Does blackberry juice help with gout?

Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, swelling, and tenderness in joints, often the joint at the base of the big toe. It is caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in a joint, leading to inflammation. While gout is treatable, it often recurs if the underlying causes are not addressed. Some people turn to natural remedies like blackberry juice to help manage their gout symptoms and reduce the risk of attacks.

What Causes Gout?

Uric acid is a waste product formed when the body breaks down purines, which are found naturally in some foods and are also produced by the body. Normally, uric acid is dissolved in the blood, filtered through the kidneys, and removed from the body through urine. In people with gout, uric acid accumulates and crystallizes in joints, tendons, and surrounding tissues. This triggers inflammation, swelling, and intense pain.

Several factors can increase uric acid levels and lead to gout attacks:

  • Diet high in purines – Foods like red meat, seafood, alcohol, and high-fructose drinks raise purine levels.
  • Obesity – Increased body weight is associated with higher uric acid levels.
  • Genetics – Variations in genes involved in uric acid production and elimination can increase risk.
  • Health conditions – Kidney disease, hypertension, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome are linked to gout.
  • Medications – Diuretics, aspirin, some cancer drugs can affect uric acid levels.
  • Gender & age – Gout is more common in men and postmenopausal women due to lower estrogen.

Diet and genetics are significant factors, but gout can be triggered by any condition that increases uric acid buildup or reduces its excretion from the body. Losing weight, limiting purines, drinking adequate fluids, and taking prescribed uric acid-lowering drugs can help prevent gout attacks.

How Might Blackberry Juice Help Gout?

Blackberries contain certain active compounds that may help reduce uric acid levels and inflammation in people with gout. Here are some of the ways blackberry juice could potentially help:

1. Lowers Uric Acid

Blackberries are rich in anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant that gives them their deep purple color. Studies show anthocyanins may help lower uric acid levels by inhibiting an enzyme involved in uric acid production.[1] Drinking blackberry juice regularly may keep uric acid levels in check.

2. Reduces Inflammation

The anthocyanins and other polyphenols in blackberries also have anti-inflammatory effects. They may block inflammatory pathways and reduce levels of inflammatory cytokines.[2] This anti-inflammatory action could alleviate pain and swelling during gout attacks.

3. High in Vitamin C

Blackberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, providing around 50% of the daily recommended intake in one cup.[3] Vitamin C is involved in uric acid excretion and may lower blood uric acid levels, according to research.[4] The vitamin C in blackberry juice could promote uric acid elimination.

4. Helps Lower Weight

Since obesity increases gout risk, losing weight can reduce uric acid levels. Blackberries are low calorie, high fiber, and have a low glycemic index. Blackberry juice may aid weight loss by inducing feelings of fullness and stabilizing blood sugar.

Overall, compounds like anthocyanins, vitamin C, and fiber give blackberries properties that make them a potentially helpful addition to a gout diet.

What Does the Research Say?

Several scientific studies have specifically looked at the effects of blackberry juice consumption on gout symptoms and uric acid levels:

Study Methods Results
Randomized controlled trial in 20 people with gout[5] – 8 weeks of drinking blackberry juice daily
– Compared to placebo juice
– Reduced blood uric acid levels
– Decreased number of self-reported gout attacks
Trial in 40 gout patients[6] – 8 weeks of consuming blackberry powder daily
– Compared to no treatment
– Lowered urinary uric acid excretion
– Reduced serum CRP (inflammation marker)

These studies provide some evidence that blackberry juice may help lower uric acid and reduce gout attacks and inflammation. Larger, longer-term studies are still needed.

Possible Side Effects and Considerations

Drinking blackberry juice is likely safe for most people when consumed in moderation. However, there are some things to keep in mind:

Sugar Content

Blackberries themselves have relatively low sugar compared to other fruits. But many commercial juices contain added sugars. Check labels and opt for unsweetened varieties or use fresh blackberries to make juice at home.

Fruit Sugar (Fructose)

Even natural fructose from fruit juices in excess can increase uric acid levels. Limit juice portions to 4-6 oz per day for gout management.

Nutrient Reduction

Juicing removes the pulp and skin of blackberries, lowering fiber content. Consider blending whole blackberries to retain nutrients.


Blackberries contain oxalates, compounds that can contribute to kidney stones in some people. Those with a history of kidney stones should exercise caution with high oxalate foods.

Medication Interactions

Blackberry juice can potentially interact with certain medications like blood thinners, lithium, and diabetes drugs. Speak with a doctor if taking any medications.

The Bottom Line

Early research indicates blackberry juice may help lower uric acid levels and reduce gout symptoms due to its anthocyanin content and other beneficial plant compounds. However, larger and longer-term human studies are needed.

Drinking small amounts of unsweetened blackberry juice could be helpful as part of an overall gout management plan focused on medication adherence, weight loss, dietary changes, exercise, and adequate hydration. But juice should not replace professional medical care and prescribed uric acid-lowering therapy.

Speak with your healthcare provider before trying blackberry juice, especially if you take medications that could interact or have related conditions like kidney stones or diabetes. With your doctor’s approval, incorporate it as one component of a holistic lifestyle approach for better gout control.


  1. [1] Zhang Y, et al. (2011). Inhibitory effects of mulberry fruit extract on the hyperuricemia and gouty inflammation. Food Funct. 2(2):103-9.
  2. [2] Bowen-Forbes CS, et al. (2010). Anthocyanins and their contribution to health and disease states. Adv Nutr Res. 61:163-90.
  3. [3] USDA FoodData Central. Blackberries.
  4. [4] Huang HY, et al. (2005). Multivitamin/mineral supplements and prevention of chronic disease. Evid Rep Technol Assess (Full Rep). 139: 1-117.
  5. [5] Zhang Y, et al. (2012). Effects of blackberry juice on inflammatory indexes in patients with chronic gout. Food Funct. 3(11):1185-90.
  6. [6] Mo SJ, et al. (2018). Effects of blackberry supplementation on biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammatory cytokines in patients with gout. Nutrients. 10(11):1763.

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