Excessive uric acid in a person's body can lead to uric acid crystals forming in the joints and in tissue surrounding the joints. This condition is known as gout, a type of arthritis involving sudden attacks of severe joint pain and inflammation. Gout usually develops after years of high uric acid production associated with diet, and some people are more susceptible than others to this condition. If you are overweight, losing weight can help reduce uric acid. Avoiding foods high in purines, such as many types of meat and fish, can also decrease uric acid. Certain vitamins also can affect uric acid levels.
Take vitamin C supplements. Research has shown that vitamin C is associated with reduced uric acid levels, such as a study published in the September 2008 issue of the Journal of Rheumatology. This study found that men taking up to 500 mg of vitamin C daily had lower serum uric acid concentrations than men who did not. Larger dosages did not result in more significant changes.
Ask your health care practitioner about the appropriate dosage of vitamin C supplements for you. The Mayo Clinic explains that very high doses of this vitamin can increase uric acid levels. High doses of vitamin C also can cause digestive upset and diarrhea. The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University lists the maximum tolerable amount of vitamin C for adults as 2000 mg daily.
Eat more fruits and vegetables, as these contain vitamin C. Oranges, grapefruit, strawberries and juices from these fruits are especially beneficial. Cherries also are linked to lower levels of uric acid, according to the Mayo Clinic, and their website recommends adding other dark fruits for a uric-acid-reducing diet, including purple grapes, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries.
Avoid taking large amounts of vitamin B3 (niacin) supplements, since doses of 300 mg and higher have been linked to increased uric acid levels. The recommended daily allowance, commonly included in multivitamins, is 100 mg.
Avoid multivitamins that include high doses of zinc, which have been associated with increases in uric acid levels, as shown in a study published in the November 1986 issue of the American Journal of Medical Science. Recommended daily allowance of zinc is 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women.