A large, long-term study links higher vitamin C intake with a lower risk of gout.

Investigators examined the relation between vitamin C intake through food and supplements and gout risk in 46,994 men taking part in the ongoing Health Professionals Follow-up Study. None of the men had a history of gout at baseline.

During the 20 years of follow-up, 1,317 confirmed cases of gout occurred, with the risk much higher in men consuming <250 mg of vitamin C per day. Gout risk in men taking in >1,500 mg per day of the nutrient was up to 45% lower (relative risk: 0.55). Men between those two extremes also benefited, with fewer gout cases observed among the 500-999 mg per day group (relative risk: 83) and the 1,000-1,499 mg per day group (relative risk: 0.66).

“The present study provides the first prospective evidence about the inverse association between vitamin C intake and risk of gout,” wrote the authors, also noting that increasing vitamin C intake may help prevent gout (Arch Intern Med. 2009;169:502-507).

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