Gout is an inflammatory arthritic disease affecting an increasing proportion of the Australian population. Along with its debilitating impact on individuals, gout is linked with comorbidities including cardiovascular and kidney diseases, obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.[1,2]
Potential issues associated with the pharmaceutical management of gout include suboptimal dosing of medications and consequent impact on efficacy, and the extended length of medication intake recommended and the associated adverse effects.[1-3]
A recent randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial assessed the impact of quercetin on elevated plasma uric acid levels in a homogenous male population.
In two separate, four week periods, separated by a four week washout phase, 22 males (mean age 29.9 SD 12.9 years) with subclinical elevated plasma uric acid levels (316 SD 56μmol/L) were given either 500mg quercetin dihydrate aglycone or placebo in tablet form. Subjects were requested to maintain usual dietary patterns from 4 weeks prior until the completion of the trial.
All participants had fasting blood, blood pressure, weight, height and questionnaire assessments performed on days 0, 14 and 28 of each 4-week intervention period.
Following treatment for 4 weeks, mean plasma uric acid levels decreased significantly (p=0.008) by 26.5μmol/L to 304 SD 48μmol/L in the quercetin group compared with no change during the placebo period. It was noted that the quercetin’s hypouricaemic effect was more significant in subjects with more elevated uric acid levels. No adverse events were reported after receiving quercetin or placebo.
The authors stated that “...quercetin may be a promising approach to lower uric acid levels in individuals with above- optimal blood uric acid, for those at high risk and have not yet developed any disease or for patients recovering after therapy.”
Further study to determine the potential use of quercetin for the treatment of gout are warranted.
- Robinson PC, Stamp LK. The management of gout: much has changed. RACGP 2016;45(5):299-302. [Full text]
- Becker MA, Fitz-Patrick D, Choi HK, et al. An open-label, 6-month study of allopurinol safety in gout: the LASSO study. Sem Arth Rheum 2016;45:174-183. [Full text]
- Yang M, Wang HT, Zhao M, et al. Network meta-analysis comparing relatively selective COX-2 inhibitors versus coxibs for the prevention of NSAID- induced gastrointestinal injury. Medicine 2015;94(40):e1592. [Full text]
- Shi Y, Williamson G. Quercetin lowers plasma uric acid in pre-hyperuricaemic males: a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial. Br J Nutr 2016;115:800-806. [Abstract]