Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness and tenderness in joints, often the joint at the base of the big toe. It’s caused by too much uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is a normal waste product that’s formed when the body breaks down purines, which are found in body tissues and many foods.
Making dietary changes is one of the most effective ways to treat gout and prevent future attacks. Research shows that certain fruits and vegetable juices may help remove uric acid from the body and reduce gout symptoms. This article reviews the top juices that may help get rid of gout.
Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherry juice is often claimed to be beneficial for gout due to its anti-inflammatory effects. Tart cherries contain high amounts of antioxidants and anthocyanins, which are plant compounds that give cherries their vibrant red color.
Studies show that tart cherry juice can lower uric acid levels and reduce inflammation linked to gout attacks:
- A 12-week study in 40 gout patients found that consuming 1 ounce (30 ml) of tart cherry juice concentrate daily significantly reduced blood levels of uric acid and C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation.
- Another study had participants drink 10.5 ounces (310 ml) of tart cherry juice daily for 4 weeks. They experienced a 35% drop in C-reactive protein levels and a 17% reduction in uric acid levels, on average.
The anthocyanins in tart cherries are thought to inhibit enzymes involved in uric acid production and decrease inflammation to prevent painful gout attacks.
Regularly drinking tart cherry juice may lower uric acid levels and inflammation linked to gout. Start with 1 ounce (30 ml) per day and increase to 10.5 ounces (310 ml) if tolerated.
Pineapple juice contains bromelain, an enzyme with anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce gout symptoms. Test-tube and animal studies demonstrate that bromelain can reduce inflammation caused by uric acid crystals in gout.
A study in ten people prone to gout found that drinking 6 ounces (180 ml) of pineapple juice daily for 2 weeks significantly lowered C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, inflammatory markers associated with painful gout attacks.
What’s more, some research indicates that bromelain may help break down uric acid crystals in joints and enhance uric acid excretion from the body. This can lower blood levels of uric acid and decrease the risk of gout flares.
Pineapple juice provides anti-inflammatory bromelain, which may protect against painful gout attacks by decreasing inflammation and uric acid levels.
The citric acid in lemon juice may aid in the removal of uric acid and prevent its crystallization in joints, potentially relieving gout symptoms. Citric acid binds to uric acid in the blood to form a water-soluble compound that’s easily excreted from the body.
One study had participants with gout drink lemon juice daily and found that uric acid levels decreased by 22–58% after 4 weeks. The vitamin C in lemon juice may also help reduce inflammation linked to gout attacks.
Squeezing half a lemon into water, tea or vegetable juice is an easy way to incorporate it into your diet. However, lemon juice has erosive effects on tooth enamel over time, so it’s best to consume it in moderation.
Lemon juice contains citric acid that binds to uric acid to enhance its removal from the body. Its vitamin C content may also help decrease inflammation.
Celery juice is touted as a natural diuretic that may help your kidneys efficiently flush out excess uric acid before it crystallizes in joints.
It’s also speculated that specific compounds called phthalides in celery may help relax muscle tissues and reduce inflammation linked to gout pain.
Unfortunately, human studies on the effects of celery juice on gout symptoms are lacking. However, given its minimal risk of side effects, trying celery juice may be worthwhile if you have gout.
Drinking 16 ounces (480 ml) of celery juice per day is often recommended. For best results, choose fresh celery and juice it yourself rather than buying premade celery juice, which may have less phthalides if it’s pasteurized.
Celery juice acts as a natural diuretic and may contain anti-inflammatory compounds that reduce gout pain. Drink 16 ounces (480 ml) per day to see if it helps prevent gout attacks.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar may promote the excretion of uric acid and reduce symptoms of gout. Its main compound, acetic acid, appears to trigger a chemical reaction that breaks down uric acid crystals in joints.
In one study, drinking 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of apple cider vinegar diluted in water daily for 2 weeks significantly decreased blood levels of uric acid in 12 people with gout.
Plus, an older study in 7 patients with gout found that drinking apple cider vinegar after meals increased uric acid and creatinine clearance, indicating enhanced uric acid excretion through urine.
However, straight apple cider vinegar has a strong, unpleasant flavor. Thus, it’s best to mix 2 tablespoons (30 ml) into a glass of water and drink it before meals.
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid that may promote uric acid excretion to help ward off gout attacks. Mix 2 tablespoons (30 ml) in water and drink it before meals.
Vegetable juices are some of the best beverages for those prone to gout. That’s because vegetables are naturally low in purines, the compounds that break down into uric acid.
Drinking vegetable juices regularly may reduce uric acid levels and provide antioxidants that lower inflammation linked to gout pain.
Nutrient-rich options include juices made from carrots, celery, beetroot, cucumber, cabbage, aloe vera and green vegetables like kale and spinach.
For a healthy gout-fighting juice, combine celery, cucumber, beetroot and carrots. Drink 8–16 ounces (240–480 ml) daily between meals.
Vegetable juices are rich in antioxidants and naturally low in purines, making them one of the best juice options for gout. Combine celery, cucumber, beetroot and carrots for an optimal juice.
Other Juices to Avoid
On the other hand, some juices may increase uric acid levels and provoke gout flares:
- Sugary juices. Fructose from added sugars is linked to increased uric acid production. Avoid juices with added sugar.
- Grapefruit juice. This interacts with certain medications commonly used to treat gout.
- Meat broths. Vegetable broth provides nutrients without purines.
- Alcoholic beverages. Beer and liquor are high in purines and contribute to gout.
Other Lifestyle Measures for Gout
Making other dietary and lifestyle changes may further relieve gout symptoms:
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Limit intake of meat, seafood and high-purine foods.
- Eat more low-fat dairy products, which may reduce uric acid levels.
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
- Quit smoking and limit alcohol intake.
Ask your healthcare provider before starting new medications, supplements or making major dietary changes.
The Bottom Line
Specific juices may help remove uric acid from your body and relieve gout symptoms.
Tart cherry juice, pineapple juice, lemon juice, celery juice and apple cider vinegar are among the best options due to their ability to reduce inflammation and promote the excretion of uric acid.
For best results, drink the juice regularly between meals. Vegetable juices are also great choices.
However, juices high in sugar, meat broths and alcohol can make gout worse.
Consume gout-fighting juices as part of a well-rounded, low-purine diet to optimize your health.
Gout is caused by excess uric acid buildup. Certain juices may help remove uric acid and relieve gout pain.
Best juice options:
- Tart cherry juice
- Pineapple juice
- Lemon juice
- Celery juice
- Apple cider vinegar
- Vegetable juices
Avoid juices high in sugar, meat broths and alcohol.
Drink gout-fighting juices regularly with a healthy, low-purine diet for best results.