Grapefruit & Gout
If you are suffering from gout, there are steps you can take to reduce your symptoms. Gout is a painful form of arthritis that affects a small number of the population. It’s transferred through genetics, but it is often manageable if the proper steps are taken. By modifying your diet to include citrus fruits like grapefruit, you can help your body lower its uric acid levels, the cause of gout 5.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
History of Grapefruit
Grapefruit was first seen growing in Barbados in 1750, but it was not known as "grapefruit" until 1814. Later it was also seen growing in Jamaica and introduced into the United States, Isreal and Cuba. Florida is the world’s leading grapefruit producer, with 12 different varieties, some with white flesh and others with pink or red flesh 15. Each year Florida produces over 55 million boxes of grapefruit that are shipped to the rest of the world for resale 5.
Calories in Half a Grapefruit
Gout is a severe form of crystal arthritis that leads to painful episodes, swelling, redness and inflammation. It is caused by the formation of sharp uric acid crystals in the joints. Uric acid forms in the body normally after purines are digested in food, and it is excreted from the body through the urine. Usually the body is able to get rid of the acid efficiently enough to keep it from building up, but in instances where the body is producing too much uric acid or is unable to excrete it properly, buildups form and gout occurs.
- Gout is a severe form of crystal arthritis that leads to painful episodes, swelling, redness and inflammation.
- Uric acid forms in the body normally after purines are digested in food, and it is excreted from the body through the urine.
Vitamin C in Grapefruit
Grapefruit is good for reducing gout outbreaks because of its high levels of vitamin C. There are 71 mg of vitamin C in a single cup of grapefruit, covering more than 120 percent of the recommended daily amount based on a 2,000-calorie diet 5. The high level of vitamin C in grapefruit makes it an excellent dietary choice for anyone with a tendency toward gout 5.
Strawberries for Gout
Vitamin C plays an important role in reducing uric acid serum levels. In a study completed at the Harvard University School of Public Health, more than 46,000 men were monitored over 20 years to keep track of how vitamin C supplements affected gout outbreaks 25. The study showed that the men taking the highest levels of supplements had the least amount of risk of having a gout outbreak, and the risk increased gradually as the amount of the supplement was reduced. Compared to the placebo group of the study, the men taking the 500 mg supplements of vitamin C had lower uric acid levels in their body and a reduced risk of gout.
- Vitamin C plays an important role in reducing uric acid serum levels.
- The study showed that the men taking the highest levels of supplements had the least amount of risk of having a gout outbreak, and the risk increased gradually as the amount of the supplement was reduced.
Calories in Half a Grapefruit
Strawberries for Gout
How to Treat Gout with Prednisone
Gout & Diet Soda
Cholesterol Medication & Cranberry Juice Reactions
What Are the Benefits of Grapefruit Pills?
Mangoes & Fiber
Can You Eat Grapefruit While Taking Crestor?
Are Radishes Good for Gout?
Does Grapefruit Stabilize Your Blood Glucose?
- University of Maryland; Gout; March 10, 2010
- Linus Pauling Institute; Vitamin C; November 2009
- UW Medicine Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine; 2009
- Grapefruit, raw, pink and red, all areas. USDA FoodData Central. Updated April 2019.
- Vitamin C - Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Office Of Dietary Supplements. Updated July 2019
- Chow O, Barbul A. Immunonutrition: Role in wound healing and tissue regeneration. Adv Wound Care (New Rochelle). 2014;3(1):46–53. doi:10.1089/wound.2012.0415
- Vitamin A Fact Sheet for Professionals. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. February 14, 2020
- Rasmussen HM, Johnson EJ. Nutrients for the aging eye. Clin Interv Aging. 2013;8:741–748. doi:10.2147/CIA.S45399
- Chen P, Zhang W, Wang X, Zhao K, Negi D, Zhou L, et al. Lycopene and risk of prostate cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2015;94(33):e1260. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000001260
- Vissers MCM, Das AB. Potential mechanisms of action for vitamin C in cancer: Reviewing the evidence. Front Physiol. 2018;9:809. doi:10.3389/fphys.2018.00809
- Dow CA, Going SB, Chow H-HS, Patil BS, Thomson CA. The effects of daily consumption of grapefruit on body weight, lipids, and blood pressure in healthy, overweight adults. Metabolism. 2012;61(7):1026-1035. doi:10.1016/j.metabol.2011.12.004
- Zhao CN, Meng X, Li Y, et al. Fruits for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Nutrients. 2017;9(6):598. doi:10.3390/nu9060598
- Panche AN, Diwan AD, Chandra SR. Flavonoids: An overview. J Nutr Sci. 2016;5:e47. doi:10.1017/jns.2016.41
- Bourrier T, Pereira C. Allergy to citrus juice. Clin Transl Allergy. 2013;3(Suppl 3):P153. Published 2013 Jul 25. doi:10.1186/2045-7022-3-S3-P153
- Grapefruit Juice and Some Drugs Don't Mix. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA Consumer Updates. Updated July 2017.
- Grapefruit juice and statins. Harvard Medical School - Healthbeat. Harvard Health Publishing. Updated September 2019.
- Bailey DG, Dresser G, Arnold JM. Grapefruit-medication interactions: Forbidden fruit or avoidable consequences?. CMAJ. 2013;185(4):309-16. doi:10.1503/cmaj.120951
- Kanellis A, Manganaris G. Fruit Ripening. (Nath P, Bouzayen M, Mattoo A, Pech J, eds.). Oxfordshire: CABI; 2014:110.
- Wanlapa S, Wachirasiri K, Sithisam-ang D, Suwannatup T. Potential of selected tropical fruit peels as dietary fiber in functional foods. International Journal of Food Properties. 2015;18(6):1306-1316. doi:10.1080/10942912.2010.535187
- Murphy MM, Barraj LM, Rampersaud GC. Consumption of grapefruit is associated with higher nutrient intakes and diet quality among adults, and more favorable anthropometrics in women, NHANES 2003-2008. Food Nutr Res. 2014;58:10.3402/fnr.v58.22179. doi:10.3402/fnr.v58.22179
Based in New York, Judith Tompkins has been writing sleep and nutrition articles since 2002. She worked for six years as a polysomnographer and now serves as a nutrition consultant. Tompkins received an associate's degree in polysomnographic technology from Cuyahoga College, as well as a master's degree in applied clinical nutrition from New York Chiropractic College.