Gout is no longer the disease of kings. With over 41 million adults affected worldwide1 (and over 8 million of them being in the United States alone),2 gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis nowadays.
Sadly, there’s no going back once you’re diagnosed with the disease. It can be managed with medication and a healthy lifestyle, but there’s no cure yet. So, today, we’ll find out if taking Vitamin C for gout can help manage symptoms and prevent painful flare-ups.
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What’s gout, and why is it so important to prevent an attack?
Gout is a condition where a person has too much of a chemical called uric acid in their body. Uric acid is a waste product of purines; these are organic compounds found in many foods like seafood, red meat, and alcohol.
Uric acid is normally excreted when you go to the toilet. However, buildup occurs when the kidneys aren’t working properly. Uric acid is sensitive to temperature; it transforms into crystals when it settles in body parts that get cold quickly. Often, this is the big toe, the body part farthest from the heart. But other joints like ankles and knees are also fair play for gout attacks!
These uric acid crystals are sharp and needlelike, so when they build up in the joints, they cause inflammation, swelling, and pain. To elucidate just how agonizing, excruciating, and debilitating gout is, about half of women who have given birth say a gout attack is more painful than childbirth!3 And since these crystals are in joints (aka the body part that makes movement possible), they basically render a person immobile during a flare-up.
From a gout patient’s perspective, preventing an attack is absolutely critical. Allopurinol, febuxostat, and other drugs that help control uric acid levels do help. Still, their side effects leave a lot to be desired. Possible side effects include fever, rashes, kidney problems, and reduced liver function.4
Is there any evidence that vitamin C is good for gout?
The key to gout management is to keep uric acid levels low. Fortunately, several studies point to vitamin C as a uric acid-regulating nutrient!
According to a 2005 study on 184 nonsmokers, a 500mg daily dose of vitamin C for 2 months significantly reduced the subjects’ uric acid levels.5
In 2008, Gao et al. published a study on 1,387 healthy men without hypertension and with BMI below 30. They concluded that higher vitamin C intake led to lower uric acid levels and helped prevent painful gout flare-ups in the subjects.6
In 2009, Choi et al. released their findings on their 20-year study that followed 46,994 men with no history of gout. From 1986 to 2006, 1,317 men developed the disease. By the end of the study, they determined that the men who took 1500mg or more lowered their risk of developing gout by up to 45%! This pattern was consistent across subgroups based on their BMI, alcohol use, and dairy intake.7
In 2011, Juraschek et al.’s meta-analysis of 13 studies also found that vitamin C supplementation significantly lowered serum uric acid. The total number of participants across all studies was 556. The median dose was 500mg/day, and the median duration was 30 days.8
Brzezinska et al.’s 2021 literature review of 38 published studies showed that higher levels of vitamin C in the blood can help break down purines. This then helps to lower uric acid levels. However, they recommend that more studies be done to conclusively say that vitamin C supplements can help prevent the development and recurrence of gout.9
Add vitamin C to your gout management action plan!
Now that you know of vitamin C’s incredible potential to prevent painful gout attacks, it’s essential to integrate it into your daily routine. Here’s how:
#1 – Eat vitamin C-rich foods
First is to get your daily dose of vitamin C from dietary sources. Citrus fruits, berries, and leafy greens are excellent sources. Check out this infographic of natural sources of vitamin C.
#2 – Take the best Liposomal Vitamin C supplement for gout
There’s certainly no shortage of vitamin C products to choose from. There’s regular ascorbic acid, which you can find in standalone vitamin C supplements and in many multivitamin formulations.
However, we highly recommend you take our Liposomal Vitamin C instead of ascorbic acid for gout management. Here’s why:
- Each capsule contains 500mg of bioavailable vitamin C.
- Ordinary vitamin C (aka ascorbic acid) is fragile and water-soluble. Our liposomal formulation adds extra protection to vitamin C molecules inside.
- Our Liposomal Vitamin C is far more stable than ascorbic acid.
- Unlike ascorbic acid, Liposomal Vitamin C protects your stomach from this nutrient’s natural acidity, thus reducing the risk of acid reflux, stomach upset, and other gastric disturbances.
