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Are microbrews causing my gout?
May 27, 2009 12:02 PM   Subscribe

Do different kinds of beer (microbrews vs. bottled) have a greater likelihood of causing gout?

I recently had my first bout with gout. I know drinking beer (and its purines) is thought to cause this condition.

Normally I drink bottled pale ale and never had gout before. But lately I have been drinking more microbrews on tap. Overall consumption amount is roughly the same.

But I'm wondering if the microbrews (mostly IPAs, ESBs, not stouts or porters) aggravated the gout. Are richer microbrews more likely to cause gout than lighter bottled beers?
posted by malchick to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
 
A brief Google search by this interested layman shows that yeast, an important ingredient in all beer, is high in purine, which exacerbates gout. A bottle-, keg-, or cask-conditioned microbrew will have yeast still in it, while many commercial brewers pasteurize and filter the yeast their beers before carbonation or nitrogenation.
posted by mkb at 12:19 PM on May 27, 2009


I think it's safe to assume there may also be other contributing factors to gout.
posted by purpletangerine at 12:25 PM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Huh! I had never heard this before. Fascinating. Here's a table that backs up mkb's idea that beer with yeast still in it would be very high in purines, while filtered beer would be better. Notice that the 2 beers they cite as very low in purines - pilsner and "light real" beer tend to be the filtered kinds.

As to drinking IPAs and ESBs, I would look for the bottles that have NO yeast residue on the bottoms. It can be hard to tell if they're brown, but maybe keep a running list after you drain a few bottles. I would assume these beers to be filtered because otherwise the yeast would deposit on the bottom. Of course, if you are very concerned, call up some of your favorite microbrew makers and ask if they filter their various products.
posted by rkent at 12:47 PM on May 27, 2009


Also, the alcohol % might be a factor- in metabolizing alcohol, the liver creates other organic acids (like lactic acid) that compete with uric acid for excretion in the kidney. Metabolism of alcohol also leads to the breakdown of ATP forming AMP, which can then be shunted into pathways for purine production. So, look for a beer with a lower alcohol content.
posted by alygator at 1:23 PM on May 27, 2009


I would assume these beers to be filtered because otherwise the yeast would deposit on the bottom.

Only if the bottle hasn't been recently disturbed, i.e. by carrying it to your car or some such.
posted by ludwig_van at 2:45 PM on May 27, 2009


Only if the bottle hasn't been recently disturbed, i.e. by carrying it to your car or some such.

Of course. I was considering more an in-store purchasing decision than, say, grabbing a bottle out of the cooler at a barbecue.
posted by rkent at 3:06 PM on May 27, 2009


To clarify, the microwbrews I am having are not bottled, they are on draught.

The "brewing 101" page of this microbrewery says they remove the yeast after fermentation, and filter it a couple times before it is kegged.
posted by malchick at 3:26 PM on May 27, 2009


purpletangerine is right. Gout really can't be caused by beer alone, though beer can and will exacerbate it. It's largely about diet, with things like shellfish, organ meats, fatty meats, stock based soups, and hell, even fruit juices causing high levels of purines. In Japan, they actually make a low-purine beer, but it tastes awful, so I don't think someone with a microbrew palate would go for that.

You might need, depending on how painful the gout was to you, to rethink your diet, as well as your beer consumption. Having to change your eating/drinking habits sucks, but, well, so does gout.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:42 PM on May 27, 2009


Also you might want to ask your doctor for a prescription for Allopurinol. It does help.
posted by scottymac at 4:04 PM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Change your diet, don't get a prescription. It's not just the beer-- Guaranteed.
posted by nitor at 7:05 PM on May 27, 2009


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