ABA Comments on Fructose-Gout Study

November 10/Washington/States News Service -- In response to "Fructose-Rich Beverages and Risk of Gout in Women," a study published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Richard Adamson, former director, Division of Cancer Etiology and scientific director, National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health; former vice president of Scientific and Technical Affairs for the American Beverage Association; current president of TPN Associates, LLC, and consultant to the American Beverage Association, said:

"This study fails to be meaningful when it comes to informing Americans about the real causes of gout. In fact, suggesting that fructose intake causes gout is not based on modern day science, but rather centuries-old theory. In reality, the compendium of research conducted on gout shows foods and beverages high in purines -- such as alcohol, beer and certain meats -- are strongly linked to uric acid metabolism and, therefore, gout. As the authors themselves note, neither soft drinks nor orange juice -- the beverages discussed in this study -- contain purines.

"Moreover, it is misleading to label these beverages as 'fructose-rich,' given that at least 45%, and possibly as much as 58%, of the sweeteners they contain are in fact glucose, not fructose. Even so, for the authors to reference the effects of fructose infusion as compared to oral intake of a sweetened beverage is like comparing apples to oranges. The physiological effects of injecting something versus ingesting it are worlds apart. Furthermore, the authors also suggest that consuming fruit juices, but not eating whole fruit, would lead to increased risk for gout. Yet, the percentage of fructose content in both fruit and fruit juice are identical. This clearly suggests that it is not the fructose content that is leading to the increased risk for gout.

"Equally as important, the authors of this paper look at association, not causation. They also note that the contribution, if any, of these 'fructose-rich' beverages to incidence of gout is likely modest given the low incidence rate among women.

"The fact remains that the strongest risk factor for developing gout is family history -- if your mom or your dad has gout, you are at a greater risk of developing it. Those who have a family history of gout, or are interested in learning the facts about this arthritic condition, should visit the website of the National Institutes of Health National Institute for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases."

From the November 29, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition