The Best Supplements for Gout

Gout is a form of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in tissue, and primarily affects foot, knee and hand joints. Gout is usually treated medicinally with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), pain medications and steroids. Changes in diet and certain supplements may also help to manage or prevent symptoms of gout like inflammation, pain, tenderness and redness.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects the body from free radicals (organic molecules responsible for aging, tissue damage, and possibly some diseases). A research project published in 2009 in the “Archives of Internal Medicine” looked at the relationship of vitamin C and the risk of gout in men and concluded that vitamin C may prevent gout. According to the Mayo Clinic, vitamin C may reduce the amount of uric acid in the blood; however, mega-doses of vitamin C may actually increase uric acid. The Mayo Clinic advises individuals who want to increase their intake of Vitamin C to eat fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C like citrus fruits and bell peppers.

Cherries

A study published in the “Journal of Nutrition” in 2003 looked at 10 women who ate bing cherries, and found that cherry consumption may inhibit inflammation and have anti-gout properties. The Mayo Clinic states that while the connection between cherries, a decrease in uric acid and gout are unclear, cherries and other dark-colored fruits like blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and purple grapes may be a safe supplement for gout.

Fish Oil

According to the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center, omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil have been studied for their role in regulating inflammation. There have been a few studies that favor fish oil in treating arthritis, but there is not enough evidence to support its use. Currently, there are no recommendations for safe and effective dosing of fish oil and its use in treating arthritis and gout remains a controversial issue.

Additional Supplements and Herbs

The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) lists celery seed, comfrey, burdock, golden rod and stinging nettle as herbs and supplements for gout. All of these have historical uses as treatment for gout and other conditions, however, currently there is not enough scientific evidence to support their effectiveness. While some herbs and supplements have been used in research studies, many experiments are animal studies and quality human trials are lacking. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), manufacturers of dietary supplements are responsible for ensuring the safety of their product. Individuals should consult a physician before taking any supplement for treatment of gout.

About this Author

Bethany Fong is a registered dietitian and chef from Honolulu, Hawaii. She has produced a variety of health education materials on multiple topics relating to wellness, and worked in many industries, including clinical dietetics, food service management and public health.