Can Vitamin C Lower Your Risk of Developing Arthritis?

Just in case you needed one more reason to take your vitamin C supplement tomorrow morning, I came across this study that links high vitamin C intake levels with lower arthritis risk. The study was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine and found that consuming more vitamin C may help reduce the risk of developing gout (a painful form of arthritis). The analysis was based on a study of almost 47,000 men who regularly consumed vitamin C between 1986 and 2006.

The study found that for every 500 mg increase in vitamin C intake, the risk for gout fell 17%. More than 1,300 of the research subjects developed gout. Compared with those whose vitamin C intake through food and supplements was less than 250 milligrams a day, the risk for gout was 17% lower among men with a daily intake of 500 to 999 milligrams, 34% lower for those who took in 1,000 to 1,499 milligrams, and 45% lower with a daily intake of 1,500 milligrams or more. Vitamin C appears to reduce levels of uric acid in the blood, according to Dr. Hyon Choi, lead author of the report. If untreated, the compound can form crystal deposits around joints, leading to the symptoms associated with gout.

“Given the general safety profile associated with vitamin C intake, particularly in the generally consumed ranges as in the present study (e.g., tolerable upper intake level of vitamin C of less than 2,000 milligrams in adults according to the Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine), vitamin C intake may provide a useful option in the prevention of gout,” Choi concluded.

U.S. consumer sales of vitamin C increased 2.3% to $884 million in 2007, according to NBJ estimates. NBJ forecasted vitamin C sales growing another 3-5% in 2008. NBJ will present 2008 vitamin sales estimates as part of the June/July Industry Overview issue.


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