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Health Condition

Gout

  • Vitamin C

    Supplementing with vitamin C might reduce the risk of gout attacks, as it appears to help reduce uric acid levels.

    Dose:

    0.5 to 8 grams daily
    Vitamin C
    ×
     

    In one small study, people who took 4 grams of vitamin C (but not lower amounts) had an increase in urinary excretion of uric acid within a few hours, and those who took 8 grams of vitamin C per day for several days had a reduction in serum uric acid levels.1 Thus, supplemental vitamin C could, in theory, reduce the risk of gout attacks. However, the authors of this study warned that taking large amounts of vitamin C could also trigger an acute attack of gout by abruptly changing uric acid levels in the body. Another study showed that taking lower amounts of vitamin C (500 mg per day) for two months significantly reduced blood levels of uric acid, especially in people whose initial uric acid levels were elevated.2 For people with a history of gout attacks, it seems reasonable to begin vitamin C supplementation at 500 mg per day, and to increase the amount gradually if uric acid levels do not decrease.

  • Quercetin

    In test tube studies, quercetin, a flavonoid, has inhibited an enzyme involved in the development of gout.

    Dose:

    Refer to label instructions
    Quercetin
    ×

    In test tube studies, quercetin, a flavonoid, has inhibited an enzyme involved in the production of uric acid in the body.3 In a double-blind trial, supplementation with 500 mg of quercetin once a day for 4 weeks significantly decreased blood levels of uric acid by an average of 8% in men with uric acid levels in the high-normal range.4 Decreasing uric acid levels may help prevent gout attacks.

What Are Star Ratings
×
Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

References

1. Stein HB, Hasan A, Fox IH. Ascorbic acid-induced uricosuria: a consequence of megavitamin therapy. Ann Intern Med 1976;84:385-8.

2. Huang HY, Appel LJ, Choi MJ, et al. The effects of vitamin C supplementation on serum concentrations of uric acid: results of a randomized controlled trial. Arthritis Rheum 2005;52:1843-7.

3. Bindoli A, Valente M, Cavallini L. Inhibitory action of quercetin on xanthine oxidase and xanthine dehydrogenase activity. Pharmacol Res Commun 1985;17:831-9.

4. Shi Y, Williamson G. Quercetin lowers plasma uric acid in pre-hyperuricaemic males: a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial. Br J Nutr 2016;115:800–6.

5. Blau LW. Cherry diet control for gout and arthritis. Tex Rep Biol Med 1950;8:309-11.

6. Kelley DS, Rasooly R, Jacob RA, et al. Consumption of Bing sweet cherries lowers circulating concentrations of inflammation markers in healthy men and women. J Nutr 2006;136:981-6.

7. Ralston SH, Capell HA, Sturrock RD. Alcohol and response to treatment of gout. BMJ 1988;296:1641-2.

8. Scott JT. Alcohol and gout. BMJ 1989;298:1054.

9. Choi HK, Curhan G. Soft drinks, fructose consumption, and the risk of gout in men: prospective cohort study. BMJ 2008;336:309-12.

10. Loenen H, Eshuis H, Lowik M, et al. Serum uric acid correlates in elderly men and women with special reference to body composition and dietary intake (Dutch Nutrition Surveillance System). J Clin Epidemiol 1990;43:1297-303.

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2019.