In reviewing my page on flaxseed oil & gout, I found a suggestion that flax seeds, usually considered to be a positive way to lower inflammation, might also lower uric acid.
Today’s big question is “Can Flax Seeds Lower Uric Acid?”
The answer has to be a qualified yes. Or, at least an unqualified maybe!
Last year, Tunisian scientists investigated the benefits of crushed flax seeds. Though they were looking for glucose lowering and antioxidant effects, especially with reference to diabetes, they had the good sense to also measure uric acid. Their report, “Flax and Pumpkin seeds mixture ameliorates diabetic nephropathy in rats”, includes facts about lowering uric acid, especially where uric acid is raised as a result of kidney problems from diabetes.
Now, similar to my previous article, this investigation just gives us pointers that crushed flax seed may help lower uric acid. It is far from a reliable random-controlled investigation into human gout. The shortcomings include:
- Rats not humans
- Induced diabetes not natural gout
- Combined flax and pumpkin seeds – which is most effective?
- Very small improvement between healthy controls and treated animals
However, the investigation might give some useful pointers to gout sufferers, especially if you are trying to manage your gout using natural gout home remedies.
The essence of the experiment was to investigate 3 groups of rats: a control group; an untreated diabetic group; and a diabetic group treated with crushed pumpkin and flax seeds. Uric acid measurements show:
|Group||Uric Acid μmol/L||Uric Acid mmol/L||Uric Acid mg/dL|
Though the changes are small, other uric acid lowering treatments have shown to be more effective as uric acid levels increase. If your uric acid level is 8 mg/dL, the improvement might be significant, but you will need to find this out yourself.
Flax Seed: Next Steps
Though natural products should be safe for limited self experimentation, you should always check with your doctor first. This type of experimentation is better with your own home uric acid test kit, but you could also do it if you arrange lab tests every 2 to 4 weeks.
To test the effects of crushed flax seeds, you should start with a uric acid test, take flax seeds for 2 to 4 weeks, and test again. You need to repeat this for at least a year, testing periods with and without the flax seed supplement. You should avoid other changes to your diet. If you try this, please report your results in the gout forum.
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