Understanding the Relationship between Milk and Gout


Kurt Olsen

Milk, along with other dairy products, could be beneficial for those suffering from gout. The proteins found in these products aid the body in eliminating uric acid and might contribute to a reduction in uric acid levels, thereby preventing the formation of gout crystals.

A diet rich in purines may cause an accumulation of uric acid in the body. These purines are found in specific animal and plant foods. Accumulation of uric acid could lead to the formation of sharp crystals that result in gout.

The Arthritis Foundation suggests that consuming low-fat dairy products may aid in decreasing uric acid levels and mitigate the risk of gout flare-ups. Milk, specifically, is rich in proteins that assist the body in expelling uric acid through urine.

This article explores the impact of milk on gout, identifies the best types of milk to consume when dealing with gout, and discusses the influence of other dairy products on this condition.

How can milk help with gout?

A systematic review conducted in 2018 suggests that dairy products play a role in lowering uric acid levels in the body, thereby reducing the risk of gout.

With its low purine content, milk is a rich source of casein, whey protein, and calcium. These components could assist the body in expelling uric acid via urine.

In a research article published in 2021, the prevalence of gout in Japan was examined in dietary habits.

The author of this article proposed that skim milk powder containing G600 milk fat extract and glycomacropeptide – a specific protein type – showed positive effects in improving joint pain and reducing gout flare-ups over three months.

Can milk make gout worse?

Contrary to popular belief, milk might be advantageous for individuals with gout. Certain dairy products may decrease the risk of elevated uric acid levels and gout.

The Arthritis Foundation recommends low-fat milk for people with gout. The proteins in milk aid the body in eliminating excess uric acid, potentially reducing uric acid levels in the blood and reducing the likelihood of gout flare-ups.

The foundation also advises adherence to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. This diet discourages the intake of full-fat dairy products.

However, a 2021 study examining gout in Japan found all dairy products, regardless of fat content, were associated with lower uric acid levels, though low-fat options were favored.

Foods That Can Exacerbate Gout

Foods rich in purines can lead to an accumulation of uric acid in the body, triggering gout flare-ups.

The Arthritis Foundation suggests that eliminating high-purine foods from the diet may prevent gout outbreaks in some individuals.

High-purine foods to avoid include:

  • Organ meats, such as kidneys and liver
  • Sugary beverages
  • Candies and sugar-rich desserts
  • Alcohol
  • High fructose corn syrup is often found in highly processed foods like fast food.
  • Red meat

Certain foods, like some types of seafood and certain fruits, may elevate uric acid levels despite their other health benefits.

People with gout should consult a healthcare professional to balance the pros and cons of including these foods. Some practitioners recommend limiting these foods to smaller portions.

How much milk should a person with gout drink?

Specific experts propose the Mediterranean and DASH diets as the optimal choices for managing gout and promoting general health.

As per a review conducted in 2020, the Mediterranean diet incorporates moderate quantities of low-fat dairy products daily or weekly, with a portion defined as a glass of milk or yogurt.

On the other hand, the DASH diet recommends 2-3 servings of low-fat or non-fat dairy products daily.

What type of milk is best?

Low-fat or non-fat dairy may be the most beneficial form of milk for those with gout, especially if they also have high blood pressure.

As per the Arthritis Foundation, individuals with gout can also consider non-dairy milk alternatives, including:

  • Lactose-free milk
  • Nut milk
  • Other non-dairy alternatives, like cashew cheese

Soy milk might also be advantageous for individuals with gout. A systematic review conducted in 2018 found that soy products were inversely associated with high uric acid levels and risk of gout.

The 2021 study on gout and diet in Japan indicated that soy products are linked with a reduced risk of high uric acid levels. The article’s author suggests that soy products are crucial in preventing gout in Japan.

How do other dairy products affect gout?

Due to their protein content, other dairy products, such as casein and orotic acid, may also be advantageous for gout. These proteins could help in reducing uric acid levels in the body.

Certain dairy products, like cheese, are rich in saturated fats. A high-fat diet is often associated with health problems such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The Arthritis Foundation suggests following a nutritious, balanced diet, like the Mediterranean or DASH diets, for effective management of gout. Such diets may involve daily servings of low-fat or non-fat dairy products while suggesting avoiding full-fat dairy products.


The dietary intake of purine-rich substances can influence gout as it may raise uric acid levels in the body. Elevated uric acid levels can trigger gout.

Milk and other dairy products might lower the risk of high uric acid levels and gout flare-ups. Milk is fortified with proteins that assist the body in eliminating excess uric acid.

In conclusion, a balanced, nutritious diet with low-fat dairy could benefit individuals suffering from gout.


Contact Us

For more information or to make comments and suggestions, please contact:
Kurt Olsen
Dairy Development Coordinator, Missouri Department of Agriculture
Phone: (573) 291-5704
E-mail: [email protected]