Gout and food

Addressing Gout in a Changing World

— The Impact of Environmental Factors and the Potential Role of Probiotics in Gout Management

Researchers are exploring new treatment options as the number of gout cases continues to rise, affecting over 41 million people globally. One promising area of investigation is the use of probiotic supplements to alleviate gout symptoms. In this post, we’ll discuss the causes of gout, which is associated with environmental changes, increased toxin exposure, and dietary alterations, and the potential role of probiotics in managing this chronic arthritic condition.

Gout results from excessive uric acid in the body, known as hyperuricemia. This condition can lead to kidney stones and joint inflammation, causing pain, stiffness, and swelling. Consuming purine-rich foods and beverages, such as alcohol, shellfish, certain fish, bacon, and organ meats, can contribute to high levels of uric acid. If the kidneys cannot adequately remove excess uric acid, it accumulates in the body, forming needle-like crystals that cause inflammation and joint pain.

Environmental changes and increased toxin exposure may play a role in the rising prevalence of gout. Industrialization, pollution, and contaminated food and water sources can lead to increased toxin ingestion, potentially impacting the body’s ability to eliminate uric acid. Furthermore, recent dietary changes, including increased consumption of processed foods and sugar, may exacerbate hyperuricemia.

Probiotics are living microorganisms found in dietary supplements or fermented foods like kefir and yogurt. They consist of “good” live bacteria and yeasts that naturally reside in the body. When consumed, probiotics help increase and balance the “good” bacteria, aiding digestion and rebalancing the body’s bacterial composition after taking antibiotics. Previous research has demonstrated the benefits of probiotics in treating conditions such as diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), urinary tract infections (UTI), yeast infections, eczema, and periodontal disease.

A study published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology examined the probiotic Ligilactobacillus salivarius (L. salivarius), a type of bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract. Researchers identified L. salivarius CECT 30632 as the most efficient strain for converting uric acid, inosine, and guanosine, which are purine-related metabolites. A randomized controlled clinical trial involving 30 participants with hyperuricemia and a history of recurrent gout episodes found that those receiving L. salivarius CECT 30632 experienced a significant reduction in gout episodes and gout-related drug use. Additionally, the probiotic improved blood parameters related to oxidative stress, liver damage, and metabolic syndrome.

Dr. Emily Carroll, an assistant professor of medicine not involved in the study, emphasized the importance of new therapy options for gout patients, as many also suffer from comorbidities like cardiovascular, kidney, and liver diseases. Probiotics offer a safe and promising alternative, as gut microbiomes in gout patients differ from healthy individuals. However, larger studies with longer follow-ups are needed to confirm these findings.

Dr. Nilanjana Bose, a rheumatologist not involved in the study, agreed that new therapies can always benefit patients. She explained that probiotics can improve the gut environment, which may positively impact inflammatory arthritis. Crystal Scott, a registered dietician, also not involved in the study, noted that research supports the use of probiotics to enhance microbiome diversity and improve hyperuricemia and gout symptoms. She mentioned that previous research has shown that probiotics can reduce C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, leading to improved serum uric acid levels.

in managing gout symptoms is a promising area of research. Environmental changes, increased toxin exposure, and dietary alterations may contribute to the development and severity of gout. Probiotics, such as L. salivarius CECT 30632, have shown potential in reducing gout episodes and the need for gout-related medications and improving blood parameters related to oxidative stress, liver damage, and metabolic syndrome. However, larger studies with longer follow-up periods are necessary to confirm these findings.

In light of some of the publications and the growing body of research on the topic, it is essential to continue exploring the potential benefits of probiotics as a safe and effective treatment option for gout. Understanding the complex relationship between environmental factors, dietary changes, and gut microbiome may pave the way for more targeted and personalized therapeutic strategies for individuals suffering from gout and other related conditions. With ongoing research and a focus on understanding the impact of our changing environment, we may be one step closer to finding effective ways to manage gout and improve the quality of life for millions of people around the world.


  1. Martín R, Langa S, Reviriego C, Jimínez E, Marín ML, Xaus J, Fernández L, Rodríguez JM. (2021). Human milk is a source of lactic acid bacteria for the infant gut. Journal of Pediatrics. 143(6):754-8.
  2. Dalbeth N, Choi HK, Joosten LAB, Khanna PP, Matsuo H, Perez-Ruiz F, Stamp LK. (2019). Gout. Nature Reviews Disease Primers. 5(1):69.
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