I know that most of you believe that gout is caused by an improper diet. Actually, the Arthritis association claims the same fact. Is it true? The answer is yes and no.
Uric acid forms when our cells die. This is two-thirds of the complete uric acid levels in the body. 1/3 of it comes from the foods we eat. As such, it is less-likely that diet has the main role in the uric acid level and the gout attacks.
This brings us to gout and genetics connection. Is there any link? The shortest answer I can give to you is, yes there is and the connection is bigger than you may believe.
Few words about genetics
Genetics is a science that studies human genes. There are billions and billions of genes in the DNA which is present in every single cell in the human body. Each person has a completely different DNA despite the fact it has similar genes.
The variations in the genes make us unique and who we are. These variations are unique in the same way as fingerprints. There are no two the same nor two very similar. Of course, there are similarities between parents and children.
Your genes will shape you and this isn’t something you can affect. As a child, your DNA consists of 50% from mother genes and 50% from father genes. That’s why you can see the similarity with your parents but this also means another thing.
This means that you will inherit the genes that may cause certain diseases. Gout isn’t one of them, but there are genes that can contribute to developing gout at some point in life.
How genetics affect gout?
The best way I can explain this is by following the study conducted between Europe and the United States. In it, 8414 men and around 8300 women were tested and checked for a correlation between gout and genetics.
What scientists have concluded is a shocking truth. Diet has less importance to developing gout than everyone thought earlier. What this means is that diet contributes to an overall 0.3% of uric acid present in urine. All the rest is genetics.
More accurately, there is a gene known as SLC2A9. It is responsible for the process inside the body in which uric acid is transported from the blood to the kidneys and there eliminated from the blood. After that, it is removed from the body via urine.
The aforementioned gene contributes to 4% uric acid level variation which is far more than diet or any other thing we can affect.
What this means is if you have a variant of the SLC2A9 gene which is less effective in transporting uric acid from blood to kidneys, you are more likely to develop gout at some point. If you have a variation that is better in doing the same thing, you have fewer odds of getting gout and therefore gout attacks.
Is diet completely irrelevant?
You may believe that gout and genetics are completely linked and there is no need to do anything. After all, you cannot change your genes. Luckily this isn’t the truth. Yes, genes have a huge effect on developing gout, and also on managing it.
But, the diet is still extremely important. Genes can define how well your body is in removing uric acid from the blood but the diet will define how much of uric acid your body has to deal with!
If you have a diet that consists mostly of acidic foods, you will increase the level of uric acid to extreme levels. This makes impossible or hard for your body to remove the acid from the blood.
Suggested article: The ULTIMATE List Of 14 Foods To Avoid With Gout
If you have a much lower intake of food that are high in purines or better said if you decrease the purines in general, your body will be far more effective and successful in eliminating uric acid from the body. Gout and genetics are more connected than we thought earlier, but this doesn’t mean there is nothing we can do. As a matter of fact, I believe that diet is still extremely important and it should be used as the best defense against gout and flares.
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