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Soy products not linked to increased risk of gout

06 May 2015

File photo: TNP

Contrary to the popular belief that gout sufferers should avoid soy and legume products as they are rich in purine, a recent study has found that soy products do not increase the risk of gout, and that those who already have the condition and continue consuming them.  

Purine-rich foods such as shellfish and meat cause higher levels of uric acid in blood, and may cause sodium urate crystals forming in the joints, causing aches and pains. However, soy does not appear to have the same effect despite being high in purine. 

The findings were based on results from the Singapore Chinese Health Study at the NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health. 

"The finding that soy is not associated with higher risk of gout confirms six other studies done in places like Japan and Taiwan, which show that consuming soy does not increase uric acid in one's blood," explains Professor Koh Woon Puay, who is principal investigator of the study.

In addition, the study also suggested that red meat and poultry consumption was linked to a higher risk of gout.

"The trend has to be studied further as previous research did not break meat up into different categories to look at their associations with gout," Prof Koh added.  

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