Originally Posted by JEY100
Insulin and Gout
The story is similar for gout. Gout flares happen when a compound called uric acid builds up in the joints and forms solid crystals. If you or someone you know suffers from gout, then you know it’s very painful.
Typically, healthy kidneys hold on to the right amount of uric acid and filter out the rest—much like they hang on to the right amount of sodium—but high insulin levels cause your kidneys to hold on to more uric acid than normal.
The parallels between sodium, uric acid, kidney function, and your overall health don’t end there. Uric acid comes from the breakdown of something called purines. Purines are nitrogen-containing compounds that your body produces, and they are also found in foods—protein-rich foods, in particular. Certain proteins—such as shellfish, red meat, and organ meats (liver, kidney)—are higher in purines than than others, which is why people who suffer from gout are advised to avoid these foods.
However, red meat and shellfish are among the most nutrient-dense foods in the modern diet. Aside from being great sources of complete protein, they’re loaded with B vitamins, iron, zinc, selenium, and other critical vitamins and minerals. You can get these nutrients from other foods, but red meat and seafood provide them in exceptionally high amounts and in forms your body can absorb more easily than others, and you don’t need to avoid them if you have gout.
If gout flares come from an accumulation of uric acid crystals in your joints, and elevated insulin causes your kidneys to hang on to too much uric acid, then rather than avoiding foods whose breakdown creates uric acid, you might be better served by keeping your insulin level lower. Plus, uric acid doesn’t exist to trigger gout attacks and cause you pain. It’s an antioxidant, so you wouldn’t want to be entirely without uric acid in your body.
Too much is a problem, but you do need some. And “too much” uric acid comes from too much insulin. The truth is, if you have gout, you can enjoy more red meat and seafood—as long as you keep your carbohydrate intake low.
From the Insulin chapter in Dr Eric Westman's new book,
End Your Carb Confusion