Recently, someone I know called me up complaining of excruciating pain in their toe. It hurt so much he couldn't even wear socks. Instantly I suspected a case of the gout. I also knew he had just been to a wedding and no doubt had taken advantage of the open bar.
I told him the standard protocol with gout is to avoid alcohol and meat. I think he would have rather cut the toe off. The next question was, "Is coffee ok?" I don't what he would have done if I had said "no" but thankfully the answer was "yes."
In fact, coffee consumption has been shown to be beneficial in preventing gout. In a study of over 14,000 men, Dr. Choi and colleagues, at the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada, found that increasing coffee intake was associated with decreased incidence of gout. Drinking one cup of coffee reduces the risk of gout by almost 10% and risk reduction increases with more coffee. Drinking 6 or more cups a day can reduce the risk of gout by as much as 60%. Now, if you don't want to be caffeinated to the brim, they also found that decaf works about the same. In fact, the caffeine was found to have no effect on gout.
citation link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17530645
Scott Figueroa and Holly Letourneau are naturopathic doctors and co-founders of Hart & Sol Integrative Healthcare.