The readily packed orange juice or other sweetened fruit juice has been a favorite drink to start the day for many people. However, a study conducted by the scientists of the University of British Columbia revealed the fact that sweet drinks can give you gout, including the sugar-sweetened soft drinks and orange juice. So, before you go for buying your next pack of orange juice, you must be aware of the risk in drinking sweet drinks.
What is Gout?
Gout is a painful disease, which affects the joints of human body. It has been seen that women are more affected by this illness in comparison to men. Being a form of arthritis, gout causes swelling to the affected joints leading to excruciating pain. Normally the feet joints are more susceptible for gout than the others.
Cause of Gout
A person can be affected with gout, when his/her level of uric acid in blood crosses the higher limit. Uric acid is a kind of body waste, which is supposed to get drained out through the kidneys. However, sometimes the kidneys might not be that efficient to clean up the waste product or the body might generate uric acid in excess. It is when the damage takes place. The excess uric acid in body results into needle-like deposits of crystals in the bone-joints, which in turn generates the intense episodes of pain and swelling in the affected region.
Relation with Sweet Drinks
So, how does this disease is related to the intake of sweet drinks? The answer is very simple. The fructose-rich and sugar-sweetened soft drinks might increase the serum uric acid in the human body. Regular drinking of sweetened beverages can increase the uric acid level to such an extent that it might cross the upper limit. This excess amount of uric acid in the body definitely increases the risk of getting affected by gout.
The Research on Gout and Sweet Drinks
The study on the relation of gout and sweet drinks was being carried out for last few decades. Throughout this period, the researchers have noticed a sharp increase in the number of people, who are being diagnosed with gout in United States. Simultaneously, they have also noticed a significant increase in the consumption of fructose-rich soft drinks. Based on this fact, the researchers started to search the linking thread between these two facts.
The study was made over 78,906 women, who were participating in the Nurses’ Health Study program. For 22 years, they were under the surveillance of the scientists. A questionnaire was used to identify the right participants, who were meeting the ACR’s criteria of getting affected with gout. It also evaluated the future risk of having gout for the person by considering related things like age, body mass index, total calorie intake, total vitamin C intake, alcohol consumption, history of high blood pressure, use of hormonal replacement and diuretics and the regular intake of seafood, meats, dairy items and coffee.
As a result of the study, researchers finally found out 778 confirmed gout patients among the participants. With the findings, they could also associate the increased intake of sugar-sweetened drinks to the increased risk of gout for women. The result confirmed that the more is the intake of sweet drinks, the more is the risk of gout. The natural fructose present in orange juice can also produce similar effects as of the sweetened soft drinks. However, women having diet soft drinks were safe from this risk.
According to Hyon Choi, the leader of the research group and the rheumatologist at the University of British Columbia, “Our findings indicate that the link between fructose-rich beverages and the risk of gout is comparable to alcoholic beverages, which are well-known causes of gout. Physicians and patients should be aware of this link, as the current lifestyle recommendations for gout prevention almost exclusively focus on reducing purine and alcohol.”
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