Gout forms when uric acid, a byproduct of purine breakdown, builds up and inflames the joints. Purine occurs naturally in many foods, including meat, cheese and fish. Strawberries provide an excellent source of vitamin C, which minimizes the risk of gout, recent research indicates. That said, strawberries also contain oxalate, which can exacerbate gout in certain patients. Speak to your doctor or health care provider about strawberries for gout.
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One cup of raw strawberries provides 90 milligrams of vitamin C, equal to 149 percent of the recommended daily allowance. According to two recent studies, vitamin C shows promise as both a treatment and a preventative for gout. A March 2009 study conducted by Canadian researchers and published in the journal “Archives of Internal Medicine” examined 46,994 males with no history of gout over 20 years; the subjects with the lowest daily vitamin C intake manifested the highest rate of gout onset. Similarly, a June 2005 study conducted by Johns Hopkins University researchers and published in the journal “Arthritis and Rheumatism” found that vitamin C supplementation significantly reduced the levels of uric acid in patients with gout.
Strawberries provide a rich source of the B vitamin folate. One cup of raw strawberries contains 40 micrograms of folate, the equivalent of ten per cent of the recommended daily allowance of 400 micrograms. Research indicates a connection between low levels of folate and gout onset. An October 2003 study conducted by Taiwanese researchers and published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” found that foods high in folate such as strawberries have a protective effect against gout.
Strawberries also contain oxalate, a chemical compound derived from oxalic acid. According to the Columbia University Medical Center for Holistic Urology a link exists between oxalate, uric acid and kidney stones. The oxalate in strawberries therefore may not only worsen the symptoms of gout, but may put patients at a higher risk for developing kidney stones. Seek medical clearance before you supplement strawberries for gout if you have a history of kidney stones.
Gout is characterized by inflammation and pain, and strawberries are loaded with phytochemicals that help reduce inflammation in the body, according to a review in the November 2004 issue of "Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition." The phytochemicals in strawberries include ellagic acid and the flavonoids quercetin, catechin, anthocyanin and kaempferol. Not only do these compounds stop the inflammatory process, they reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease.