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Vitamin C decreases risk of gout in men.

Choi HK, Gao X, Curhan G. 2009. Vitamin C intake and the risk of gout in men: A prospective study. Arch Int Med 169:5;502-07.

There have been several studies showing that higher vitamin C intake significantly reduces serum uric acid levels, yet the relation with risk of gout is unknown and no study has provided evidence of an inverse association between vitamin C intake and risk of gout.

The researchers in this study prospectively examined (from 1986 to 2006) the relation between vitamin C intake (from both diet and supplements) and risk of incident gout in 46 994 male participants with no history of gout at baseline. Vitamin C intake was assessed every 4 years through validated questionnaires.

During the 20 years of follow up they documented 1317 confirmed incident cases of gout. Compared with men with a vitamin C intake of less than 250 mg/d, the risk of gout decreased by 17% for those with total vitamin C intake of 500-999 mg/d, by 34% for those with an intake of 1000-1499 mg/d, and by 45% for those with an intake of 1500 mg/d or greater.

The researchers concluded that higher vitamin C intake is independently associated with a lower risk of gout and suggested that supplemental vitamin C intake may be beneficial in the prevention of gout.

Commenting on how the vitamin may be protecting against gout, the researchers noted that vitamin C may reduce levels of uric acid in the blood thereby preventing the formation of the urate crystal. This may be achieved by vitamin C having an effect on the reabsorption of uric acid by the kidneys. This would increase the speed at which the kidneys work or protect against inflammation, all of which may reduce the risk of developing gout.

Kim Hunter
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Article Details
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Author:Hunter, Kim
Publication:Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism
Article Type:Report
Date:Jun 22, 2009
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