A Natural Gout Remedy – How 12 People Lowered Uric Acid Levels, With 2 Glasses of Orange Juice a Day

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Orange juice for gout? What kind of a wisecrack is this? Well it isn’t a wisecrack at all. In a small study of 12 fairly young people in Spain in 2003, orange juice lowered uric acid levels, which as all gout sufferers know, you need to do if you want to beat gout.

Everyone knows there’s vitamin C in orange juice, but very few could tell you by how much a glass of orange juice raises your vitamin C levels, and how long it takes for this to happen. Incredibly, although the vitamin C content of orange juice has been known for decades, this study’s researchers said that the extent to which it raises blood vitamin C levels, and how fast, was not known until this study.


Six men and six women drank two glasses of orange juice on the first day, and for the rest of the period (a fortnight) drank a glass in the morning and a glass in the afternoon. This amounted to 500 ml daily, which meant an additional 250 mg of vitamin C daily. Their regular diet during the fortnight gave them an extra 136 mg (men) and 112 mg (women). So their total daily intake was 386 mg (men) and 362 mg (women), which is only a third of vitamin C dietary supplement preparations (1,000 mg) on sale everywhere. After a fortnight of this natural gout remedy the men’s serum (blood) vitamin C level had risen by 52% and the women’s by 22%. The women’s starting levels of vitamin C were higher.


And now the question every gout sufferer wants to know. In two weeks the men reduced their uric acid levels by about -12.5% (0.71 mg/dL) and the women by – 6.5% (0.24 mg/dL). The women’s starting (baseline) uric acid levels were much lower than men: women 3.64 mg/dL (216 mmol/L); men 5.75 mg/dL (342 mmol/L). Every participant reduced their UA level.


These are good reductions when we bear in mind that the additional vitamin C from the orange juice was only 250 mg daily and for only two weeks. It’s possible that twice as much juice, for twice as long, or six months, or a lifetime (in the cases of keeping UA levels down for ever to prevent a recurrent gout attack), could achieve higher reductions. But remember, if you have gout, these were healthy young people (20 – 32) and only 12 people were tested. Your results may not be the same.

These kinds of reductions are not as much as you would achieve on a uric acid lowering drug medication for two weeks. They are probably only helpful in cases of gout at normal UA levels; or in gout cases at slightly excess uric acid (hyperuricemia); or for people with hyperuricemia, but no gout so far, who know they are at risk of it, which indeed they are. On the other hand, you could hardly call orange juice a drug medication.

In a much larger study in 2005 vitamin C for gout was again tested. It studied vitamin C and uric acid levels using dietary supplements, not orange juice. Participants took a 500 mg tablet. Average reductions in uric acid were – 0.5 mg/dL across all study participants and – 1.5 mg/dL in study participants with hyperuricemia.

It is not known for certain why vitamin C has lowered UA levels. It is thought that it encourages the kidneys to excrete more uric acid. Orange juice is also high in potassium which is a useful alkalizing mineral (raises pH) in natural gout remedies. And of course orange juice contains certain flavonoids which assist vitamin C’s absorption and retention. Many vitamin C dietary supplements do not contain these flavonoids, or not sufficient, although some do.


The juice used in this study was described by the researchers as “commercial fresh squeezed orange juice”. This is juice squeezed from raw, fresh oranges, not juice from concentrated juice, neither with anything else added. The important thing is to get, more or less, the amount of vitamin C delivered by the juice in the study. This was 54 mg per 100 mL of juice. So check nutrition content labels carefully.

It was also learnt that orange juice lowered the levels of a prostaglandin, which it is thought, should be lowered.

500 mg vitamin C daily is probably a better target. And orange juice can be counted as part of your daily water target. Drinking lots of water is de rigueur in all natural gout treatment, and by pharmaceuticals too.

NB. This article contains medical information, not medical advice. If you have gout, or hyperuricemia, always discuss dietary change with a doctor.

write by Gregory


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