During the tests, experts questioned 13,935 participants about their diet. Just over 9,000 participants were vegetarians. It was found that people consuming plant and dairy products had the lowest levels of uric acid concentration. Slightly higher, it was among vegans, and the highest – in meat eaters. High levels of uric acid in the blood can lead to the formation of crystals, which then accumulate in soft tissues and joints, causing the painful symptoms of gout, doctors say.
The reason why plant-based diets are protective is that meat and seafood contain a lot of purines, which increase the production of uric acid in the urine, scientists say. In addition, vegetarian diets tend to contain less saturated fat and more beneficial compounds that help prevent inflammatory reactions leading to the development of gout.