Gout is a type of arthritis that usually affects the large joint of the big toe and occasionally the ankles, knees, wrists and hands. It occurs due to accumulation of urate crystals in the joints. People with elevated uric acid level are susceptible to gout. Men, regardless of age, and postmenopausal women are most vulnerable to gout attacks.
Gout can be prevented naturally through dietary changes. Decreasing consumption of foods containing large amounts of purines that are metabolized into uric acid can protect you from gout. According to studies, supplementation with certain vitamins can minimize the risk of gout.
Preventing Gout with Vitamin C
The findings of a Boston University School of Medicine research suggest that supplementation with vitamin C reduces the incidence and severity of gout attack. Vitamin C works by stimulating the kidneys to excrete uric acid, thereby diminishing the risk of accumulation of urate crystals in the joints.
Dosage of Vitamin C
The recommended optimal daily dosage of vitamin C is 90 mg per day for adult men and 75 mg per day for adult women. However, higher doses of vitamin C are needed for preventing gout. Researches have revealed that taking 1000 to 1499 mg of vitamin C per day reduced the risk of gout by almost 34 percent, whereas people who took 1500 mg of vitamin C each day experienced 45 percent reduction in gout risk.
Although the maximum tolerable dosage of vitamin C is 2000 mg per day, mega doses may cause diarrhea and may even elevate the uric acid level. To avert side effects of supplementation with higher doses of vitamin C, health experts recommend consuming 500 to 1000 mg of vitamin C to prevent gout. However, making necessary modification in diet and lifestyle is a prerequisite for realizing the benefits of vitamin C supplements.
Dietary Sources of Vitamin C
Vitamin C supplements should not replace dietary sources of vitamins. Supplementation with vitamin C should complement a healthy vitamin C rich diet. Vitamin C is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables. Orange, lime, lemon, bell pepper, papaya, berries, grapefruit, pineapple, tomato, broccoli, cabbage and leafy green vegetables are common dietary sources of vitamin C.
Gout Prevention with Vitamin D
The exact association between gout and vitamin D is unclear. However, studies suggest that elevated uric acid level is usually associated with low levels of vitamin D3 in the blood.
Although the role of vitamin D in preventing gout is unknown, maintaining normal vitamin D level is believed to reduce the risk of inflammatory conditions including gout.
Vitamin B Complex
The eight B vitamins are essential for preventing gout attack. These vitamins are essential for maintaining the normal metabolism process and different chemical reactions. They play an important role in lowering the uric acid level in the blood. By breaking down uric acid into harmless components, they diminish the risk of gout attack. However, gout patients should avoid large doses of vitamin B3 or niacin, which tend to aggravate gout pain. A balanced diet can easily meet your daily requirement of B vitamins.