Gout is the most common inflammatory arthritis, affecting more than 8.3 million adults in the U.S. alone. Although gout is treatable, there is no permanent cure. But research has shown that a buildup of crystallized uric acid in the joints and tissues is the cause, and a compound called purine, commonly found in foods leads to the buildup. By avoiding the worst foods and beverages that are high in purine, gout can be managed effectively alongside the use of medication and a proper diet.
Alcohol consumption of any kind is known to be a factor in recurrent gout attacks, and those who have experienced gout attacks should avoid consumption if possible. However, some alcoholic beverages contain either yeast or fructose that could lead to a buildup of uric acid and as a result, gout.
Spirits and beer should be avoided entirely. The yeast used for brewing beer has around three times as much purine as normal baking yeast. Bottle-conditioned and unpasteurized beer have even higher levels of residual yeast. When alcohol is consumed, it causes the kidneys to excrete alcohol instead of uric acid, leaving the acid in the system and causing buildup. Wine may cause less of this buildup, but it contains both yeast and fructose which could trigger a gout attack.