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Does Fish Oil Help With Gout?

Question:
I've read that fish oil supplements may help with gout, but I've also been told to avoid oily fish because it can increase my uric acid levels. Are fish oil supplements safe for me to take and do they really help with gout?

Answer:
Eating fish low in purines may be helpful for people with gout, but there is no evidence that taking fish oil supplements is helpful for gout. For more about this, plus information about fish oil for other forms of arthritis and inflammatory conditions, see the "What It Does" section of the Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acids Supplements Review >>

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John11263   September 7, 2016
I was diagnosed with gout several years ago. I had many painful bouts before we knew what was causing the problem. My uric acid level was just borderline. Doctor put me on allopurinol and I have had no problems since. I eat lots of fruits of all kinds, but do not drink juices. I also eat oily fish and asparagus. Sometimes modern medicine works quite well!!!

Deborah11262   September 7, 2016
I didn't eat the usual diet associated with high uric acid, and didn't know what was causing my gout. Then the 2010 studies associating fructose with gout came out -- and I haven't had problems since. Fructose, a monosaccharide, isn't just found in high fructose corn syrup; it also composes half of every sucrose molecule. It's also the sugar found in most fruits, as well as vegetables like tomatoes. I used to think a nice big glass of orange juice was pure sunshiny health. I gave it up, along with sugar, and am careful about the amount of fruit I eat (mostly berries now). No more gout, and no medication involved.

ConsumerLab.com   September 7, 2016
Thanks for mentioning this, Deborah. This association between fructose intake and gout has been shown in men as well as in women consuming higher amounts of soda as well as fruit juice (Choi, JAMA 2008 and 2010). For example, drinking 1 or 2 six ounce glasses of orange juice per day is associated, respectively, with 41% and 142% increases in the risk of gout in women relative to rarely drinking orange juice. Keep in mind, though, that gout is not common in women and that drinking 1 glass of orange juice per day for 10 years means that, out of 100 women, 1.4 might develop gout who would not have otherwise.

Damian11257   September 7, 2016
I have had issues with gout in the past and was told I was going to need to be on Rx meds, but chose to go a natural route. I did quite a bit of research and some trial and error with supplements and came up with what works best for me to completely stay off meds entirely. I take tart cherry pills, celery seed pills, ginger root, and I have a warm cup of water with a fresh squeezed organic lemon first thing in the morning. Since I have done this routine, I have had no issues at all. If I sense a flare up even begin to start, I also drink some dandelion tea. It may not work for everyone, it has really helped me and I thought I should share my story.

Brian A.11247   September 5, 2016
I controlled or minimized gout attacks for 5 years with cranberry juice and pills. After my second kidney stone the Urologist informed me cranberry and apple juice are kidney stone builders. Had a doc tell me lemon juice might dissolve additional stones present on my scan. I started mixing in about 1.5 oz of lemon juice twice a day(with my breakfast and supper beverage). 3 years later so far so good, no stones or gout attacks.

C.Y.11243   September 4, 2016
I am a female with Gout - somewhat rare - since it is considered a predominantly male disease. But there is a genetic component in my family, as my father had it.

Anyway, I did a lot of research and Tart Cherry (either in pill form or juice) was said to be a remedy to prevent and treat a flare up. I found an online supplement business that sells the pills at a great price compared to other retail stores and sites. When I have a flare up, I take multiple pills twice a day and it goes away within 1 - 2 days max. Look up Tart Cherry Treatment for Gout.

ConsumerLab.com   September 8, 2016
Hi C.Y. - Thank you for sharing your experience with tart cherry. We are glad it seems to help, but please note that for "flare-ups" (i.e. an acute attack) the American College of Rheumatology does not recommend cherry or cherry extract. You can find more information about tart cherry and gout in this CL Answer: https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/_/tart_cherry/

Robert15862   October 18, 2017
Cherry juice is very helpful in preventing gout for me. I have stopped taking allopurinol completely.

Carl11242   September 4, 2016
Pantothenic Acid (B5) sounds promising. How much do you take and any specific form?

I have struggled with gout for years and recently it seems to have gotten a little worse. Currently take allupurinol but still get a gout attack recurrence every few weeks for a day or two. Just added celery seed extract pills, chelated Magnesium and Quercetin w/Bromelain. I also take daily apple cider vinegar pills (or liquid) and tart Montessori cherry juice and pills daily. Coming up on 1 month now without a gout attack since I added the celery seed, Magnesium & Quercetin combo and I am a happy camper. Hope I can keep it at bay.

Martha11239   September 4, 2016
Pantothenic acid works miracles for gout flare ups in our family--my father, myself and one son.

michael11237   September 4, 2016
I suffered from Gout for many years.
I took prescription meds that helped...some.
I was very diet conscious.
Somewhere I read that celery seed extract would be beneficial.
I had nothing to loose.
I have not had a Gout attack in 7 years.

Michael
69 years old

Jackie11241   September 4, 2016
Very interesting! Where did you get the extract and how much did you take for how long?
Thank you.
Jackie

Karen11248   September 5, 2016
Yes I would like to know also how much, what brand and how long. Thank you

William11250   September 5, 2016
Did you drop any or all prescription meds at any point in time? Bill W.

ConsumerLab.com   September 7, 2016
Although celery seed extract has been touted on websites for treating gout (and some individuals -- like Michael above -- have reported some benefit), there does not appear to be clinical evidence proving it helps with gout. If you use it, be aware that celery seed extract may have a diuretic effect and may lower blood pressure. It may not be safe for pregnant women to use celery seed extract due to possible effects on the uterus. Celery juice (not celery seed extract) has also apparently also been used as a traditional folk remedy for gout, although, again, there are no clinical studies supporting this. (Some people may be allergic to celery, although this is more a problem with celery root -- the starchy, potato-like part of the plant). Also, be aware that the American College of Rheumatology does not recommend celery root for "acute attacks" of gout (https://www.rheumatology.org/Portals/0/Files/Gout_Part_2_ACR-12.pdf).

John-Marc11261   September 7, 2016
It would be very helpful when stating "there are no clinical studies supporting this" to distinguish between no studies done, or studies done with inconclusive results.

ConsumerLab.com   September 7, 2016
No clinical studies appear to have been published one way or the other, John. There is mention online of a study by a researcher (Soundararajan) who apparently tested celery seed extract in pilot study of 15 people with various forms of arthritis, including gout. Although results are said to be positive, this seems to have been far from conclusive and the study does not seem to have been published in any peer-reviewed journal.

This CL Answer initially posted on 9/3/2016. Last updated 7/26/2017.

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