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Pineapple for Gout

by
author image Michelle Kerns
Michelle Kerns writes for a variety of print and online publications and specializes in literature and science topics. She has served as a book columnist since 2008 and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. Kerns studied English literature and neurology at UC Davis.
Pineapple for Gout
Pineapples for sale at a market. Photo Credit trangiap/iStock/Getty Images

Pineapple is low in calories, cholesterol-free and rich in essential nutrients like manganese, copper and vitamin C. It also contains compounds that may make it a good fruit to include regularly in your diet if you have gout, though more research is needed. Gout is typically managed through a combination of medication and dietary changes. Do not attempt to self-treat gout only with foods like pineapple until you've spoken to your doctor.

Purine Concentration

Individuals with gout follow a low-purine diet. Purines are compounds found in foods like game meats, organ meats, meat extracts and broths and seafood such as mussels, mackerel and scallops. They also occur in more moderate concentrations in poultry, beef, pork, most fish, beans, legumes and vegetables like asparagus and spinach. Purines are metabolized by the body into uric acid, the compound that builds up in the joints of people with gout. A low-purine diet focuses primarily on foods with 50 milligrams or fewer purines per 100 grams of the food. Pineapple -- along with all other fruits -- belongs in this low-purine category.

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Effect of Bromelain

Pineapple is the only natural source of bromelain, the name given to a group of enzymes that break down protein. A study published in 2001 in "Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology" reported that bromelain, along with similar enzymes, lowers the amount of transforming growth factor-beta in people who have rheumatoid arthritis. A decrease in excessive transforming growth factor-beta may help alleviate arthritis symptoms, theorized the researchers. Since gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis, gout sufferers may also benefit from supplemental bromelain, though more research is needed. It is not yet known if eating pineapple can give you enough bromelain to help manage gout.

Effect of Vitamin C

A single cup of pineapple chunks contains 79 milligrams of vitamin C. This amount supplies nearly 88 percent of a man's recommended daily allowance and over 100 percent of a woman's requirement. A study published in 2005 by "Arthritis and Rheumatism" determined that a high intake of vitamin C lowers your blood's uric acid level and may help treat and prevent gout. The subjects in the study took 500 milligrams of vitamin C each day for two months. Although pineapple and other fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamin C, it may not be possible for people to consume enough vitamin C regularly through diet to replicate the study results.

Recommended Intake

Unlike fruits such as apples, watermelon, pears, grapes, mangoes and plums, pineapple is low in fructose. A British Medical Journal study from 2008 found that a diet high in fructose was linked to an increased risk of gout. Because it is a low-fructose food, pineapple can be used freely to fulfill the two to four daily servings of fruit recommended by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for people with gout. A cup of pineapple slices or chunks is equivalent to one serving.

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