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Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs as the result of a condition called hyperuricemia. A buildup of uric acid causes crystals to pile up in soft tissue and joints.

Gout tends to flare up suddenly and cause pain, redness, and swelling in the joints. It can affect one joint at a time or several joints, and it tends to occur especially often in the big toe.

Because it’s so painful and can worsen over time, many with gout are eager to find ways to prevent the attacks from occurring, as well as provide effective treatment for flare-ups when they occur.

While medically approved treatments are available, you might also be interested in investigating some of the supplements on the market that claim to treat gout.

If you’re looking for a more natural approach to treating gout attacks or preventing them from occurring in the first place, you might want to consider a few of these options.

A note of caution

Before you buy these supplements, check with your doctor. It’s important to discuss any supplements that you might want to try in case they could interact with any other medications you’re already taking.

1. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that helps your body build, repair, and maintain healthy tissues.

Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is an antioxidant. That is, it helps your body defend itself against free radical molecules that could cause harm.

When it comes to gout, however, its usefulness seems to depend on whether you already have gout.

Research does show that vitamin C can be useful in the prevention of gout.

A 2009 study examined the potential benefit of vitamin C in almost 47,000 men without a history of gout.

The researchers found a relationship between vitamin C intake and the risk of developing gout. They also noted that a higher dose that was still within a fairly typical range seemed to show a greater benefit than a lower dose.

Other research suggests that a modest dose of vitamin C may not be much help to people who already have gout. A 2013 study found that a daily 500-milligram dose of vitamin C didn’t seem to significantly reduce urate levels.

There are a couple of reasons you might consider giving vitamin C a try: Vitamin C is generally known for being safe, and it’s easy to get. You can buy supplements at many drugstores and groceries. You can also boost the amount of fruits and vegetables that are vitamin C rich in your diet.

Purchase vitamin C supplements online.

2. Skim milk powder

A 2014 review looked at research involving the use of skim milk powder to address gout symptoms.

According to the research, consuming enriched skim milk power didn’t eliminate gout, but it did seem to improve it. People who added enriched skim milk powder to their diet had about 2.5 fewer gout attacks per year.

A 2012 study noted that people who used the skim milk powder seemed to experience less pain.

Could it be worth a try? You can easily find the powder in vitamin shops and grocery stores. But one caveat: The review warned that the evidence examined was low quality.

Walk into a health food store or shop that sells vitamins and supplements, or browse online, and you’ll find a number of supplements that might be worth a second look.

3. Bromelain extract

Bromelain is an extract from the pineapple plant that’s believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. It’s often used to treat arthritis, sinusitis, and other types of inflammation.

Right now, the research is still pretty limited. In the future, more research may uncover the benefit of bromelain for helping people with inflammation from gout.

4. Fish oil supplements

Experts often recommend omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish oil supplements, to boost heart health. But they might also be helpful for people with gout because they reduce inflammation, a key hallmark of this condition.

You might wonder, why not just eat fish? Some types of fish contain higher levels of chemicals called purines, which could aggravate gout because they tend to raise your uric acid levels. But fish oil that’s been highly distilled shouldn’t contain these purines.

Shop for fish oil supplements online.

5. Ginger

Ginger is often praised for its anti-inflammatory effects.

A 2017 study examined the pain-relieving potential of red ginger. The researchers found that compresses made with red ginger could alleviate some of the pain associated with gout.

However, the study was small and very limited. More research on ginger’s potential as a gout treatment is needed.

6. Guava leaves extract

Guava is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Some people turn to extract of guava leaves for its purported benefit to the digestive system and the immune system.

Some research suggests that this extract may also have anti-gout properties.

7. Milk thistle

Could a few capsules of milk thistle help you? Also known as Silybum marianum, milk thistle has been studied as a possible treatment for liver damage caused by some cancer treatments.

Other research, including this 2016 study, suggests that it might also be useful in lowering uric acid levels. However, more research is needed, since the existing studies are animal studies.

8. Turmeric

You may know this spice for the distinctive yellow color that it gives to food. Many people already rely on turmeric supplements to relieve inflammation from arthritis and other conditions.

A recent study examined the anti-gout potential of turmeric. The study was limited, and only the effects in mice were investigated.

However, the researchers concluded that a preparation containing turmeric nanoparticles could hold promise in reducing uric acid levels in people with gout.

Find turmeric supplements online.

But wait, there’s more. A few additional natural options that you could consider for the treatment or prevention of gout include:

9. Cherries

Research, including two different 2012 studies, suggest that cherries are not only delicious, but also useful in lowering uric acid levels. This could reduce the chances of a gout attack.

You might opt for either cherries or cherry juice.

10. Coffee

It’s some people’s dream come true: coffee as a gout prevention strategy.

A 2015 analysis of previous studies noted that coffee may protect against gout because it seems to reduce uric acid levels.

Mayo Clinic, however, notes that the protective effect might not be enough for your doctor to recommend that you start drinking coffee if you don’t already.

Supplements and vitamins aren’t the only game in town, of course. People with gout do have clinical treatments at their disposal.

There are medications available to treat gout attacks, as well as medications that work to prevent attacks.

Some of these drugs may be more appropriate for you than others. You might not be able to tolerate certain side effects, for example, or you may have a health condition that would rule some of them out. Your doctor can discuss the best options for your particular needs.

For many people, gout is a progressive disease. So you may start to notice more frequent flare-ups or more intense symptoms.

If you do, that’s a good reason to call your doctor. Left untreated, gout attacks can eventually cause permanent damage to your joints.

Experiencing unpleasant or unusual side effects or not tolerating the side effects of the medicine you’re taking are other good reasons to make an appointment with your doctor.

If you want to switch medications, try a new one, or add in a supplement, discuss that with your doctor too.

You have lots of choices when it comes to both the prevention and treatment of gout, including certain vitamins and supplements, as well as clinical treatments.

If one treatment doesn’t seem to work for you, there may be another one that will be more effective. Just be sure to discuss your choices with your doctor.