Although previous studies touted the benefits of vitamin C in alleviating the risk of gout, the new study showed that vitamin C also known as L-Ascorbic acid, could not reduce the level of uric acid (uric acid) to a clinically significant extent in existing gout patients. According to the research results published in the journal Arthritis and rheumatology of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), vitamin C supplements, alone or in combination with allopurinol, seem to have little effect on reducing the uric acid level of gout patients.

Gout is an inflammatory arthritis, which causes severe pain and swelling due to uric acid crystals in the joint. The ACR report estimates that more than 8.3 million Americans suffer from gout. Medical evidence indicates that long-term gout treatment requires drugs that inhibit uric acid production (allopurinol) or increase uric acid excretion (alanine) through the kidney to reduce uric acid levels.

"Although the current treatment method can successfully reduce the uric acid content in the blood, there are still many patients who can not reach the appropriate uric acid level and need additional treatment," explained Professor Lisa stamp of the University of chiotago in Christchurch, New Zealand, the lead author of the study. "Vitamin supplementation is an alternative therapy, which is also the focus of our current research. What we study is the effect of L-Ascorbic acid on the uric acid level of gout patients."

The research team recruited gout patients whose uric acid level was 0.36 mmol / L (6 mg / 100 ml) higher than the ACR treatment target level. Among the 40 participants with gout, 20 patients who had already taken allopurinol were given an additional dose of 500 mg of vitamin C or an increased dose of allopurinol every day, while another 20 patients who had not yet taken allopurinol started taking allopurinol or vitamin C (500 mg / day). The researchers analyzed the levels of vitamin C (ascorbate), creatinine and uric acid in the blood at baseline and at week 8.

The results showed that taking proper amount of vitamin C for 8 weeks did not reduce the uric acid level to a clinically significant level, but did increase L-Ascorbic acid in gout patients. This result is different from the previous study, which found that vitamin C reduced the uric acid level of healthy people without gout but with high uric acid level (hyperuricemia). In fact, stamp et al. Found that gout patients taking vitamin C had significantly lower uric acid reduction compared with those who started or increased allopurinol dose.

"Although vitamin C can reduce the risk of gout, our data do not support the use of vitamin C as a treatment to reduce the uric acid level of patients with confirmed gout," Professor stamp concluded. "It is necessary to further study the effect of taking higher doses of vitamin C to reduce urate in gout patients."

In the United States, may is the arthritis publicity month, and October 12, 2013 is designated as the world arthritis day.