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Vitamin C For Gout Treatment - Just How Easy Is It To Get The Required Daily Amount From Food?

In an earlier article I quoted examples of studies that have shown Vitamin C can reduce uric acid (UA) levels, the objective of all gout treatments whether by pharmaceuticals or natural remedies. The usual uric acid level target is 6mg/dL in men, slightly less in women. This is the level below which the trouble-causing MSU crystals, formed mainly from uric acid, may dissolve and thus alleviate or cure gout. However, there are no ironclad guarantees this will happen at that uric acid level.


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But some studies have found that a low purine gout diet has no effect on uric acid levels. Most likely one reason is because most uric acid in the body is made in the liver from purine molecules of DNA and RNA, and not from the purines in foods and beverages. Another reason may be that the problem for a gout sufferer is not that he/she is producing too much uric acid but that he/she is not excreting enough.

- Drink plenty of water. Water helps to flush uric acid out of your body. - Lose weight. If you are overweight, losing weight will decrease your uric acid levels. Do not fast, or engage in a rapid weight loss program, because this will actually cause a temporary raise in uric acid levels.

- Avoid Alcohol. As stated before, alcohol interferes with the body excreting uric acid. Definitely stay away from alcohol if you are experiencing a gout attack.

And here are a couple of surprises. Two spices or condiments that are high in vitamin C and not often mentioned: paprika 100 grams (71mg); prepared horseradish 100 grams (25mg).

Refined and simple carbohydrates are found in foods made from refined grains (for example refined flours which are the basis for pasta, breads, cakes, biscuits (cookies) pies, pastries); white rice; and most cereals. And notably from sugars with the exception of fruit sugar,(fructose) and galactose. Simple carbohydrates include corn and other syrups, table sugar and honey; candies (sweets); processed foods with added sugar; and some fruits and vegetables.

Some Nuts Soybean Soda Cocoa Yeast Hops Table Salt Sugar Fried Food Like anything, it is not a good idea to drastically change your diet overnight. The best way for your body to process the changes is to introduce amendments slowly that your body can get used to the different foods and keep its processing running on maximum.

As the body becomes more acidic, uric acid elimination slows down dramatically. This is due to the pressure the body comes under trying to process both the uric acid and the acidic foods. The kidneys become strained and are less effective in expelling excess uric acid.

Self help! There are a number of things that you can do for yourself to decrease your chance of developing gout, or having a recurrence. I must state however that there is no guaranteed way to prevent a gout attack. Important Disclaimer; Many of the following suggestions are intended to decrease your blood uric acid level. Ultimately, this should be your goal, but a sudden drop in your blood uric acid level, may cause a gout attack. I suggest that all lifestyle changes be made at a moderate pace to decrease the risk.

The late Dr. Robert Atkins (the Atkins Diet) also believed Vitamin C is helpful in gout treatment. It was one of the vitamins in his anti gout formula, as explained in "Dr. Atkins' Vita-Nutrient Solution" (Simon & Schuster Inc., 1999). He included it because of a cause of gout theory that runs on these lines...

- Limit your purine intake. Uric acid is formed when your body breaks down purines.

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To examine whether a diet could affect the markers that show insulin resistance exists, and lower uric acid levels, researchers in South Africa put 13 males, all gout sufferers, on a diet governed by three cardinal rules of the Zone diet, the well-known diet book written in the 1990's by Barry Sears PhD.

There is no sure way to determine if you will have gout, until you have your first flare up. If you have already had a gout attack, you know that you never want to have another one. There are a number of prescription medications available to treat gout, and you should discuss with your physician what you should take.

The most recent of these studies suggested that 500 mg of Vitamin C daily could bring about a uric acid level reduction of about 10%. This is unlikely to be enough to bring UA levels down to the required target, but helpful. This amount of Vitamin C is easily purchased as a dietary supplement. Without question Vitamin C is the world's best known and most widely available vitamin. It's also one of the cheapest.

