When excessive uric acid (a chemical produced when the body breaks down purines) accumulates in the joints, it forms needle-like crystals that cause gout flare-ups, also known as gout attacks. 1 Certain foods and beverages, such as coffee, may influence uric acid levels and gout attacks.
This article discusses research on the benefits and drawbacks of coffee on gout, as well as how to prevent and treat the condition.
What Exactly Is Uric Acid?
Uric acid is a byproduct of the breakdown of purines, which are compounds produced by the body and found in certain foods and beverages. The majority of uric acid is eliminated via urine. However, when the body produces too much uric acid or does not eliminate it quickly enough, it accumulates in the blood, causing hyperuricemia, which can eventually lead to gout. 2
The Coffee and Gout Diet helps prevent gout flare-ups. Understanding how various foods affect uric acid levels assists in the treatment of gout. Coffee may have some potential benefits for gout sufferers, according to some studies, but the results are inconsistent.
A 2016 systematic review of nine studies found that both serum uric acid levels and the risk of gout decreased with men’s and women’s coffee consumption. Daily consumption of at least one cup of coffee was also associated with a reduced risk of developing gout, according to the review. 3
Researchers do not fully comprehend how coffee reduces uric acid levels, however. One plausible explanation is that chlorogenic acid, one of the polyphenols (compounds) in coffee, inhibits the conversion of purine to uric acid. 3
Similarly, a 2016 systematic review of 11 studies found an association between coffee consumption and a reduced risk of gout. The researchers found no correlation between coffee consumption and uric acid levels or hyperuricemia. 4
Coffee consumption may reduce a person’s risk of gout, but additional research is required to support the use of coffee to prevent or treat gout.