Natural News is reporting on a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine that has found vitamin C may reduce the risk of gout in men. The study by researchers out of the Boston University School of Medicine looked at 47,000 male health care professionals over a 20-year period. Researchers found that men who took daily vitamin C supplements ranging from 1000mg to 1499mg were 34% less likely to have gout than men who took no supplement. Further, men who supplemented with 1500mg or greater of vitamin C had a 45% lower risk of contracting the disease versus those who took no supplement.
Gout is a form of arthritis that can be incredibly painful and debilitating. It is characterized by elevated levels of uric acid in the bloodstream, leading to the formation of monosodium urate crystals deposited in the tissues, cartilage and/or tendons, causing great pain. Gout is much more common in men, but women are also affected. Common risk factors include obesity, high alcohol consumption and an acidic, high-protein diet.
Lead researcher Hyon Choi is quoted as saying, “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.” Although it is not known by what mechanism vitamin C is able to prevent gout, researcher speculate that it may be attributable to the vitamin’s anti-inflammatory properties or its ability to reduce uric acid levels in the blood.
This study should not be used as a free license to eat and drink irresponsibly, however. According to Michael Snaith, member of the U.K. Gout Society “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.”