You all know that drinking too much soda is bad for your health. But did you know that drinking too much orange juice a day can also increase your risk of developing gout as well?
Recent studies have suggested that soda, orange juice, and other beverages high in the sugar fructose could increase the small risk that middle-age and elderly women have of developing gout. This is also true for men.
What is Gout?
Gout is a painful form of arthritis, that is caused by too much uric acid in the blood. It is characterized by stiff, painful and inflamed joints. It can occur in any joint of the body, but most commonly occurs in the big toe.
The swelling and stiffness are the result of excess uric acid forming crystals in the joints. The pain associated with the disease on the other hand, is caused by the body’s inflammatory response to the uric acid crystals.
How does Drinking Too Much Soda & Sugary Drinks Increases Your Risk for Gout?
Women who drank 2 cans or more of non-diet soda daily or 12 ounces or more of orange juice daily, were more than twice as likely to develop gout. Women who drank a 6-ounce glass of juice or just 1 soda per day on the other hand, were at 74% and 41% greater risk, respectively.
For women participants in the study, who drank 2 or more servings of these beverages per day, the risk of gout was more than double, that for women who drank juices and sugary sodas less than once per month.
That result is also similar to the study of men who drank 2 or more sugary soda per day, had an 85% higher risk of gout than those who drank less than one a month. The risk also increased among men who drank 5-6 servings of sugary drinks per week. Fruit juice and fructose-rich fruits such as apples and oranges, also increased the risk.
The culprit is fructose, which increases the levels of the chemical uric acid, which causes gout. If the uric acid levels in the body get too high, the acid can harden into sharp crystals, which are then deposited in the joints.
It is therefore recommended that you pay extra attention to the fructose consumed in the form of fruit juices, even whole fruits and not just that from soda and processed foods.
An important tip to remember, is to limit your total fructose intake to 25 grams daily, from all sources.