Patients with persistent gout who drank milk infused with dairy extracts had fewer self-reported flare-ups over three months.
The proof-of-concept intervention also reduced pain and improved uric acid excretion.
Earlier studies had suggested that certain components of dairy products, particularly glycomacropeptide (GMP) and G600 milk fat extract (G600), could dampen down the body's inflammatory response to gout crystals.
In the study, patients with recurrent gout symptoms were randomised to three groups to receive either skimmed milk powder enriched with GMP and G600, skimmed milk powder alone, or lactose powder.
Patients mixed their powder with 250ml of water as a vanilla flavoured shake. These were drunk once daily.
Researchers from New Zealand assessed gout pain at baseline and after three months. Patients recorded their progress in a symptom diary. In all, 102 patients finished the study.
All three groups had fewer self-reported gout flare-ups, but this reduction was greatest among those patients on the enriched milk diet, researchers found.
They also saw greater improvements in pain and uric acid content of their urine among those drinking enriched milk than other patients.
There was also a trend towards a reduction in the number of tender joints.
Critically, the enriched skimmed milk diet did not boost weight gain. Nor did it adversely affect renal function, lipid profile or BP, although flatulence, nausea and diarrhoea were reported by all groups.
Authors concluded: 'This is the first reported RCT of dietary intervention in gout management, and suggests that daily intake of skimmed milk powder enriched with GMP and G600 may reduce the frequency of gout flares.'
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Item Code: MINT/PPR-12008
Date of Preparation: May 2012