Vitamin C or ascorbic acid does not significantly lower the levels of uric acid in patients with gout according to the latest study published in the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) journal, Arthritis & Rheumatism. During the past studies it was found that vitamin C is beneficial for gout patients.
Gout is an inflammatory disorder of the bones in which there is excessive deposition of uric acid crystals in the joints. It is estimated that almost 8.3 million persons in the US are suffering from gout, as cited by ACR.
Different drugs such as allopurinol, probenecid, are commonly prescribed by physicians for the treatment and management of gout
“While current treatments are successful in reducing the amount of uric acid in the blood, there are many patients who fail to reach appropriate urate levels and need additional therapies,” explains lead author, Prof. Lisa Stamp, from the University of Otago in Christchurch, New Zealand. “Vitamin supplementation is one such alternative therapy and the focus of our current study, which looked at the effects of vitamin C on urate levels in patients with gout.”
This study was conducted on gout patients having uric acid levels above the ACR treatment (6 mg/100 mL or 0.36 mmol/L). The enrolled patients were converted into two groups. In the first group having 20 patients who were already taking allopurinol, they were given vitamin C (500 mg/day). The second group who were not taking any antigout drug received vitamin C (500 mg/day).
The blood samples of all patients were analyzed to determine the levels of ascorbate and uric acid at the start and week eight. Their findings have suggested that there is no significant reduction in the levels of urate by using modest vitamin C dose but levels of ascorbate was enhanced. It was found during the previous studies that vitamin C has potential to minimize uralate levels in individuals without gout
“Though vitamin C may reduce risk of developing gout, our data does not support using vitamin C as a therapy to lower uric acid levels in patients with established gout,” concludes Prof. Stamp. “Further investigation of the urate lowering effects of a larger vitamin C dose in those with gout is warranted.”
Reference: Lisa K Stamp, John L O’Donnell, Christopher Frampton, Jill Drake, Mei Zhang and Peter T Chapman.”Clinically insignificant effect of supplemental vitamin C on serum urate in patients with gout; a pilot randomised controlled trial. Arthritis & Rheumatism; Published Online: May 16, 2013 (DOI: 10.1002/art.37925).