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Study shows high-fiber diet may reduce gout inflammation

Researchers show the action of gut microorganisms on dietary fibers may reduce inflammation in people with gout.

By Amy Wallace
New research has found a link between high-fiber diets and a reduction in inflammation in people with gout. cnick/PixaBay
New research has found a link between high-fiber diets and a reduction in inflammation in people with gout. cnick/PixaBay

MINA GERALS, Brazil, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- A high-fiber diet has the potential to prevent inflammation caused by monosodium urate, or MSU, crystals in people with gout.

Researchers at the Institute of Biological Sciences at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil have determined that diets high in fiber trigger microorganisms in the gut to produce short-chain fatty acids, or SCFAs, which induce neutrophil apoptosis and reduce inflammation seen in people with gout.

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"By understanding the way foods interact with living organisms, we may be able to create diets that help people with the disease, as well as their health overall," Mauro M. Teixeira, Ph.D., a researcher with the Immunopharmacology Group in the Department of Biochemistry and Immunology at the Institute of Biological Sciences at Federal University, said in a press release.

Researchers used a high-fiber diet and treatment with SCFAs to prevent inflammation associated with the injection of MSU crystals in the knees of mice. The results showed the combination of the high-fiber diet and the injection of MSU crystals caused neutrophil apoptosis and efferocytosis resulting in the resolution of inflammation.

The findings also showed that with the resolution of inflammation, came the enhanced production of anti-inflammatory cytokines in the knee joint that prevented further knee damage.

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The study was published in the Journal of Leukoctye Biology.

"We are seeing an explosion in our mechanistic understanding of how microbial communities in our intestines and elsewhere influence multiple aspects of immune and metabolic health," John Wherry, Ph.D., deputy editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, said in a press release. "This work is an elegant example of how tuning of inflammatory circuits by linking diet to microbial products can have a profound effect on an inflammatory disease in the joints. Future work may allow such findings to be translated into practical treatments for gout and other diseases."

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