Australian Functional Ingredients – by Vic Cherikoff

Wild Foods and Gout

Wild foods and gout is a topic about which I am often asked. This probably reflects the growing incidence of gout which was once only a condition suffered by fat, old, males who ate rich foods including red meats, shellfish, bread and drank copious quantities of red wine and beer.

Just as with pancreatic cancer which shares many similar dietary links, this is no longer the case for gout.

In fact, so common is gout these days that it is the newest disease added to the group of conditions described as Metabolic Syndrome. The others are obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Women, young men in their 20s as well as men of all other ages are now susceptible to the pain, redness, tenderness and swelling of their joints along with the sleepless nights of the gout experience.

I have written previously of my own gout attacks which began when I turned 50. This was the same for my father and grandfather too. When I did eventually seek medical advice for my attacks, I was prescribed allopurinol and I recall asking how long before the symptoms went and I could stop taking the drugs. The doctor laughed and explained that this medication was a life sentence (or so he believed!).

My good luck was that at that time I was working on formulating a nutritional supplement based on a complex mix of wild foods and a complement of other superfoods. There was a lot of research around highlighting the anti-inflammatory capabilities of most of the wild foods and many of the support ingredients eg cherries, blackberries and acai. So, not wanting to be promoting a product to others that I was not taking myself, I started on my supplement and continue to this very day with my newest variant I call LIFE (Lyophilized Indigenous Food Essentials).

I no longer worry about what I eat and regularly add kangaroo meat, seafood, pasta and beer to my daily meals. I recall not long ago, sitting down to a favourite snack of mine; prawns (I eat the heads) and beer only to feel a slight stiffness in my knees later that evening. An extra dose of LIFE and no other symptoms. No escalation to an attack and no ill effects whatsoever.

It is worth noting that anti-inflammatories will not reduce the uric acid in your system so it is a good idea not to hit the high purine foods too often and definitely take advantage of the fact that LIFE reduces carbohydrate cravings. This is really important as sucrose and fructose (the bad sugars) raise uric acid levels as fructose is metabolized. See this article for more on this.

From my experience with gout and LIFE, I took 5g of LIFE before every meal and if I ever felt a niggle of discomfort or even a hint of stiffness in any joint (usually my big toes or my knees) I took an extra 5g. After a few months I began to drop the dosage and have been on a total of 5 to 10g a day for years now.

I also recommend our capsules as they are enteric coated and get the LIFE through the stomach more efficiently.

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