Uric acid is a waste product created when the body breaks down purines, which are found in certain foods and are also produced naturally in the body. An excess buildup of uric acid can lead to gout and kidney stones. Some claim that drinking celery juice can help remove excess uric acid from the body. Here’s a closer look at the science behind using celery juice for reducing uric acid levels.
What is Uric Acid?
Uric acid is a waste product created when the body breaks down substances called purines. Purines are found in some foods, such as:
- Red meat
- Organ meats like liver
- Some vegetables like asparagus, spinach, and mushrooms
Purines are also produced naturally in the body during normal cellular processes. Under normal conditions, uric acid dissolves in the blood and passes through the kidneys into the urine. However, if too much uric acid is produced or the kidneys don’t efficiently remove it from the body, levels can build up.
High Uric Acid Levels and Health Problems
Having too much uric acid in the blood is called hyperuricemia. This can lead to crystals of uric acid forming in the joints, tendons and surrounding tissues, especially in the feet, ankles and knees. This causes the painful symptoms of gout arthritis.
Hyperuricemia can also cause uric acid stones to form in the kidneys and urinary tract, leading to kidney stones. Other health conditions associated with high uric acid include:
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease
- Metabolic syndrome
- Cardiovascular disease
Therefore, it’s important for those with elevated uric acid levels to look for ways to reduce the uric acid concentration in the blood and tissues.
How Might Celery Juice Reduce Uric Acid?
Celery is a plant commonly used as a vegetable and seasoning. Drinking its extracted juice has recently gained popularity for purported health benefits like reducing inflammation.
Here are some of the ways that celery juice may help lower uric acid levels:
Celery acts as a diuretic, meaning it increases urine output. This helps flush uric acid out through the kidneys so less accumulates in the body. The diuretic chemicals in celery include:
Inflammation is linked to high uric acid levels. Celery contains anti-inflammatory compounds like:
These may help lower uric acid by reducing inflammation.
Low in Purines
Foods high in purines can raise uric acid levels. Celery is very low in purines, so it won’t add to the uric acid pool like meats and seafood do.
Some research suggests that eating more alkalizing foods like celery juice may help reduce bone and joint pain associated with high uric acid levels. Celery juice has an alkaline effect in the body.
Studies on Celery Juice and Uric Acid Levels
While celery’s diuretic effect is well studied, there is limited direct research specifically on celery juice for uric acid levels. However, some studies give insight into its potential effects:
A 2019 study in rats looked at effects of celery juice extract over 28 days. The celery juice extract significantly increased urine output and reduced serum uric acid levels compared to a control group.
An 8-week study from 2020 had 40 people drink 15oz of a vegetable juice made with celery, cucumber, green bell pepper and spinach daily. They found it significantly decreased serum uric acid levels and blood pressure compared to the control group.
A 2021 double-blind study had 79 people with gout drink either a placebo or 100ml vegetable juice containing celery for 42 days. The celery juice group had significantly greater reductions in pain, joint tenderness, swelling and serum uric acid levels.
While more research is still needed, these studies suggest celery juice may have real uric acid-lowering effects.
Who May Benefit from Celery Juice for High Uric Acid?
Celery juice may be most useful for:
- People with gout
- Individuals prone to kidney stones
- Those with elevated serum uric acid levels
- Anyone wanting to reduce inflammation
It likely won’t help those without high uric acid levels. It’s always best to talk to your healthcare provider before starting celery juice if you have concerns about your uric acid levels or kidney function.
How to Make Celery Juice
Here is a simple process for making fresh celery juice at home:
- Rinse and chop 1-2 bunches of celery. Leave the leaves on for increased nutrients.
- Run the celery through a juicer according to manufacturer directions. Masticating juicers are best.
- Drink the juice immediately for maximum nutrient content.
- Can add ingredients like lemon, ginger or apple for flavor. Avoid high-purine fruits like grapes.
- Consume within 24 hours and store any leftover juice in the refrigerator.
When making your own celery juice, it’s important to use fresh, organic celery for reduced pesticide exposure and higher nutrients.
How Much Celery Juice Should You Drink?
There is no standard recommended dosage, but many health bloggers suggest drinking 16 ounces (one pint) per day.
It’s likely best to start with a small amount like 4-8 ounces to assess tolerance. Then you can work up to larger amounts.
Drinking it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is thought to have the most benefit.
Risks and Considerations
For most people, drinking celery juice is likely safe when consumed in normal food amounts. However, there are some risks and considerations:
- Allergies – Celery can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive people.
- Drug interactions – Celery can increase photosensitivity. May interact with certain medications.
- Pesticides – Use organic celery to minimize pesticide intake.
- Nitrates – Celery contains nitrates, which some link to cancer. Risk is low at normal intake levels.
- Sugar content – Juices high in fruit or carrot contain more sugar and calories than celery alone.
- Salt content – Celery is naturally high in sodium. Those on a low-sodium diet should be mindful.
- Diarrhea – Excess celery juice can act as a laxative and cause diarrhea.
It’s best to start slow and see how drinking celery juice agrees with you. Stop drinking it if you experience negative side effects.
The Bottom Line
Here’s a quick summary of celery juice and uric acid:
- Celery juice contains beneficial compounds that may help flush uric acid from the body.
- Limited research shows promising results for celery juice lowering uric acid levels.
- It may be most effective for those with gout or high serum uric acid levels.
- Juice fresh, organic celery. Start with a small amount and watch for side effects.
- More human research on celery juice is still needed.
Incorporating celery juice into a balanced, healthy diet may offer benefits for some people with elevated uric acid. However, it’s not a substitute for medical treatment and lifestyle changes to manage gout or kidney problems related to high uric acid levels. Talk to your doctor before starting any new dietary supplement, including celery juice.
The Bottom Line
Drinking celery juice may help reduce excess uric acid, especially for those with gout or high uric acid levels. Its diuretic compounds, anti-inflammatory effects and alkaline nature may help flush uric acid from the body. However, more human research is still needed on celery juice specifically. Celery juice may be worth trying in moderation for those with high uric acid or gout, but be sure to consult your doctor first. Overall, celery juice shows some promise for helping lower uric acid, but it should not replace medical treatment and lifestyle changes recommended by your healthcare provider.