There is some evidence that lemon juice may help reduce uric acid levels in people with gout. Uric acid, or urate, can trigger gout attacks if the blood levels are too high.

An older 2015 pilot study found that adding lemon juice to water helped reduce uric acid in people with gout. A human and animal study from 2017 found similar results.

Read on to find out if and how lemon juice could benefit individuals with gout and whether it might introduce new treatments.

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Yes, a person with gout can eat lemons or drink lemon juice. Many whole fruits are suitable as part of a balanced, low purine diet.

Lemons are also low in fructose, which may benefit people with gout, as high amounts of fructose may raise uric acid levels.

In addition to not exacerbating gout, lemon juice may actively reduce uric acid levels.

A 2015 study of 75 people who had either gout, high uric acid levels, or another form of arthritis found that drinking lemon water for 6 weeks reduced uric acid levels in all groups.

Each participant drank the juice of two fresh lemons in two liters of water daily during the study. The study’s authors theorize that lemon juice may help neutralize uric acid.

Although lemon juice is an acid, consuming it may stimulate the release of calcium carbonate from the pancreas, which is part of the digestive system. Calcium carbonate is an alkaline substance that counteracts acids, including uric acid.

Yes, to an extent, lemon juice may help to lower inflammation in people with gout.

Gout is a form of arthritis that causes inflammation and pain around joints during an attack. Certain foods are low in purines and anti-inflammatory, which may benefit people with gout.

Citrus fruits, including lemon, lime, and grapefruit, are among these foods. These fruits contain flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that can suppress inflammation.

It is unclear how much impact lemons alone would have on the inflammation gout causes, but including them as part of a low purine, anti-inflammatory diet may be helpful.

Research on lemon juice for gout has focused on fresh lemon juice. Scientists have yet to test whether bottled lemon juice or lemon juice from concentrate would be as effective.

While there are many benefits to drinking lemon juice or lemon water, it is not without risks. These include:

  • Damage to teeth: The pH value of lemon juice can be as low as 2. This makes lemon juice very acidic, and over time, acidic foods and drinks can erode the enamel of the teeth.
  • Mouth ulcers: In some people, acidic foods such as lemon can trigger or worsen mouth ulcers.
  • Digestive discomfort: Some people may find that drinking undiluted lemon juice or a lot of lemon water results in nausea, heartburn, or acid reflux.

People may avoid these effects by diluting lemon juice in enough liquid or rinsing their mouth after consuming lemon. Drinking lemon water through a straw may help to prevent tooth erosion.

People can include lemons in their diet in many ways. Here are some ideas for people with gout:

  1. Lemon water: People can flavor water by adding lemon juice. Previous studies have used the juice of one lemon per liter of water to reduce uric acid.
  2. Salad dressing: It is possible to make a simple salad dressing using lemon and anti-inflammatory oil, such as olive oil. Mix the oil and lemon juice to taste, then add herbs or spices to vary the flavor.
  3. Sauces and dips: Lemon can add flavor to any dish that includes a sauce, including curries, pasta dishes, and risotto. Dips such as hummus and tzatziki also pair well with citrus flavors.
  4. Soups and stews: People can squeeze lemon juice into soups and stews toward the end of cooking to add a zingy flavor.

Numerous scientific studies suggest that lemon juice may help to lower uric acid levels in people with gout. Lemons are also low in fructose, which may raise uric acid.

As a result, lemon juice is a suitable addition to a gout-friendly diet. People can use it in many ways, from lemon water to salad dressings and soups.

To prevent tooth enamel erosion, it may help to drink lemon water through a straw or rinse the mouth with water after consuming lemon juice.

If a person has regular gout attacks, even with dietary changes, they should speak with a doctor.