Genes Responsible For Gout

Armen Hareyan's picture


Lots of people suffer from gout - a joint disease causing pain, inflammation, and stiffness. Previously, researchers were blaming unhealthy lifestyle and eating habits as a main cause for this disease. However, a team of scientists from MRC Human Genetics Unit, in Edinburgh, have found that gout is caused by a certain gene variation.


Scientists examined genetic data of 12000 people and found that there are people with healthy diet and regular exercising who suffer from gout as well.

Uric acid is a waste product in blood that is being filtered in kidneys and removed by urine. Some people with specific genes (SLC2A) and produced proteins are unable to normally filter uric acid, causing blood pollution. Acids form crystals in joints causing gout.

Of course, sugary food, alcohol, and fatty food increase the risk for gout, but if gene variation is playing the most important role in joint condition. Researchers explain that the gene responsible for uric acid control is also responsible for sugar control. This is why sugary soft drinks are even more worsening the condition.

There are no serious drugs for gout treatment. The main way to fight the disease is diet in combination with exercising. Scientists will need further research on SLC2A gene to find out how it works and to develop drugs improving acid control.