Blood Donation For Gout is about a gout study linking large blood draws with lower uric acid.
Several researchers have suggested a link between uric acid and iron.
Now, research suggests that an alternative treatment for gout may be simply reducing the amount of iron in the body. FS Facchini has shown that reducing iron in the body by drawing blood has a significant benefit for gout.
Blood Donation Gout Research
Facchini’s research was published in December 2003. The researcher’s goal was to investigate whether or not iron removal would improve the outcome of gouty arthritis in humans. They aimed to lower iron levels, but not to the point of anemia.
12 gout patients had blood removed until they were almost deficient in iron. At this level, the subjects had just enough iron to maintain normal red blood cell production (hence near-deficiency).
The subjects were monitored for 28 months and suffered no ill effects from the loss of blood. They did, however, gain significant improvement in their gout. 58% of subjects achieved complete remission from gout attacks, whilst the remainder experienced fewer and less severe attacks.
Though the sample size of this study is fairly small, it does point strongly towards the view that reducing iron is an effective alternative treatment for gout. If frequent blood donations are not an option, then reducing the amount of available iron in the body through diet is an obvious alternative. Because, as the author concludes:
the fact that all patients improved, including the 1/10 possibly affected by a condition other than gout, indicates the likelihood that Near-Iron Deficiency may lessen other types of joint inflammation as well. […] it seems obvious that, at the very least, there is an urgent need to overcome the dogmatic credence that appreciable amounts of iron should always be maintained in storage at any age and by all means.
2016 Blood and Gout Update
Research into gout and iron is ongoing. So, a 2016 study reports:
association of the transferrin receptor with gout is consistent with iron metabolism having a causal role in gout
So, I will review all studies into links between gout and iron as part of an ongoing project. You can get email notification when I publish new articles:
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Blood Donation For Gout References
- Facchini, Francesco S. “Near-iron deficiency-induced remission of gouty arthritis.” Rheumatology 42.12 (2003): 1550-1555. Donate Blood for Gout PDF.
- Fatima, T., T. Merriman, C. Iverson, and J. N. Miner. “AB0830 Iron Metabolism: Association of Ferritin with Serum Urate and Gout.” (2016): 1187-1187. Conference Abstract (PDF n/a).
Related Gout Facts: Uric acid in the human body
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