Vitamin C and Gout – What to Know

If you want to be cured from gout, it will be required for your uric acid levels to decrease.

Vitamins can work in two ways to reduce uric acid levels. The first way is to restrict its supply by inhibiting purine breakdown into uric acid.

The other way is improving the breakdown of uric acid into the urine.

Vitamin has been heavily promoted as a preventive for health issues ranging from various cancers to the common cold.

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Large amounts of research suggest that Vitamin C can protect you from gout attacks, but results of some studies on Vitamin C and gout are mixed.

Positive Links Between Vitamin C and Gout

Hyon K. Choi, MD, of the Boston University School of Medicine, helped conduct several metabolic studies over a 20-year period from 1986 to 2006 to test the effectiveness of Vitamin C intake in subjects.

In these studies 47,000 men were examined, and 1,317 of them developed gout. However, the risk was not shared equally.

The risk of gout would fall by 17% for every 500 milligram increase in Vitamin C intake.

That risk fell by 45% when participants took more than 1,500 milligrams of Vitamin C per day.

The Multivariate Relative Risk rate steadily decreased in men the higher their Vitamin C intake was.

Men who took only 250 to 499 milligrams per day had a high rate of 0.97. In comparison those who consumed more than 1,500 milligrams of Vitamin C per day had a rate as low as 0.55.

“Given the general safety profile associated with vitamin C intake, particularly in the generally consumed ranges as in the present study, vitamin C intake may provide a useful option in the prevention of gout”, Dr. Choi said.

One of the many studies Choi ran included 1,387 men without hypertension.

This study examined associations between vitamin C intake and serum uric acid.

The end result was that greater intakes of Vitamin C were significantly associated with lower serum uric acid concentrations.

Participants who consumed more Vitamin C were more likely to have lower Body Mass Indexes, a lower intake of meat and coffee, a higher intake of fructose, alcohol and seafood, more likely to use aspirin, and less likely to be smokers.

The effects of Vitamin C supplementation on serum concentrations of uric acid were tested in 2005 by researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The objective was to determine how effective the reductions in serum uric acid levels were.

Study participants were non-smokers, randomized to either take placebo or Vitamin C supplements for 2 months.

Results showed that uric acid levels were significantly reduced in the group that took Vitamin C, whereas there was no change in the placebo group.

A 2011 meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials found that uric acid levels were significantly reduced by Vitamin C.

A total of 556 participants were involved in these trials, with the median dosage of Vitamin C being 500 milligrams per day, and the trial size ranged from 8 to 184 participants.

For this duration of 30 days participants were found to be quite heterogeneous, ranging from healthy adults to several inpatient populations diagnosed with stroke, Graves’ disease, or in long‐term care.

United Kingdom gout experts say taking 1,000 milligrams or less of vitamin C supplements every day is unlikely to cause any harm.

Gastrointestinal effects such as diarrhea have been reported with doses over 1000 mg/day.

Rheumatologist Dr. Michael Snaith of the United Kingdom Gout Society says that “Vitamin C may reduce the frequency of attacks and provide a degree of protection. But that does not mean to say that taking whacking great amounts of vitamin C is going to eliminate gout. It would be unwise for people to think they can compensate for eating and drinking too much by taking vitamin C with their pint of beer.” 

Along with Vitamin E, it has been confirmed that Vitamin C is safe for the general population to consume.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition notes that Vitamin C supplies antioxidant and other functions for homeostasis and protection against free radical damage.

Numerous studies of Vitamin C supplementation have provided no pattern of evidence to support concerns about the nutrient’s safety aside from upset stomach or diarrhea resulting from the osmotic effects of unabsorbed quantities of Vitamin C.

Recommended Amount of Vitamin C

According to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C to consume is 90 milligrams for men and 75 milligrams for women.

If you happen to be a smoker you should add 35 more milligrams to calculate your total daily recommended amount.

People who get little to no Vitamin C, at least below 10 milligrams per day, for many weeks can get scurvy.

Scurvy leads to fatigue, inflammation of the gums, joint pain, and anemia, among other ailments. If it is not treated scurvy can be fatal.

Sources of Vitamin C

There are many healthy foods that are great sources of Vitamin C, and you can find these sources in both fruits and vegetables.

