London, Feb 1: Fizzy drinks can dramatically increase the risk of gout, as scientists revealed that carbonated drinks are behind a rise in the painful joint condition. A study of more than 46,000 men found those who had two or more cans a day were 85 per cent more likely to get gout compared to those who had one a month or less.
The risk also significantly increased among those who drank five to six a week.
Rheumatologist Dr Hyon Choi, of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, who led the study, said, ''The magnitudes of risk posed by sugar-sweetened soft drinks or fruit juices was slightly larger than that of spirits.'' Gout generally involves very severe attacks of joint pain followed by long periods of remission and is caused by the formation of urate crystals, formed by too much uric acid, within joints and other tissues.
Sweetened soft drinks contain large amounts of fructose, a naturally occurring sugar found in tree fruits that triggers gout by increasing the levels of uric acid in the blood.