- Genetics. A family history of gout increases the chance of developing gout by 20 percent. - Gender. Men are much more likely than women to develop gout.

Just add up from the following list to get 500 mg daily. Source figures are taken from the USDA's (United States Department of Agriculture) National Nutrient database release SR20. It is accessible online - search "National Nutrient database."

RULES Calories were restricted to 1,600 a day: 40% from carbohydrates, 30% from protein and 30% from mono and poly unsaturated fats.

You should be aiming to reduce your body's pH level slowly. You can monitor these changes by purchasing a home urine or saliva testing kit. Try to balance your diet to include 70% of foods alkaline in nature and 30% acidic.

Acidity is measured using a pH value ranging between 0 - 14, with 0-6 being acidic, 7 is neutral and 8-14 is alkaline. Where gout is concerned it is less about the pH value of the food, rather what that food does to the pH level of the body during and after digestion.

Uric acid is a major body antioxidant and antioxidants quell free radicals. Excessive uric acid is produced because of free radical production. i.e the body deals with free radicals by creating excess uric acid. Therefore provide the body with more antioxidants so that it doesn't need to create excess uric acid.

Now please visit the second article: Natural Gout Treatment - The Results Of A Gout Diet That Had A Lot Of Success

Acidic foods that impact the pH of your body are: Beef Lobster Pheasant Ice Cream Processed Cheese Barley Processed Flour

Complex carbohydrates are lower on the Glycemic Index (GI) scale than refined carbohydrates because they have a slower effect on blood glucose, and so the response of insulin to blood glucose is slower and more moderate. Insulin is much more responsive to refined and simple carbohydrates.

Foods with high and moderately high purine levels include: - All other meat - Other beans, such as kidney, lima, navy, lentil - Some vegetables, such as asparagus, cauliflower, mushrooms, and spinach

This is not the usually explained purine theory. However it should be noted that not all gout sufferers have excessive uric acid in their bodies but most do. If you have gout and excess uric acid, the important thing is to try to reduce it.

There isn't space in this article to explain more about the difference between complex and refined carbohydrates. If you're not sure, the subject is easily researched on the Internet. For example, do an Internet search for "Glycemic Index," or "Glycemic Load."

- Obesity. Body weight has an impact on the bodies' ability to process uric acid properly, and puts a greater load on your joints. - Medical Conditions. High blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and medicines used to treat such conditions increase the likelihood of developing gout.

To standardize and simplify this list Serving size is 1 cup unless stated; raw foods only (except peas); foods with added Vitamin C excluded; doesn't account for different varieties, country or region of origin; climate when produced and other variables; figures rounded to whole numbers. It is, if you like, the big picture. Vitamin C amounts are in mg.

So in this diet there was moderate restriction of calories and carbohydrate, and control over proportional consumption of carbohydrate, protein and of fats. In the Zone diet the number of calories you get from food should be in the proportions of: from carbohydrates (40%), from protein (30%) and from fat (30%). This is one of the principles at the core of the diet. These proportions, or numbers close to them (getting more or less there is allowed) should be eaten at every meal and snack too. In the study, participants were asked to keep to these proportions at each meal, and they were encouraged to eat 3 to 5 meals and snacks daily, another Zone diet rule.

What is gout? Gout is a form of arthritis resulting from deposits of uric acid crystals formed in the bodies' joints. A gout attack will usually attack only one joint at a time, the big toe being the most common. Other joints that may also be impacted by gout are the feet, ankle, knee, hand, and wrist. The pain will typically last five to fourteen days, at which point the crystals will leave the joint.

