Around 20 per cent of gout sufferers say their symptoms worsen when they eat tomatoes, and it's because they increase uric acid in the blood, a major factor in gout, say researchers from the University of Otago in New Zealand. They raise levels by amounts similar to those seen in known triggers.
The fruit is another major dietary trigger, and should be added to the recognised list, such as red meat and seafood, alcohol and sugary drinks.
The researchers started by surveying 2,051 New Zealanders with gout, and 71 per cent reported having one or more food triggers-and 20 per cent listed tomatoes as one of the triggers.
From that, they pooled the data from three long-running health studies in the US, which involved nearly 13,000 participants, and were able to verify that tomatoes raise uric acid levels in the blood.
(Source: BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 2015; 16: doi: 10.1186/s12891-015-0661-8)