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Can lemons tackle gout?
Getty Images Can lemons tackle gout?

Q: I suffer from gout and a few months ago a mate was telling me that lemon juice may have some benefits. I didn't take my mate that seriously but reading your article about lemons made me wonder.

A: Gout is the result of high levels of uric acid in the bloodstream getting cool (on the extremities) then crystallising, thus the sore red toe that is so common in gout.

Usually this high level of uric acid is found in men, just occasionally in women.

The levels of uric acid are controlled by what you eat, like red wine, chocolate and other rich foods, along with how your body functions (and its production of uric acid).

Once again, the fact that lemon juice becomes alkaline once metabolised by the body should help.

Follow a low uric-acid diet, as the side-effect of high levels of uric acid are not only the gout, but faster wear and tear of joints.

If you can handle one to two lemons squeezed into water every day, go for it.

I prefer people to embark on changes they can easily bring into their life because it means they're more likely to stick to them for life.

The key here is to go slowly but do it regularly so it becomes a good habit you do everyday.