Some researchers have established a link between body acidity and gout. The more acidic your body is, the higher the possibility of developing gout. Conversely, having a more alkaline system encourages rapid uric acid elimination.

red peppers 190mg; orange juice 124 mg; green peppers 120 mg; strawberries 106 mg; orange 96 mg; grapefruit juice 94 mg; kale 80 mg; broccoli 79mg; pineapple 74 mg; kiwi fruit 71 mg; lemon juice 61 mg; cantaloupe melon 59 mg; mango 57 mg; cauliflower 46 mg; red cabbage 40 mg; roasted chestnuts (European ) 37 mg; peas (frozen) 35 mg; raspberries 32 mg; lemon 31 mg; honeydew melon 31 mg; blackberries 30 mg; cabbage 26 mg; watermelon (one wedge ) 23 mg; tomatoes 23 mg. Since the potato is so popular, note one baked potato 202 grams size: 19 mg.

 
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Most people when choosing a gout friendly diet will look to cut out or reduce foods high in purine, as metabolizing purine in the body leads to increased levels of uric acid, which is the cause behind gout symptoms. However, high purine foods may not be the only foods to avoid with gout.

Uric acid is formed during the processing and breaking down of purines in the body. This is a natural substance that is produced during cellular building and is also found in a lot of the foods we eat. Purine-rich foods include:

What are the risk factors? - Alcohol. Excessive consumption of alcohol is believed to inhibit the bodies' ability to dispose of excess uric acid.

Therefore, a constantly low pH value can cause your body to decrease it's processing of uric acid, leading to hyperuricemia. Hyperuricemia is a medical term for a raised uric acid level in the blood, and can lead to gout. As the levels of uric acid become higher there is nowhere for any more uric acid to go, so it is deposited in crystal form in the spaces and connective tissues between the joints.

This is the first of an article series about this diet. See the bottom of this article for how to read the second article. Natural gout treatment largely involves diet. The most widely touted gout diet for sufferers of "the disease of kings," is the low purine gout diet. The cause of gout theory behind it is that because uric acid is made from purines, and because uric acid is the gout culprit, purine intake from foods and beverages should be restricted.

It's hard to summarise a daily diet for all the tastes of people who read this article. But the easiest (no cooking time) and probably the most popular way to reach 500 mg daily - drink plenty of orange juice. Or, putting it simply, and you've heard this before, eat these fruits and vegetables.

Anyone going on the Zone diet will have their personal daily carbohydrate, protein, and fat requirement. How to discover it is explained in Barry Sears' "Enter the Zone" book. The amount of protein you can eat determines the amounts of carbohydrates and unsaturated fats, in the 4:3:3 proportions, you can eat. Why the 4:3:3 rule is important is also explained in the book. If you know about soccer, you can think of the 4:3:3 rule as the commonly used soccer team formation. Or, another way of putting it, is to say that calories from protein are 0.75 (75%) of calories from carbohydrate and calories from fat are in the same proportion as calories from protein. Getting almost to 4:3:3 is allowed.

A few words about strawberries Berries are excellent foods for a gout diet, principally because of their flavonoid anthocyanidins. (It is the anthocyanidins in cherries which are believed to have positive effects on lowering uric acid levels). These act as antioxidants thus boosting general health which is so important for gout sufferers. But among the anthocyanidin berries, strawberries stand out as the highest in Vitamin C.

Fruits amount of vitamin C, if one whole fruit, or other amount, is the serving size: 1 papaya 188mg; 1 orange 70 mg; 1 red chili pepper 65 mg; and the juice from 1 orange 43 mg; 100 grams limes 29 mg.

Red meats Shellfish Legumes Offal Mushrooms Yeast extracts Processed meats To tackle raised uric levels in the blood it is wise to restrict your intake of these foods until your gout is under control and uric acid levels have stabilized.

John Mepham is a gout researcher who has examined many gout studies and medical research articles. He believes many cases of gout can be cured with natural remedies, sometimes quickly. For more about natural gout remedies visit http://www.fast-gout-remedies.com

The higher the pH levels of the body (an alkaline state) the easier it is for uric acid to be dissolved in the blood stream and eliminated via the kidneys. The lower the pH i.e. the more acidic the body pH the harder it is to process uric acid.

