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The relationship between gout and coffee is an encouraging one. Studies have found that people who drink coffee regularly have a lower risk of developing this disorder. Gout is caused by a higher than normal level of uric acid in the body, and drinking coffee lowers the level of this substance.
Gout is a specific form of arthritis. It causes sudden episodes of pain in the joints, with the joint of the big toe being the most common one affected. Gout can also affect the joints of the hands, wrists, knees, ankles and feet. The affected joint will be tender, red and swollen. An attack of gout is most painful in the first 24 hours, and the discomfort may last anywhere from a few days to several weeks.
People who are obese or who are heavy consumers of alcohol are at a higher level of risk for developing gout. Individuals with high blood pressure or who have kidney problems are also more likely to develop this condition. Taking certain medications can also lead to an increase of uric acid and put a person at a higher level of risk. There are also certain medication conditions, such as leukemia and lymphoma, increase the risk for gout.
This condition is more likely to affect men than women. Men over 40 are most at risk of developing gout. The results of studies looking at gout and coffee have found that drinking at least four cups per day will lower the risk of developing gout by 40 percent. People who drink six or more cups of coffee reduce the likelihood of gout by 60 percent.
The link between gout and coffee is not as pronounced in men who drink less than four cups of coffee on a daily basis. People who drink decaffeinated coffee didn’t significantly lower their risk of developing gout. The caffeine in the product is not related lowering the risk of gout. Instead, researchers point to coffee’s antioxidant qualities as a reason for this effect among people who enjoy a cup of Joe.
Researchers have not yet determined whether women can lower their risk of developing gout by drinking coffee. Further study is needed to determine whether a link between gout and coffee exists for this gender as well. Since women are at a lower risk for developing this disorder, they may not be as willing to increase their coffee consumption to avoid it.