How to Reduce Uric Acid: 11 Methods Backed by Research

Medically Reviewed By Megan Soliman, MD

Research suggests that lifestyle adjustments such as limiting purines in food and staying hydrated may improve uric acid levels or help you avoid complications. A high uric acid level occurs when your body produces too much uric acid or the kidneys cannot remove it as needed.

In addition to medical treatment, self-care approaches may help lower uric acid levels or prevent them from becoming higher due to lifestyle.

This article discusses how to reduce uric acid, including dietary changes and other interventions.

1. Limit purine-rich foods

A bowel of oranges, cherries, and almonds sit on a pink blanket.
María Soledad Kubat/Stocksy United

Uric acid is a byproduct of purine, a substance found in the body’s cells and some foods. The following foods contain Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source high levels of purines:

  • seafood such as shellfish
  • legumes
  • red meat
  • poultry
  • beans and other legumes
  • vegetables such as:
    • spinach
    • cauliflower
    • mushrooms

Consuming purine-rich foods can contribute to a buildup of uric acid in the body. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Trusted Source Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Governmental authority Go to source recommends limiting purine-rich foods if you have gout.

Work with your medical team or a registered dietitian for advice on intake levels.

Always talk with a doctor before self-treating

Not all treatments for high uric acid levels will be helpful or safe for everyone. Also, some self-care or non-clinical treatments won’t be able to resolve uric acid levels on their own completely.

Always talk with your medical team before trying any new approaches or self-treating. In addition, contact your doctor if you have questions about medical or at-home treatments for uric acid levels.

2. Limit fructose intake 

Fructose is a sugar that comprises Trusted Source BMJ Peer reviewed journal Go to source natural and added sugars.

The body turns fructose into chemical compounds that disintegrate and release Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source uric acid. Excessive fructose intake can contribute to high uric acid levels in your blood.

Sources of fructose can include Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source :

  • honey, agave, and syrups such as maple syrup
  • drinks sweetened with sugars, such as sodas, some fruit juices, and some other preprepared drinks like pre-made coffees
  • some fruits and vegetables
  • baked foods, candy, and desserts, such as:
    • cakes, pies, and cookies
    • ice cream
    • yogurt with added sugar
    • chocolate

Fruits and vegetables high Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source in fructose and purines include Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source :

  • dried fruits
  • mangoes
  • apples and pears
  • figs
  • dates
  • spinach
  • cauliflower
  • mushrooms
  • legumes, such as beans and peas

Although some fruits and vegetables may contribute to purine levels, they can still benefit health in other ways.

Always talk with a doctor or registered dietitian before making any significant dietary changes.

3. Maintain a moderate weight

A 2021 study Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source suggests that having a higher BMI may increase the chances of having higher uric acid levels.

Experts suggest that increased weight can affect kidney function, which may affect the filtering of uric acid.

Also, having more fat around the belly may increase inflammation that triggers gout, even if you are not overweight.

Practices to help maintain a moderate BMI include Trusted Source Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Governmental authority Go to source :

  • getting regular physical activity
  • trying dietary approaches, such as working with your doctor or a registered dietitian to tailor your diet to your needs
  • staying hydrated
  • improve your sleep hygiene
  • managing stress

4. Limit alcohol

Drinking alcohol could cause high uric acid levels in the body because many beverages have a high Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source purine content.

A 2021 systematic review suggests that occasional or more frequent alcohol intake may trigger gout Trusted Source Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Governmental authority Go to source flare-ups, regardless of the type of alcohol.

Also, excess alcohol intake can affect Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source the health and function of the kidneys, impairing the removal of uric acid.

5. Stay hydrated

Your kidneys remove 70% Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source of uric acid from your urine.

Not drinking enough fluids can cause Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source uric acid to build up and form crystals by disrupting the filtering function of your kidneys.

General recommendations include drinking 6–9 cups of fluids daily for adults assigned female at birth and 8–12 cups for adults assigned male at birth.

