Serum uric acid (UA) is an important factor in the causal pathway for gout. It has also been implicated as a potential risk factor and/or mediator of cardiovascular disease outcomes and mortality in a large number of observational studies. Although many of the clinical trials targeting serum UA reduction have focused on pharmacologic interventions, diet has long been identified as an important determinant of serum UA level. However, much of the dietary evidence on serum UA reduction is derived from observational studies. Prior intervention studies have focused on isolated micro-nutrients, such as vitamin C, or food types, such as dairy products. It remains unknown whether adopting a healthful diet might effectively lower serum UA.
Objective: The authors undertook this study to examine the effects of the dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) diet and levels of sodium intake on serum UA.
Methods: The researchers conducted an ancillary study of a randomized, crossover feeding trial in 103 adults with prehypertension or stage I hypertension. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either the DASH diet or a control diet (typical of the average American diet) and were further fed low, medium and high levels of sodium for 30 days, each in random order. Body weight was kept constant. Serum UA levels were measured at baseline and following each feeding period.
The DASH diet emphasizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products with a low intake of red meats, sweets and saturated fats. Thus, the DASH diet encompasses many of the elements known to be inversely associated with hyperuricemia and gout, such as lower purine content, higher dairy content and higher vitamin C intake with fruits.