According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), Malaysians consumed 800,000 60 kg bags of coffee in 2021 and 2022. The increasing trend of coffee drinking might be because of the hectic schedule many Malaysians have to live with. Many have to wake up early but pull an all-nighter previously. It’s impossible to stay awake in the morning. Thus, a cup of bitter elixir might be the remedy for sleepiness.
Not only that but there’s also an increase in many coffee shops like Starbucks, ZUS Coffee, OldTown White Coffee and others. Additionally, famous chains like Tealive, Coolblog and Chatime offer coffee-based drinks on their premises. Simply conclude, many Malaysians prefer coffee over tea these days.
Some are concerned that drinking it can lead to diseases like gout. There have been myths about drinking coffee as the cause of gout. But how far is this true?
A bit about gout
Firstly, gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects the joints of the body. Most commonly, it happens in the feet and toes.
Gout happens when too much uric acid accumulates in the body called hyperuricemia. The accumulation of uric acid might be because of an unhealthy lifestyle and food consumption, like eating too much seafood (high mineral content).
Thus, when hyperuricemia happens, uric acid deposits crystals in the joints and forms swelling and inflammation.
Coffee and gout: what is the relation?
According to Arthritis Foundation, caffeine might help prevent gout. But take note: this only applies to people who don’t have this disease initially.
Coffee is dangerous to people who have gout, especially if they’re inconsistent drinkers. It’s because, in a 2010 study, people who drink more caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee are more likely to get gout attacks.
Caffeine can be the remedy to gout because:
- It contains a lot of minerals, polyphenols and caffeine.
- Reduces uric acid by increasing the rate at that your body excretes uric acid.
- It competes with the enzyme that breaks down purines in the body.
- Gout medications are xanthine oxidase inhibitors and uricosurics.
- Xanthine oxidase is an enzyme that helps the body metabolise purines.
- Purines are a source of acid. Hence, it’ll lower the uric acid level.
- Additionally, caffeine is like methyl xanthine.
- It competes with and blocks the action of xanthine oxidase.
What we can say is we have to check our diet. Leading a healthy and active lifestyle can make a difference in our bodies. Therefore, don’t forget to stay active and take care of yourself!