Fight Gout With This Popular Vitamin
The connection between gout and Vitamin C has been the subject of a few studies over the past 30 years. You may have read in the news about a recent New Zealand study about Vitamin C and gout. The study claims that taking vitamin C supplements daily doesn’t lower uric acid levels as much as drugs do. This is a study that only evaluated 40 people for about 8 weeks! Is this study supposed to debunk the other 20 year study of nearly 47,000 men (done between 1986 and 2006) taking vitamin C supplements which showed to decrease uric acid levels and ease inflammation of gout sufferers? Hmm…I wonder if Big Pharma had anything to do with this study getting so much publicity? Gotta push that Colchicine and Allopurinol, we got the quarterly report coming up and we must boost sales and profit!
In the same study from the Boston University School of Medicine, 1317 men, developed gout during this 20 year period. The study claims that those who took 1,000mg to 1,499mg per day had a 34% lower risk of gout and those who took 1,500mg per day had a 45% lower risk. Note that this was irrespective of other gout risk factors such as diet and alcohol use.
The lowdown on the latest vitamin C study and gout.
Going back to our original study that came out a couple months ago, the researchers split 2 groups of 20 people with gout, the first group was already taking allopurinol and the second group were not. The first group was told to either increase their dose of the medicine or also take 500 milligrams of vitamin C supplements every day. The second group who were not already taking medication were either started on allopurinol or told to take a 500mg vitamin C supplement every day.
At the beginning of the 8 week study, the levels of uric acid levels in the patients’ blood was 9 mg per decilitre on average. The researchers said a healthy uric acid level falls below 6.5 mg per decilitre. In both cases, patients who started taking vitamin C, with or without allopurinol, did not see a significant decrease in uric acid levels. There was, however, a significant decrease in the uric acid levels of the patients who started on allopurinol, about 3 mg per decilitre and in those who were on the drug but increased their doses, about 1.6 milligrams per decilitre decrease, the study claimed.
At the end the researchers concluded that vitamin C had no effect but this was quickly dismissed by Dr. Tim Bongartz, a rheumatologist from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who basically said that it’s difficult to make any firm conclusions from the new study, because it would take about 200 participants in each group to see a difference. He also added that even if the study could reproduce the results of past studies of people without gout, it probably wouldn’t bring people’s uric acid levels below the threshold of 6.5 milligrams per decilitre and it doesn’t mean medication is the only answer.
Dr. Bongartz went on to say that there are other measures that can help gout sufferers drop their uric acid levels and the most important one being for obese individuals to lose weight. At the end fellow gout sufferer, it is you that must discern, properly breaking down the evidence and make your own decision on what to believe is fact or fiction from the information provided here. Don’t take my word for any of the information and recommendations provided by myself on this website, do your own homework and make your own conclusions from the information you process.
What are the benefits of vitamin C?
Now let’s take a closer look at vitamin C, it has many health benefits which may include boosting your immune system, may help us detoxify, may protect against cardiovascular disease, may help with good bacteria in the gut, eye disease, may help remove heavy metals from our bodies and many other benefits. Try to include it in your diet from fresh raw foods like oranges, cantaloupe, broccoli, red peppers, chili peppers, rose hips, parsley, kiwi fruit but make sure all of that stuff is organic! I personally take a supplement of vitamin C daily of 500mg and have been for years now, I buy the big bottle from Costco’s brand Kirkland, lasts me for 500 days!
Remember vitamin C is an essential nutrient for humans and certain other animal species. Remember, that vitamins and drugs operate in 2 different ways in order to reduce uric acid levels. Drugs like allopurinol restricts its’ supply by inhibiting purine breakdown into uric acid and vitamins like vitamin C may improve uric acid excretion in the urine. Improving excretion may be more important for you than lowering production.
Can You Take Too Much Vitamin C?
Yes, there is a limit to taking vitamin C. For children, it’s 500mg, for kids between 9 and 13, it’s 1,200mg. For teens, it’s 1,800mg. And for adults, it’s 2,000mg. Try to not go above this amount and you should be fine.
Vitamin C has a low risk for toxicity but taking too much of it can lead to some mild side effects. This includes cramps, nausea, and diarrhea. If you experience any of these symptoms, cut back on your dosage.
Also, people with hemochromatosis should watch their vitamin C intake.Hemochromatosis is when the body retains too much iron. Taking too much vitamin C will raise the body’s absorption for non-heme iron.
The best way to really benefit from vitamin C is by eating vitamin C rich foods. Supplements are great but they are not easily stored in the body. This means that any excess gets excreted through your urine. Before going the supplement route, start with your diet first and see if you can add more vitamin C-rich foods into your meals.
Ways to Get More Vitamin C into Your Diet
Aside from the obvious lemons and oranges, you can also eat more of these foods to increase the vitamin C in your diet.
- Eat acerola cherries
Half a cup of acerola cherries has 822 mg of vitamin C, which is 900% of the daily recommended amount! Try to get a few of these in your snacks and you should have more than enough vitamin C that you need.
- Spice up your meals with chili peppers
If you’re into hot food, great –more vitamin C for you. By adding just one green chili pepper into your dish, you are already consuming 109 mg of vitamin C. In addition, chili peppers contain capsaicin which helps reduce pain and inflammation.
- Sweeten up with yellow peppers
If hot peppers are not for you, don’t worry since there’s another kind of pepper that is just as rich in vitamin C and that is the yellow bell pepper. Just half a cup of it already contains 137 mg of vitamin C. The best part is that the vitamin C content of this pepper increases as it matures!
- Sprinkle with thyme
Thyme is another ingredient that can really boost the vitamin C content of your dishes. A tablespoon of thyme can already have as much as 3.5mg of vitamin C!
- Add parsley
Another herb that is vitamin C rich is parsley. Two tablespoons of it already contains 11% of the daily recommended value. What’s great about parsley is that it’s a plant-based, non-heme iron which means that it can work well together with the vitamin C content for the body to absorb it more efficiently.
- Try kale
A cup of raw kale already contains 80mg of vitamin C. Aside from that, kale is also rich in vitamin K and quercetin. Vitamin K helps with blood clotting and keeps the bones healthy. Meanwhile, quercetin is a powerful antioxidant which reduces inflammation, blood pressure, and blood sugar
I’m not saying Vitamin C is a cure-all for gout but when combined with other vitamins for gout, a low purine diet and the other natural remedies for gout described elsewhere on this website, it could be very useful, my fellow gout sufferer. If you do take vitamin C, make sure to drink plenty of water and check your urine pH regularly to avoid excess acidity or you can take an Ester-C version of Vitamin C, because it is non-acidic.
What has your experience been like consuming vitamin C for gout? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Posted by Spiro Koulouris