Get More Vitamin C to Lower Gout Risk

If you want to avoid gout (and who doesn't?), look for ways to increase your intake of Vitamin C. One study of nearly 47,000 men found that for every 500 mg daily increase of vitamin C consumption, the risk of gout declined by 17 percent. Men who took more than 1,500 milligrams of C each day had a 45 percent lower risk of having gout than men who never managed to get the vitamin into their diets.

What exactly is gout? It's a common and particularly painful form of arthritis. The condition typically affects men, and it can be chronic or come on suddenly as an acute episode. The acute form of gout often attacks one joint, while the chronic form can cause pain in multiple joints. The pain occurs because gout sufferers have too much uric acid in their bodies, which can be a result of the body's own overproduction or an inability to get rid of the uric acid resulting from foods and certain medications. The excess uric acid forms into crystals, which cause swelling and inflammation in the joint. The study's authors believe that Vitamin C aids the kidneys in reabsorbing uric acid, reducing the formation of crystals and the painful symptoms of gout.

Vitamin C is found in many foods, particularly colorful fruits and vegetables. Papaya is uncommonly rich in the vitamin, as is red bell pepper. Also topping the list of C-loaded foods are steamed broccoli, boiled brussels sprouts, strawberries, oranges, cantaloupe, kiwi, boiled cauliflower, and boiled kale. Feeling adventurous? Top your dinner salad with at least two fruits and veggies you've never tried before, and add a little olive oil and vinegar dressing for maximum nutrient absorption. If you're not a fan of salad, simply have the broccoli or brussels sprouts as a side dish and make a pretty fruit parfait for dessert. Papaya isn't as easy to find as apples or oranges, but many markets have them. Lots of other produce contains Vitamin C, too, although in lesser amounts. Try pineapple, blueberries, green peas, winter squash, and raspberries for a quick C fix.

Since it can be difficult to consume 1,500 milligrams of Vitamin C from food alone, experts encourage people to take daily supplements. This is especially important if you're not a fruit-and-vegetable lover. But since overdoing Vitamin C carries its own risks, talk to your doctor or healthcare practitioner about the dose that's right for you.



Arthritis Foundation,;
National Institutes of Health,
George Mateljan Foundation,