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The Gout Dugout Newsletter,Issue #009.More evidence that vitamin C lowers uric acid levels; Xoma-052
September 01, 2008

Welcome to September 2008's Gout Dugout


In searching for natural remedies, including vitamins for gout, the event that encourages me most is to find a study that shows a certain non-medication substance has demonstrated uric acid lowering abilities.

I put up the Gout and Vitamin C page a few months ago after reading abstracts from various studies and studying in detail the 2005 study into vitamin C and uric acid levels. Vitamin C works in doing this because it aids uric acid excretion, so vitamin C for gout is a good idea.

Last month I found another one I hadn't read. Like galaxies, there are probably others out there somewhere. It wasn't easy to find since it was mainly concerned about how quickly, and by how much, vitamin C in orange juice is absorbed in the body. But uric acid levels after orange juice was consumed were examined.

This study was conducted in Spain in 2003, where they produce a lot of oranges. Everyone knows there's vitamin C in orange juice but ask someone "by how much does orange juice raise your vitamin C levels and for how long?" and you'll get a blank face. Apparently this was the first ever study to attempt to answer this pretty obvious question.

Although the study was of only six healthy men and six healthy women, no gout, and no hyperuricemia, the results were encouraging for gout sufferers.

They drank a "dose" of two glasses of what was described as commercial fresh squeezed orange juice for two weeks. This must have been juice squeezed only from oranges themselves, not juice made from concentrates, nor with anything else at all added. In other words the real thing. (The best cherry juice is made in this way too).

The first "dose" was two glasses which they drank together adding up to 500 ml of juice. The ongoing amount was a glass in the morning, another in the afternoon. A total of 500 ml of orange juice a day, which gave them an additional 250 mg of vitamin C daily. After two weeks the men had raised their blood vitamin C levels by 52% and the women by 22%. (The women had higher starting vitamin C levels). So far so good.


Now what about uric acid (UA) levels? The men reduced their UA levels by -2.1 mg/dL, which is a very decent reduction, about 37% in only two weeks. The women didn't do as well. Their fall was - 0.24 mg/dL or 6.48%, (after two weeks) although when the women were tested six hours after the first larger "dose" their UA levels had fallen by slightly more than after two weeks. Perhaps they should have consumed more orange juice. It may have had something to do with the eicosanoid that was also being tested.

The men's reduction was the kind of number you would get from the first two weeks on a drug medication, although you can't really compare these twelve healthy young people (all under 32) with your average gout sufferer.

In the 2005 much larger study, the average UA reduction was -0.5 mg/dL although the average among those with higher levels of UA was -1.5 mg/dL. So this study's numbers (in the men) were higher.

But it does makes me wonder how much UA levels would have fallen if they had drunk twice as much orange juice for 14 days, or the same "dose" for six months. Of course this was only 12 people, and they were all under 32. And the UA falling process could stop. After all it probably has to stop at some level.

In aiming for higher vitamin C intake juice has a big advantage over cooked fruit and vegetables. It doesn't have to be cooked, so there's no loss of vitamin C during cooking and you don't even have to cook. But of course always eat fruit and vegetables every day as well, if you want to beat gout with a diet.

I did say in the promotional text about this newsletter that readers will get much news and new findings, in it before they go on the website, so I will be putting more details about this small study on the website at a later date.

To read the vitamin C page on the website click on this link

or visit

XOMA 052

Xoma 052 sounds more like a star or comet than a potential gout remedy medication but if it develops well its name will change, and if it doesn't, it will crash to the Earth or somewhere. Last month, I wrote about RDEA 594. Xoma 052 is another new potential gout drug in an early stage of development.

This one is an anti inflammatory. i.e. it suppresses the immune system's response to MSU gout crystals, which is what colchicine does too. There's no details yet about how it performs, and like RDEA 594,(and a star) it's years away... from an approval application. Any improvement on colchicine would be welcome.

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All the best,

John Mepham

P.S. You may distribute this newsletter freely and free-of-charge, providing any links in it remain unchanged and it remains intact.Partial copying is not allowed.

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

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