However, water intake recommendations vary based on factors such as Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source :

  • your underlying health
  • your age
  • your activity levels
  • your climate and environmental conditions
  • whether you are pregnant or nursing

Your doctor or a registered dietitian can offer advice on how much you should drink to stay hydrated.

However, make sure to limit drinks that may be high in purines, such as:

  • drinks containing added sugars or syrups
  • fruit or vegetable juices
  • alcohol, which can also be dehydrating Trusted Source National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism https://rvohealth.zoom.us/j/8898463248?pwd=bmlpbEs5d1g0b3phWlY2R1ZiMVYrUT09 Go to source

6. Include fiber in your diet

Including an enough fiber in your diet may improve blood uric acid levels.

One 2019 study in rats suggested that dietary fiber may have disrupted the digestion and absorption of purines. This may reduce the formation of uric acid, keeping levels in a healthy range.

A 2022 analysis Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source of research gathered in China in 2015 also suggested that having a higher intake of fiber is linked to lower uric acid levels.

Sources of fiber include Trusted Source Dietary Guidelines for Americans (USDA) Governmental authority Go to source :

  • chia seeds 
  • coconut
  • some cereals and grains, such as bran or spelt
  • many fruits and vegetables, although consider limiting high-purine options such as spinach and mushrooms

See more foods high in fiber.

7. Manage your blood sugar

High uric acid levels and high blood sugar or diabetes may be linked. However, more research is needed to confirm the link.

A 2021 study Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source suggests that people with diabetes or prediabetes may have a higher risk of high uric acid levels.

While improving your blood sugar levels may not reduce uric acid levels, it may help reduce the negative impacts of high uric acid levels.

Contact your doctor for more advice on blood sugar levels. They can check your blood’s insulin and sugar levels to look for signs of high blood sugar.

8. Eat vitamin C

A 2021 literature review Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source suggests vitamin C may increase uric acid removal via the urine. There is also evidence Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source to suggest that vitamin C may reduce the production of uric acid.

Food sources of vitamin C include Trusted Source National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements Governmental authority Go to source

  • citrus fruit, such as orange 
  • strawberries
  • broccoli
  • bell peppers
  • potatoes

Vitamin C supplements are available over the counter. However, check with a doctor or pharmacist before trying new supplements — especially if you take other supplements or medications.

9. Eat cherries

2018 review Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source  notes that cherries can be rich in vitamin C and polyphenols. Polyphenols are nutritious plant compounds that can offer many health benefits. Both vitamin C and polyphenols may help lower uric acid or prevent it from forming.

Cherries may also reduce inflammation and arthritis attacks, according to the same 2018 study.

10. Check your medications

Some medications and supplements increase Trusted Source American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Peer reviewed journal Go to source the production of uric acid. Others may impair the removal of uric acid.

 Examples of medications and supplements that may cause uric acid levels to rise include:

  • diuretics
  • low dose aspirin
  • some medications used to treat tuberculosis
  • nicotinic acid or vitamin B3
  • immunosuppressant agents
  • testosterone therapy

Your doctor may recommend changes to your medication routine, such as changing your dose.

Do not make medication changes without talking with a doctor first.

11. Discuss uric acid medication with your doctor

Some medications also lower Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source blood uric acid levels, such as allopurinol (Lopurin, Zyloprim). Talk with your doctor about medications for uric acid levels.

Read more about medications for high uric acid levels.

Summary

In addition to medical treatments, self-care approaches may help reduce or avoid increasing uric acid levels. Examples include limiting purine-rich foods, maintaining a moderate weight, and including fiber and vitamin C in the diet.

In some cases, your doctor can prescribe medications to help lower uric acid levels.

Before trying new self-care approaches to treat uric acid levels, always talk with your medical team. Not all approaches will be safe or effective for everyone.

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Medical Reviewer: Megan Soliman, MD
Last Review Date: 2023 Sep 7
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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.