Gout: What are the food additives to avoid?

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Aside from avoiding foods that are packed with purines, individuals who are diagnosed with gout should also avoid any food additives that can trigger a flare-up. Gout develops once the uric acid crystals accumulate in the joints, particularly in the big toe. Not all individuals are sensitive to the same additives or to the same degree. It is recommended to consult a doctor in order to determine whether there is a need to reduce or completely avoid food additives that can trigger an attack.


It is best to consult a doctor so that he/she can provide recommendations on the right foods to eat and what to avoid. Even a dietician can be consulted so that the proper foods can be included in the diet.

What are guanylates?

It is important to carefully read all the labels for the presence of disodium guanylate or any of its derivatives. Guanylates are converted into uric acid and can instigate the flare-up of gout in some individuals.

It is recommended to consult a doctor in order to determine whether there is a need to reduce or completely avoid food additives that can trigger an attack.

Disodium guanylate is commercially used as a flavor enhancer in various foods such as salad dressings, processed meats, instant soups, gravies and chicken salads. It is utilized to enhance the meaty flavors in packaged foods. This component is listed on the labels as guanosine monophosphate, guanylic acid, calcium guanylate, potassium guanylate and dipotassium guanylate.

What are inosinates?

Just like with guanylates, inosinates are utilized to improve the meaty flavoring in packaged foods and converted to uric acid in the body. This is commonly used along with guanylate to provide a combined flavor-enhancing effect. This is present in broths, powdered soup mixes, sauces, soybean-based seasonings and condiments, ready-to-eat savory meals, mushroom dishes and dried or dehydrated vegetable products.


MSG or monosodium glutamate is utilized to enhance the savory flavor of various foods. Individuals who have gout might end up with impaired capability to break down glutamate in the body. In a study conducted, individuals who have gout have high levels of glutamate and it has a role in the elevated levels of uric acid. MSG is also used along with additives that are converted to uric acid such as guanylates and inosinates. Remember that this additive can be listed in the labelling as hydrolyzed vegetable protein, yeast extract or textured vegetable protein.

Sweet additives

Table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are commonly used additives that provide various foods their distinctive sweet flavor. Beverages that are sweetened with either of these additives increase the amount of uric acid and reduce the risk for flare-up of gouts among those who have a certain gene variant. Limiting the consumption of beverages that are sweetened with sugar can help manage gout.


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