How to lower the risk of developing gout? Take extra vitamin c daily!
In a recent study published in the March 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, a publication owned by the American Medical Association, it was found that a higher intake of vitamin C from food or supplement help to lower the risk of developing gout.
Headed by lead researcher Dr. Hyon Choi, the recently concluded 20-year long research project conducted at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada and at the Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA studied nearly 47,000 men over the 20 year span from 1986 to 2006.
The researchers calculated that for every 500 mg increase in vitamin C intake, the risk for gout fell by 17%. This was based on the findings that compared with the subjects whose vitamin C intake was less than 250 mg per day, the risk of gout among those with a daily intake of 500 mg, 1000 mg and 1500 mg were lower by 17%, 34% and 45% respectively. That was irrespective of other gout factors such as diet or alcohol use.
Gout and Vitamin C
The research team concluded that given the general safety profile associated with vitamin C consumption, vitamin C may provide a useful option in the prevention of gout as vitamin C appeared to have the ability to lower the level of uric acid in the blood.
It is believed that vitamin C may affect the re-absorption of uric acid by the kidneys, and also increases the speed at which the kidneys work or protect against inflammation, hence helping to reduce the likelihood of gout developing.
Researchers of several other earlier studies have also come to similar conclusions on the effect of vitamin C in reducing uric acid levels. A USA study of 184 non-smokers, published in 2005, showed that a 500mg daily intake of vitamin C reduced blood uric acid level by an average of 10%. Another Taiwan study of males in the late 1990s concluded that vitamin C, folic acid and fibre were protective against gout.
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