sure if it’s any healthier).