Originally published April 26 2009
Vitamin C Prevents Gout
by David Gutierrez, staff writer
(NaturalNews) A high daily intake of vitamin C may reduce the risk of gout in men, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
In a 20-year study on 47,000 male health care professionals, researchers found that men who took a daily vitamin C supplement of 1,000 to 1,499 milligrams had a 34 percent lower risk of gout than men who did not take a vitamin supplement. Men who took a supplement of 1,500 milligrams or more per day had a 45 percent lower risk of the disease than men who did not take anything.
Gout is a form of arthritis caused by the deposition of uric acid or monosodium urate crystals in the joints. The disease, which can be intensely painful and debilitating, was much more common during the Victorian era, but rates have been increasing again over the past 30 years. Known risk factors are male sex, obesity, high alcohol consumption and unhealthy diet, particularly high meat consumption.
In the current study, the gout-preventing effect of vitamin C remained strong even after adjusting for these known risk factors.
"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," lead researcher Hyon Choi said.
The study could not determine precisely how vitamin C might affect gout risk, but the researchers speculated that a role might be played by the vitamin's ability to reduce blood levels of uric acid, and its anti-inflammatory properties.
Experts warned, however, that a healthy lifestyle is still most important in preventing 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," said Michael Snaith of the U.K. Gout Society.
Sources for this story include: news.bbc.co.uk.
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