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Does fructose from fruit have the same effect on gout and cardiovascular risks as sugary drinks?

Researcher profiles:

Risk factor in gout, diabetes and cardiovascular disease

Hyperuricaemia is the most important risk factor for gout, a painful form of inflammatory arthritis which affects more men than women. Hyperuricaemia is also an emerging risk factor for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Role of fructose in hyperuricaemia

High intakes of sugary drinks have been associated with increased risk of hyperuricaemia, gout, diabetes and weight gain. The high fructose content of sugary drinks has been proposed as a key explanatory mechanism. Fruit is also high in fructose.

Observational and intervention studies have demonstrated a mixed effect of fruit intake on incident gout and serum uric acid levels, particularly among men, leading some researchers to recommend restricted fruit intake for those at risk of gout.

Fruit vs sugary drink tested

We have recently completed a dietary intervention study examining the effect on serum uric acid and other metabolic risk factors of consuming fructose from either whole fruit or sugar-sweetened softdrink.

We recruited 41 healthy, overweight adults were randomised to either a fruit or softdrink intervention for 4 weeks. The fruit group were given 6 items of fresh and dried fruit per day while the softdrink group were given 955ml of sugar sweetened softdrink per day.

Our preliminary findings suggest that sugary drinks should be limited but there is no need to restrict fruit intake in men at risk of hyperuricemia and gout.