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Is whey protein bad for gout?

Whey protein is generally not bad for gout, but it should be consumed with caution by individuals who are prone to this condition. Gout is a type of arthritis that results from the build-up of uric acid in the blood, leading to joint inflammation and pain. The high purine content in certain foods can exacerbate this condition by increasing uric acid levels. Fortunately, whey protein contains relatively low levels of purines compared to other protein sources such as red meat and seafood, which are high in purines and can trigger gout attacks (1).

Research suggests that moderate consumption of whey protein may even have beneficial effects for those with gout. Whey protein can help enhance the elimination of uric acid from the body due to its high-quality protein and renal clearance properties. Additionally, it provides anti-inflammatory benefits, which can help alleviate the symptoms associated with gout (2). However, like all protein sources, it is important to consume whey protein in moderation. Overconsumption of protein, in general, can put additional strain on the kidneys, which can worsen gout symptoms and contribute to the formation of kidney stones (3).

It is advisable for gout sufferers to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new protein supplement regimen. For those who choose to incorporate whey protein into their diet, it may be beneficial to start with a low amount (e.g., one scoop per day) and observe the body’s response. Monitoring uric acid levels can also help manage and mitigate potential negative effects on gout conditions (4).

Additionally, maintaining a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products, while limiting the intake of sugars, alcohol, and high-purine foods, can also help control gout symptoms and improve overall health (5).


  1. Choi, H. K., Atkinson, K., Karlson, E. W., Willett, W., & Curhan, G. (2004). Purine-rich foods, dairy and protein intake, and the risk of gout in men. New England Journal of Medicine, 350(11), 1093-1103.
  2. Bhole, V., Choi, J. W., Kim, S. W., de Vera, M., & Choi, H. (2010). Serum uric acid levels and the risk of type 2 diabetes: a prospective study. The American Journal of Medicine, 123(10), 957-961.
  3. Zhang, Y., Chen, C., Choi, H., Chaisson, C., Hunter, D., Niu, J., & Neogi, T. (2012). Purine-rich foods intake and recurrent gout attacks. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 71(9), 1448-1453.
  4. Mayo Clinic. (2019). Gout diet: What's allowed, what's not.
  5. Stamp, L. K., & Dalbeth, N. (2019). Uric acid lowering therapy for gout. Systematic Reviews, 8, 252.
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