Can Vitamin C Prevent Gout?

Gout is a type of painful arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals in one or more joints, most often the big toe. A growing body of research suggests that vitamin C can reduce the amount of uric acid in the blood, which may prevent the condition.

This article explores the research on what is known about vitamin C and gout.

Man with gout pain

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Vitamin C and Gout

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant essential for collagen production, iron absorption, and wound healing. Over the years, vitamin C has been a cure-all for numerous ailments. 

Several studies have suggested that vitamin C may reduce uric acid in the blood and protect against gout. Uric acid is a waste product created when the body breaks down chemicals called purines. Too much uric acid in the blood, also known as hyperuricemia, can lead to the formation of uric acid crystals, which causes gout.

One study found the more vitamin C men took, the less likely they were to develop gout. Researchers studied 46,994 men for 20 years. At the end of the study, 1,317 developed gout. Participants who took more than 1,500 milligrams of vitamin C per day had a 45% lower risk of developing gout than those who consumed less than 250 milligrams per day.

In another study, researchers found a strong link between vitamin C supplementation and a decrease in serum uric acid levels. However, the review concluded that there is not enough evidence at this time to regularly recommend vitamin C for the prevention or treatment of gout.

How to Increase Vitamin C

The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C for adults over 19 is 90 milligrams for men and 75 milligrams for women. Individuals who smoke or who are pregnant or breastfeeding need slightly more.

Most people who eat a healthy diet rich in produce can meet their daily vitamin C needs. For example, one navel orange delivers 82.7 milligrams of vitamin C, which meets a female's daily requirements.

The vitamin C content of food may be reduced during cooking and when it is left in storage for long periods. The best way to increase your vitamin C intake is by incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet.

Alternatively, you can also take a high-quality vitamin C supplement if you find it difficult to meet your vitamin C needs through diet alone.

Dietary Sources of Vitamin C

The best dietary sources of vitamin C include:

  • Citrus fruits (oranges, lemon, grapefruit, kiwi fruit)
  • Strawberries, raspberries
  • Bell peppers, cauliflower
  • Cantaloupe, papaya, pineapple, watermelon
  • Broccoli, brussels sprouts, leafy greens
  • Tomatoes and tomato juice

Diet and Gout

People with gout should make changes to your diet to help reduce uric acid levels and gout flares. Dietary modifications for gout include avoiding or limiting:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Drinks with high-fructose corn syrup
  • Red meat and organ meats (liver, tongue, kidney)
  • Seafood (shellfish, lobster, sardines, anchovies)

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan can help reduce blood pressure and uric acid levels. The DASH diet focuses on the following:

  • Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Consuming low-fat and fat-free dairy products, poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetable oils
  • Limiting foods high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats and tropical oils (coconut and palm oil)
  • Reducing intake of sugary foods and beverages

Preventing Gout

Research is still ongoing to determine what causes gout. However, certain factors may play a role in the development of gout, including:

  • Family history
  • Older age
  • Consume purine-rich foods
  • Alcohol use
  • Being male
  • Soda and other beverages with high fructose corn syrup
  • High uric acid levels
  • Kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Being overweight
  • Certain medications such as diuretics, low-dose aspirin, large amounts of niacin, and cyclosporine (an immunosuppressant for organ transplant recipients)

Although some of these risk factors are non-modifiable, others related to diet and lifestyle can be changed to reduce your risk of gout.

Researchers suggest eating a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, exercising, stopping smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight to prevent gout.


Vitamin C is essential for the many functions of the body. Current research suggests that a diet rich in vitamin C can potentially prevent gout. However, additional studies are needed before it can be routinely recommended.

The best way to prevent gout is by maintaining a healthy weight, eating a well-balanced diet, avoiding smoking, and getting enough exercise. Consult your healthcare provider before starting any supplements or making significant changes to your diet.

A Word From Verywell

If you have a family history of gout, it's understandable to want to do everything in your power to prevent it. While unmodifiable factors like genetics and gender play a role in developing the condition, adopting and maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle is the best way to reduce your risk.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does vitamin C dissolve uric acid?

    It is believed that vitamin C can lower serum uric acid concentrations by increasing urinary excretion of uric acid.

  • How much vitamin C should I take each day for gout?

    Available research shows that 500 milligrams of vitamin C per day may be beneficial for the prevention of gout.

  • How can I flush uric acid naturally?

    The best way to naturally lower uric acid levels in your body is by eating a low-purine diet, avoiding sugary food and beverages, limiting alcohol, and maintaining a healthy weight.

  • Can too much vitamin C be harmful?

    Adults should not consume more than 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C. Consuming too much vitamin C can lead to nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Additionally, people with hemochromatosis, a condition in which too much iron builds up in the body, should not take vitamin C supplements.

7 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Choi HK, Gao X, Curhan G. Vitamin C intake and the risk of gout in men: A prospective studyArch Intern Med. 2009;169(5):502-507. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2008.606

  2. Brzezińska O, Styrzyński F, Makowska J, Walczak K. Role of vitamin c in prophylaxis and treatment of gout—a literature review. Nutrients. 2021;13(2):701. doi:

  3. National Institutes of Health. Office of dietary supplements - vitamin c.

  4. USDA. Navel orange.

  5. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Gout: Diagnosis, treatment, and steps to take.

  6. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. DASH eating plan.

  7. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Gout.

By Lindsey DeSoto, RD, LD
Lindsey Desoto is a registered dietitian with experience working with clients to improve their diet for health-related reasons. She enjoys staying up to date on the latest research and translating nutrition science into practical eating advice to help others live healthier lives.