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Enriched Milk Powder Linked to Reduction in Gout Flare-Ups

Last Updated: January 25, 2012.

For patients with gout, consumption of an enriched skim milk powder is associated with a reduced number of flare-ups, compared with plain skim milk powder or lactose, according to a proof-of-concept study published online Jan. 23 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 25 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with gout, consumption of an enriched skim milk powder (SMP) is associated with a reduced number of flare-ups, compared with plain skim milk powder or lactose, according to a proof-of-concept study published online Jan. 23 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Nicola Dalbeth, M.B.Ch.B., M.D., of the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and colleagues conducted a double-blind, controlled trial in which 120 patients with recurrent gout flares were randomized to one of three groups: lactose powder control, SMP control, and SMP enriched with glycomacropeptide and G600 milk fat extract (SMP/GMP/G600). A daily flare diary, measured monthly for three months, was used to assess the change in the frequency of gout flares.

The researchers found that the frequency of gout flares declined in all three groups over the study period compared with baseline, but there was a significantly greater reduction in gout flares in the SMP/ GMP/G600 group (analysis of covariance Pgroup = 0.031). Following treatment with SMP/GMP/G600, greater improvements were noted in pain and fractional excretion of uric acid, with trends to enhanced improvement in tender joint count. Adverse event rates and discontinuation rates were similar between the three groups.

"This is the first reported controlled trial of dietary intervention in patients with gout, and suggests that SMP enriched with GMP and G600 may reduce the frequency of gout flares," the authors write.

Several authors are employees of Fonterra Cooperative Group, which is part of a joint venture, LactoPharma, that partially funded the study. Several authors are named inventors on a patent application related to milk products and gout.

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