Related article: When To Take Liposomal Vitamin C Supplements?
How much vitamin C should you take for gout?
The studies we have quoted above suggest a daily dose of 500mg may be enough to raise serum vitamin C and lower uric acid levels. However, Choi’s 20-year research suggests a higher 1,500 mg daily dose may be best to maintain healthy uric acid levels and reduce the risk of developing gout.
Either way, the tolerable upper intake of vitamin C is at 2,000mg per day for adults 19 years and older, so these suggested doses (500-1500mg) are well within the safe zone.10
Related article: Can You Overdose On Vitamin C?
#3 – Drink plenty of water
Remember to stay well-hydrated, as water helps flush out excess uric acid from your system. Drinking water greater than 1,920 ml in 24 hours can reduce recurrent gout attacks by up to 46%.11
Combining adequate hydration with our Liposomal Vitamin C can be a winning formula in managing gout.
#4 – Seek professional guidance
As mentioned above, gout is a disease with no cure in sight. While studies show that vitamin C may help reduce uric acid levels and even prevent gout, it’s still important to consult your doctor before making significant dietary changes or incorporating supplements, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or are taking medications.
Conclusion – Should you take vitamin C for gout?
In your battle against gout, don’t underestimate the potency of our Liposomal Vitamin C supplement. With its anti-inflammatory and uric acid-regulating benefits, this natural antioxidant is a game-changer in gout management!
- Danve, A., Sehra, S. T., & Neogi, T. (2021). Role of diet in hyperuricemia and gout. Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology, 35(4), 101723. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.berh.2021.101723 ↩︎
- “Quick Facts: Gout and Chronic Kidney Disease.” National Kidney Foundation, 10 Jan. 2018, www.kidney.org/atoz/content/gout/patient-facts. ↩︎
- “How Gout Hurts All of Us – Alliance for Gout Awareness.” Goutalliance.org, 10 July 2018, goutalliance.org/blog/how-gout-hurts-all-of-us/. ↩︎
- Mayo Clinic. “Gout – Diagnosis and Treatment – Mayo Clinic.” Mayoclinic.org, 16 Nov. 2022, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gout/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20372903. ↩︎
- Huang, Han-Yao, et al. “The Effects of Vitamin c Supplementation on Serum Concentrations of Uric Acid: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial.” Arthritis & Rheumatism, vol. 52, no. 6, 2005, pp. 1843–1847, https://doi.org/10.1002/art.21105. ↩︎
- Gao, Xiang, et al. “Vitamin c Intake and Serum Uric Acid Concentration in Men.” The Journal of Rheumatology, vol. 35, no. 9, 1 Sept. 2008, pp. 1853–1858, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18464304/. ↩︎
- Choi, Hyon K., et al. “Vitamin c Intake and the Risk of Gout in Men.” Archives of Internal Medicine, vol. 169, no. 5, 9 Mar. 2009, p. 502, https://doi.org/10.1001/archinternmed.2008.606. ↩︎
- Juraschek, Stephen P., et al. “Effect of Oral Vitamin c Supplementation on Serum Uric Acid: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.” Arthritis Care & Research, vol. 63, no. 9, 29 Aug. 2011, pp. 1295–1306, https://doi.org/10.1002/acr.20519. ↩︎
- Brzezińska, Olga, et al. “Role of Vitamin c in Prophylaxis and Treatment of Gout—a Literature Review.” Nutrients, vol. 13, no. 2, 1 Feb. 2021, p. 701, www.mdpi.com/1007310, https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020701. ↩︎
- Compounds, Institute of Medicine (US) Panel on Dietary Antioxidants and Related. Vitamin C. Www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, National Academies Press (US), 2000, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK225480. ↩︎
- Kakutani-Hatayama M, Kadoya M, Okazaki H, et al. Nonpharmacological Management of Gout and Hyperuricemia: Hints for Better Lifestyle. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. 2017;11(4):321-329. doi:10.1177/1559827615601973 ↩︎