Figs and gout is the 88th topic in the top gout searches series, described in Gout and You. Figs are a delicious food, often associated with an alkalizing gout diet menu. Before I discuss that, I need to clarify a specific link between figs and gout.

Some time ago, when reviewing how morin is helpful to gout sufferers, I started trying to find the best food sources for morin. I have some useful news about morin, but I cannot find anything meaningful about food sources. Though many gout studies associate morin with figs, those that do reveal sources always refer to extracts from mulberry bark. There are one or two studies into morin extracts from fig leaves, but nothing so far about the fruit. I believe the confusion may arise because mulberry and fig belong to the same plant group. Indeed the wide range of plants in the Moraceae family are often called the fig family or mulberry family. I will stop associating fig fruit with morin unless I find real evidence that it is a useful source. I will report the morin news separately. Meanwhile, back to figs…

Dried figs are often viewed as highly alkalizing. This is one of the dangers of comparing foods based on 100g portion sizes. Nobody eats 100 grams of dried figs. This was one reason why all my recent tables are based on 100 calories servings. It is still not perfect, as many beverages and spices produce outrageously large portion sizes. However, energy based portions are easier to compare than weight based portions.

Are Figs Good for Gout?

You can compare 100 calorie servings for key nutrients in my gout foods tables. Please read the Gout Foods Tables Introduction before you consult those tables. It is important that you understand how the key nutrients affect you and your gout.

Figs do not feature in the USDA Key Foods list. However, because of their popularity amongst gout sufferers, I have added them to the Gout Foods Table for Fruit. As you can see from that table, figs are remarkably similar, whether raw, dried, or stewed, and remarkably average.

Top Alkalizing Key Foods

As dried figs have caused confusion regarding alkalizing diet, I have produced an extra table of top alkalizing foods. This shows the foods from all relevant food groups in a single table, ordered by PRAL.

Even though figs are not particularly special, they can still help you create menus that are interesting. If you like figs, there is no reason to miss them as part of a well-balanced diet.

Figs vs Allopurinol Chart
Figs vs Allopurinol

If you were hoping for some scientific studies in this article, I’m sorry to disappoint you see comments below. I will make amends when I publish the 87th topic in this series. If you don’t want to miss it, please subscribe to my gout information update service.

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Figs and Gout Comments

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Figs and Uric Acid

Emma asked if I had any news about the effects of figs on uric acid. So I’m pleased to report that there is some new science. But it is still lab-based rather than studying human gout sufferers.

There are some studies that show uric acid reduction in mice, rats, and rabbits from extracts of fig leaves. But the most interesting study concerns fig fruit extract testing against allopurinol[1]. In fact, the study also includes carob and acorn. However, I will explain that more when I do a full review.

For now, I’ve changed the featured image here to reflect the fig fruit outcomes of this study. Because I find it very interesting how fig fruit extract compares with allopurinol. So it is not as effective. But still inhibits xanthine oxidase activity by up to 40%.

Lab tests like this are a long way from providing practical guidance on the amount of fig fruit required to reduce uric acid. But they give us a strong indication that figs are good for gout. Interestingly, while checking this research, I noticed similar indications for dates. That is, the fruit of the date palm.

As time allows, I will do a more thorough review of uric acid reduction from figs, dates, and related fruits. So if you want to be notified when I publish new facts:

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Figs and Gout References

  1. Amessis-Ouchemoukh, Nadia, Salim Ouchemoukh, Nassima Meziant, Yamina Idiri, Dolores Hernanz, Carla M. Stinco, Francisco J. Rodríguez-Pulido, Francisco J. Heredia, Khodir Madani, and José Luis. “Bioactive metabolites involved in the antioxidant, anticancer and anticalpain activities of Ficus carica L., Ceratonia siliqua L. and Quercus ilex L. extracts.” Industrial Crops and Products 95 (2017): 6-17.

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