Certain health conditions, diet, and genetics can cause high levels of uric acid. Avoiding alcohol and limiting some foods and beverages may help lower levels.

Uric acid is a natural waste product caused by the digestion of foods containing purines. Purines are found in high levels in some foods and are formed and broken down in your body.

Usually, your body filters out uric acid through your kidneys and in urine. If you consume too much purine or if your body is unable to remove this by-product quickly enough, uric acid can build up in your blood.

A standard uric acid level is under 6.8 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). A high uric acid level (above 6.8 mg/dL) is considered hyperuricemia. This can lead to gout and make your blood and urine too acidic.

Learn about conditions and factors that can cause uric acid to collect in your body, and read on to learn how you can lower uric acid levels in your body naturally.

You can limit the source of uric acid. Purine-rich foods include some meats, seafood, and vegetables. All of these foods contribute to uric acid when digested.

Avoid or reduce your intake of purine-rich foods, such as:

  • red meat
  • organ meats
  • fish
  • shellfish
  • poultry

A 2020 study suggests that reducing your intake of purine-rich vegetables may not affect uric acid levels.

Learn tips for following a low purine diet.

Fructose is a natural sugar in fruit and honey. As your body breaks down fructose, it releases purines and increases uric acid levels.

Note that fructose in beverages is absorbed quicker than sugars in whole foods because beverages don’t contain fiber, protein, or other nutrients.

Other sugars added to food include table sugar, corn syrup, and high fructose corn syrup. Research from 2020 shows this faster absorption of refined sugars spikes your blood sugar levels and leads to higher amounts of uric acid.

Here are some steps to lower the amount of sugar you consume:

  • Eat more whole foods.
  • Limit processed, packaged foods.
  • Check food labels for added sugars.
  • Quench sugar cravings with fresh fruit.
  • Replace sugary drinks with water, unsweetened drinks, or coffee without sugar.

Learn about the types of sugar.

Drinking plenty of fluids helps your kidneys flush out uric acid faster. The kidneys filter out about 70% of the uric acid in your body.

Drinking enough water can help support your kidneys and may reduce your risk of uric acid kidney stones.

Keep a water bottle with you at all times. Set an alarm every hour to remind you to take a few sips.

Drinking alcohol can make you more dehydrated. Research from 2021 shows it can also trigger high uric acid levels.

Some types of alcohol, such as beer, contain a higher purine content than others. However, even alcohol lower in purines can increase purine production.

Alcohol increases the metabolism of nucleotides, another source of purines that can be turned into uric acid. It also affects the rate at which uric acid is secreted, leading to increased blood levels.

Research from 2016 shows that coffee may help reduce serum uric acid levels in two main ways:

  • It competes with the enzyme that breaks down purines in the body, lowering the uric acid production rate.
  • It increases the rate at which your body excretes uric acid.

Other research from 2016 suggests there’s enough evidence in support of caffeine’s ability to lower uric acid levels. A 2021 study also found frequent coffee intake was not significantly associated with hyperuricemia risk.

Researchers note that further studies are needed to clarify whether coffee may affect uric acid levels.

Excess body fat may contribute to elevated uric acid levels. More weight may cause your kidneys to work less efficiently. It can also increase uric acid production and decrease the excretion of uric acid through urine.

If you suspect that weight may be contributing to high uric acid levels, be sure to speak with your doctor before starting a new weight loss or weight management plan.

They may refer you to a dietitian who can help you create a nutritious, well balanced eating plan. In addition, they may be able to recommend an exercise plan or suggest lifestyle changes to help support you.

Research from 2019 shows that hyperuricemia is linked to the development of diabetes and related complications. People with high blood sugar, such as those living with prediabetes or diabetes, are also at an increased risk of adverse effects of hyperuricemia. However, more research is needed to explore this link.

Be sure to have your doctor check your blood sugar levels at your next appointment, even if you do not have diabetes. They may also want to check your serum insulin level if they suspect you have insulin resistance.

Eating more fiber can help reduce uric acid levels. Fiber can also help balance your blood sugar and insulin levels. It tends to increase satiety, keeping you full for longer.

Most adults should aim for 22–34 grams of fiber in their diet through high fiber foods. Slowly increase your fiber intake to avoid digestive discomfort.

Research from 2021 has found that high vitamin C intake can help lower uric acid levels. However, more studies are needed to understand exactly how vitamin C affects uric acid levels.

The daily recommended intake of vitamin C is 75–120 milligrams (mg) for most adults, though upper daily limits max out at 2,000 mg.

You can also get more by eating foods high in vitamin C, especially fruits and vegetables. Over-the-counter vitamin C supplements are also available.

Research from 2019 has found that eating cherries and drinking cherry juice can help lower uric acid levels in people with gout. Follow-up studies are needed to determine the long-term effects of cherry intake on uric acid levels.

Cherries contain anthocyanins, an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory compound that gives them their red color. They’re also a good source of fiber and vitamin C.

Consider snacking on a handful of cherries or sipping some unsweetened tart cherry juice.

Some medications and supplements can cause uric acid to build up. These include:

If you take these and have hyperuricemia, work with your doctor to determine an alternative medication.

What is the fastest way to lower uric acid?

The quickest way to lower your uric acid levels is by taking prescription medications like colchicine, xanthine oxidase inhibitors, and probenecid (Probalan). As part of your gout treatment plan, a healthcare professional may also prescribe glucocorticoids to help reduce inflammation.

What foods reduce uric acid?

No specific foods lower uric acid. However, avoiding foods and beverages that are high in purine may help you naturally lower your levels. These may include alcohol, sugar, red meat, organ meats, fish, shellfish, and poultry. Some gout-friendly foods include vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

How do you flush uric acid out of your body?

You can take medications to help flush out uric acid crystals. The more urine you have, the better it will work. For this reason, it’s also important to drink a lot of water.

What is the best drink to lower uric acid?

Drinking at least eight glasses of water daily is best for helping your kidneys flush out uric acid.

Diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes can help improve gout and other health conditions caused by high uric acid levels. Still, they can’t always replace medical treatments.

Take all prescribed medications as directed by your doctor. The right combination of diet, exercise, and medications can help lower high uric acid levels and keep symptoms at bay.

It may seem as if there are a lot of foods to avoid to help lower uric acid levels. The best way to limit these foods is by making a weekly meal plan. Talk with a dietitian about the best diet plan for you.