(HealthDay News) – Short-term therapy with vitamin C at modest doses did not have a clinically significant effect on lowering urate levels in patients with gout, according to research published online May 16 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Lisa K. Stamp, PhD, of the University of Otago in Christchurch, New Zealand, and colleagues conducted a pilot trial involving patients with gout. Twenty patients who were receiving allopurinol were randomly assigned to receive either an increase in allopurinol dose or initiation of vitamin C therapy. Twenty patients who were not receiving allopurinol were randomly assigned to receive initiation of either allopurinol or vitamin C therapy. Serum urate and plasma ascorbate concentrations were measured at baseline and eight weeks.

The researchers found that the reduction in serum urate concentration at eight weeks was significantly less in patients receiving vitamin C compared with those receiving either initial therapy with allopurinol or an increased dose of allopurinol. A significant increase in plasma ascorbate levels was observed in patients receiving vitamin C.

“While vitamin C may reduce serum urate and the risk of developing gout, our data does not support the use of vitamin C supplementation as a urate lowering therapy in patients with established gout,” the authors write.

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