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A Randomized Pilot Study of DASH Patterned Groceries on Serum Urate in Individuals with Gout


Nutrients. 2021 Feb 7;13(2):538. doi: 10.3390/nu13020538.

Stephen P Juraschek 1Edgar R Miller 3rd 2Beiwen Wu 2Karen White 2Jeanne Charleston 2Allan C Gelber 2Sharan K Rai 3Kathryn A Carson 2Lawrence J Appel 2Hyon K Choi 4

Author Information

1 Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, General Medicine, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

2 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.

3 Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

4 Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet reduces serum urate (SU); however, the impact of the DASH diet has not been previously evaluated among patients with gout. We conducted a randomized, controlled, crossover pilot study to test the effects of ~$105/week ($15/day) of dietitian-directed groceries (DDG), patterned after the DASH diet, on SU, compared with self-directed grocery shopping (SDG). Participants had gout and were not taking urate lowering therapy. Each intervention period lasted 4 weeks; crossover occurred without a washout period. The primary endpoint was SU. Compliance was assessed by end-of-period fasting spot urine potassium and sodium measurements and self-reported consumption of daily servings of fruit and vegetables. We randomized 43 participants (19% women, 49% black, mean age 59 years) with 100% follow-up. Mean baseline SU was 8.1 mg/dL (SD, 0.8). During Period 1, DDG lowered SU by 0.55 mg/dL (95% CI: 0.07, 1.04) compared to SDG by 0.0 mg/dL (95% CI: -0.44, 0.44). However, after crossover (Period 2), the SU difference between groups was the opposite: SDG reduced SU by -0.48 mg/dL (95% CI: -0.98, 0.01) compared to DDG by -0.05 mg/dL (95% CI: -0.48, 0.38; P for interaction by period = 0.11). Nevertheless, DDG improved self-reported intake of fruit and vegetables (3.1 servings/day; 95% CI: 1.5, 4.8) and significantly reduced total spot urine sodium excretion by 22 percentage points (95% CI: -34.0, -8.6). Though relatively small in scale, this pilot study suggests that dietitian-directed, DASH-patterned groceries may lower SU among gout patients not on urate-lowering drugs. However, behavior intervention crossover trials without a washout period are likely vulnerable to strong carryover effects. Definitive evaluation of the DASH diet as a treatment for gout will require a controlled feeding trial, ideally with a parallel-design.