A single kiwifruit that weighs 69 grams provides 64 milligrams of Vitamin C, which represents 71-85% of an adult’s daily Vitamin C requirement.

An average orange weighs around 4.5 ounces and contains around 70 milligrams of Vitamin C.

A cup of raspberries contains 32 milligrams of Vitamin C, which is 43% of the daily recommended intake for women, and 36% for men.

A serving size of 1 cup of grapes amounts to 151 grams, and grapes contain 4.8 milligrams of Vitamin C.

Other recommended fruit sources of Vitamin C include pineapples, cherries, and apples.

When it comes to vegetables, broccoli is a great promoter of Vitamin C as one cup of chopped broccoli contains 81 milligrams.

Brussels sprouts are also rich in Vitamin C, containing 56.5 milligrams, providing an 83.11% of daily intake for males and 99.73% for females.

Raw cabbage can add some Vitamin C to your daily intake, but cooked cabbage adds even more.

On cup of raw cabbage contains 30 milligrams of Vitamin C while one cup of raw cabbage contains 60 milligrams.

Cauliflower contains 46.4 milligrams of Vitamin C, 77% of the recommended daily intake.

Conflicting Reports

While there is plenty of research to support the case of Vitamin C helping you fight gout attacks, some studies have reported otherwise.

In 2013, the American College of Rheumatology tested 40 gout patients who had urate levels higher than the treatment target level.

20 of these patients that were already on allopurinol were given an additional 500 milligram dose of Vitamin C daily or had their allopurinol doses increased.

The study revealed that taking Vitamin C daily for 8 weeks did not lower urate levels to a clinically significant degree in gout patients.

People with kidney disease should first consult with their doctor before taking Vitamin C supplements.

Vitamin C increases the absorption of some types of iron from foods, so you shouldn’t be taking Vitamin C supplements if you have hemochromatosis.

Along with diarrhea, an upset stomach, gas buildup, or interference with the absorption of Vitamin B12 can result from Vitamin C doses that are over 2,000 milligrams.


The many studies may vary, but one can arrive at the conclusion that Vitamin C gives the body enough support if a gout attack were to occur.

Aside from being helpful in treating the flu or the common cold, Vitamin C plays a significant role in people reducing their risk of suffering a gout attack.

This nutrient should be held in high regard alongside Vitamin D when creating your own custom diet.

When taken in moderation it becomes easier for people to implement doses of Vitamin C into their diets.

As it is the case with all vitamins, there has to be a fair and steady balance of Vitamin C consumption per day, depending on your body’s needs.

In general Vitamin C intake is independently associated with a lower risk of gout, and consuming Vitamin C supplements may be beneficial in preventing gout attacks.

It is worthwhile to study the links between Vitamin C and gout.


1.Choi, H.K., Gao., X., Curhan, G. March 9, 2009. Vitamin C Intake and the Risk of Gout in Men – A Prospective Study. British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, and Boston, MA, USA.

2.Gao., X., Curhan, G., Forman, J.P., Ascherio, A., and Choi, H.K. May 1, 2008. Vitamin C Intake and Serum Uric Acid Concentration in Men. Boston, MA, USA.

3.Huang, H.Y., Appel, L.J., Choi, M.J., Gelber, A.C., Charleston, J., Norkus, E.P, and Miller III, E.R. June 2005. The effects of vitamin C supplementation on serum concentrations of uric acid: results of a randomized controlled trial. Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.

4.Juraschek, S.P., Gelber, A.C., and Miller III, E.R. June 2011. Effect of oral vitamin C supplementation on serum uric acid: A meta‐analysis of randomized controlled trials. Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.

5.Hathcock, J.N., Azzi, A., Blumberg, J., Bray, T., Dickinson, A., Frei, B., Jialal, I., Johnston, C.S., Kelly, F.J., Kraemer, K., Packer, L., Parthasarathy, S., Sies, H., and Traber, M.G. April 2005. Vitamins E and C are safe across a broad range of intakes. Washington, D.C.,USA.

6.Stamp, L.K. , O’Donnell, J.L., Frampton, C., Drake J.M., Zhang, M., and Chapman P.T. June 6, 2003. Atlanta, GA 30319, USA.

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