- Organ meats, such as brain, kidney, liver, and sweetbreads. - Anchovies - Mackerel - Herring - Sardines - Gravies - Dried beans and peas

Usually gout strikes the big toe joint or one of the other joints in the foot or ankle, although it can rear its ugly head in any joint. The reason that gout occurs most commonly in the foot or ankle is because those joints furthest away from the heart and uric acid crystallizes in lower temperatures.

Fats Saturated fats, which are among the fats found in meat fat, dairy products, beef tallow (beef dripping) and lard, were swapped for monounsaturated fats (e.g. olive oil, canola oil) and polyunsaturated fats, (oils such as corn, sunflower and soybean oils). However, in the study, participants took polyunsaturated fats from fish. They were advised to eat fish at least four times a week during the study, even fish that are high purine such as mackerel.

Refined carbohydrate foods were swapped for complex carbohydrate foods. i.e. they ate complex carbohydrates, not refined carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates can be found in foods made from whole grains, (eg. whole grain flours and products made from them), and in many vegetables, low sugar fruits and beans.

Meat and Alcohol They also ate meat, no doubt lean meat since mono and polyunsaturated fats were encouraged. (Meat does contain both these fats, as well as saturated fats). Participants' alcohol consumption was moderate, there were no alcohol rules, and it remained the same as usual.

NB. The contents of this article contain medical information not medical advice. Please always discuss remedies with your doctor or other health care professional before implementing any treatment.

Strawberries should be considered very carefully by gout sufferers. The Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) stated that a diet of only strawberries had cured his gout. His linkage of vitamin C and gout gains extra weight from the fact that Linnaeus was a botanist. He probably knew a lot about strawberries.

- Age. Men are most likely to develop gout between the ages of forty and fifty. Women generally develop gout after menopause. What can we do about gout?

What causes gout? This question is still up in the air. The quick answer is that hyperuricemia, which is an elevated blood level of uric acid, is responsible for gout. With that said, not all patients with hyperuricemia develop gout, and some patients with gout do not have hyperuricemia. Although it is not clear how hyperuricemia relates to gout, one thing is clear; gout is associated with sudden changes in uric acid levels in the blood.

The convention wisdom is that vitamins are best obtained from natural sources,that is from fresh foods. So how easy is it to eat or drink at least 500 mg of Vitamin C daily?

But do not follow a strawberries only diet. This is a crash diet which is not a good idea since crash diets can trigger gout, and may worsen it. But if you suffer from gout strawberries are an excellent addition to your gout diet plan, because of their anthocyanidins, (the dominant one is pelargonidin), and their Vitamin C. Was it this combination that cured Linnaeus' gout? Perhaps it was.

What is uric acid? Uric acid helps protect blood vessel linings and serves as an antioxidant. Uric acid is created when purines are broken down by the body. Purines are found in all the cells of the body, and in virtually all food. Some food sources contain a much higher concentration of purines than all the others. Foods with very high purine levels include:

There is another cause of gout theory, which is that excess uric acid (hyperuricemia) is the result of insulin resistance, the pre type 2 diabetes condition. Insulin resistance in gout has been the subject of many studies. Simply put, insulin resistance is the condition where the cells become more resistant to allowing insulin to deliver glucose (mainly broken down from carbohydrate in foods) to them, for the purpose of energy creation. It's as if the jailer refuses to open the door of the cell. It's one of the causes of excess insulin. Excess insulin has been found in a number of studies to inhibit uric acid excretion as well as causing other problems.

It's not likely vitamin C on its own will cure gout. But it is helpful especially if combined with a low purine gout diet and other natural remedies for gout.


You can find out more about the natural ways to soothe gout symptoms on our web site.


By having a greater understanding of which foods to avoid with gout, you have a better chance of bringing your symptoms under control and preventing further gout flare-ups.


 
 
     
 
 





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