Gout is a painful condition characterized by the deposition of uric acid crystals in the joints, which causes episodes of joint inflammation.
Uric acid is created as a byproduct of purine metabolism. If too much uric acid is created through increased cell destruction, or if the body’s system for clearing uric acid is compromised (usually by defects in the kidneys' ability to clear uric acid), gout may result.
Gout causes acute attacks of inflamed, painful joints that subside gradually, though it can progress to a chronic condition if untreated. It often affects a joint in the first toe, but may occur in the ankles and knees as well. The first episode of acute gout often occurs at night, with the joints swelling and becoming painful. They may appear warm, red, and excruciatingly tender. The attack often subsides within 3 to 10 days, and no symptoms will be present until the next attack occurs.
In a recent study, the effect of 500 mg of vitamin C daily on serum uric acid levels was compared to placebo in 184 healthy adults. The vitamin C increased the estimated glomerular filtration rate, a measure of kidney function. After two months, the test subjects had reduced serum uric acid compared to controls, suggesting that vitamin C might be beneficial in preventing and managing gout and other urate-related diseases (Huang HY et al 2005).
Grape seed procyanidins were found to have uric acid-lowering effects in rats with hyperuricemia. The procyanidin-treated animals exhibited normal growth compared to animals treated with allopurinol, which exhibited some retarded growth (Wang Y et al 2004b).
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