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Grapefruit & Gout

author image Judith Tompkins
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.

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.

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. Each year Florida produces over 55 million boxes of grapefruit that are shipped to the rest of the world for resale.


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.

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. The high level of vitamin C in grapefruit makes it an excellent dietary choice for anyone with a tendency toward gout.

Vitamin C

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. 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.

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