Lemon Juice for Gout: Does It Help?

Lemon juice has long been used to help cure a variety of ailments, including nosebleeds, dizziness, as a remedy for anemia and as a way to stop painful migraines.

As well as a source of citric acid, lemon contains folate, potassium, and vitamin C. It’s also very low in cholesterol, sodium, and saturated fat, making lemon highly beneficial for your overall health.

But, its ability to neutralize uric acid is what makes lemon juice a great natural remedy for gout, a painful form of arthritis which affects about 13 million Americans (about 4% of the total U.S. population).

Here’s everything you need to know about taking lemon juice for gout, including how it works to help your gout symptoms, and how to take it.

The Causes and Symptoms of Gout

Gout is a painful form of arthritis, caused by a condition known as hyperuricemia, which means that there is excess uric acid in your body.

Your body makes uric acid when it breaks down purines. Purines are one of the by-products of protein digestion and are found in your body and in the foods you eat.

When there is too much uric acid in the body, crystals of uric acid (monosodium urate) can build up in your body’s joints and soft tissues.

Gout is caused by the deposit of needle-like urate crystals in your joints. Gout sufferers experience swelling and pain in joints such as the ankles, knees, feet, wrists, and elbows. Painful flare-ups are often concentrated in the big toe, a symptom known as podagra.

Flare-ups can last a few days when symptoms first start to appear, but often these flare-ups will become progressively longer.

Gout can lead to painful kidney stones, and if left untreated it can cause permanent damage to your joints and kidneys.

How Diet Changes Can Help Gout

Foods high in purines, including alcoholic drinks, soda, and gluten have all been implicated as contributors to gout.

Several vegetables, including tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant, have also been linked to gout symptoms. This is because they contain a chemical called solanine, which may trigger joint pain in some people.

It is advisable to eliminate these foods from your diet as a way to avoid future attacks of gout. And, for long-term control of gout symptoms, it is also a good idea to incorporate foods that help to alkalize your body’s pH level.

One such food is lemon juice. Although it seems that an acidic food such as lemon would have the opposite effect, lemon juice has been found to neutralize acids such as uric acid in the body.

Why Is Lemon Juice Good for Gout?

Lemon juice can help with gout attacks in several ways. The three main properties that lemons contain that help to minimize gout attacks are citric acid, vitamin C, and potassium:

1.) Citric Acid

Gout attacks occur when the pH level of your body is lower than pH 7, towards the acidic end of the scale. This condition is called acidosis, and, for gout sufferers, it relates to an excess amount of uric acid in the body.

Studies have shown that citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, clementines, and tangerines help to dissolve uric acid. This is because the citric acid they contain helps to create or increase calcium carbonate in the body, which then reduces the amount of uric acid.

Lemon juice has the highest concentration of citric acid, with a concentration of between five and six percent. When it comes to the best citrus fruit to help with gout, lemon juice is a clear winner.

The citric acid found in lemon juice also acts as a stimulant for the liver and helps to prevent kidney stones. Kidney stones are a further complication of gout. As well as being very painful, kidney stones can also lead to additional health issues.

2.) Vitamin C

As well as citric acid, lemon juice contains high levels of vitamin C, at around 95 mg per cup.

A 2009 study showed that men were less likely to get gout the more vitamin C they took. This is thought to be because vitamin C protects against gout by lowering serum urate by helping to remove it through the kidneys.

But, while vitamin C intake has been associated with a lower risk of developing gout, there is less evidence to suggest that vitamin C helps people who already have gout. A 2013 study found that vitamin C failed to reduce uric acid levels to a significant degree in patients suffering from gout.

Despite this, the vitamin C in lemon juice has been found to help relieve the pain associated with gout. This is thanks to its ability to heal and maintain healthy blood vessels, tendons, and ligaments.

3.) Potassium

Lemon juice also contains potassium, with levels of around 250 mg per cup of juice. Studies have shown that potassium citrate helps to reduce acidity in the body.

This is because the potassium in lemon juice contains organic salts, such as malate and citrate. These salts neutralize uric acid by helping your body excrete it through urine.

Potassium also prevents crystals of uric acid forming and helps to dissolve those that have already formed. As a result, the kidneys work more efficiently and kidney stones are less likely to form.

How Do I Take Lemon Juice for Gout?

Eating lemons, in the same way you would eat apples, is a great way to reap the many benefits that lemon juice can offer gout sufferers.

But, for most people, the sour taste of lemons makes them too difficult to eat like this. So here are some easier ways to incorporate lemon juice into your daily diet to help minimize your gout symptoms.

Start Your Day with Lemon Water

Make it a daily habit to consume lemon juice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.

The simplest way to take lemon juice to help with gout is to squeeze the juice of one or two lemons into a glass of water. The water can be either hot or cold, depending on your preference.

Not only will the lemon juice help to neutralize any uric acid in your system, the water will help to flush excess waste from your kidneys and get your body ready and working for the day.

Taking the lemon juice and water on an empty stomach also protects your stomach from potential foods which may be high in purines.

Drink Lemon Water Throughout the Day

A single glass of lemon water for gout can only decrease uric acid by a low percentage. So, as well as your morning glass of lemon water, you need to consume lemon water throughout the day.

The easiest way to do this is to prepare a pitcher of water with lemon juice and keep it in your fridge.

You can then help yourself to it when you go to the kitchen for a drink. Having it ready-made will make it much more likely that you’ll reach for your lemon water rather than a soda.

And, if you’re trying to lose weight as a way to help with your gout, the water will fill you up and suppress appetite.

Drinking lemon-infused water before you eat will also stop you from mistaking dehydration for hunger.

Add Lemon to Other Drinks

But, remember that you can add lemon juice to anything. Lemon is delicious in iced tea for a refreshing summer drink.

Or try adding a few squeezes or slices of lemon to green tea. This is a great idea as green tea has natural anti-inflammatory properties which can also help with gout symptoms.

Adding lemon and fresh lemon juice to all these different drinks can also help you to consume more liquids than you might usually have done.

Drinking two to three liters of liquid each day is important to help your kidneys flush out excess uric acid and to prevent uric acid crystals forming in your joints.

Lemon Juice on Food

Lemon juice is also great for cooking as a way to help with your gout while also bringing out the flavor of foods such as chicken and green leafy vegetables.

Lemon juice also makes an excellent salad dressing which is both healthy and calorie-free. And, by using lemon juice instead of creamy sugar-loaded dressings, oil, or salt, you can also help to minimize the gout symptoms that some of these foods can cause.

Try Using Lemon Juice to Help with Gout

It’s clear from this guide that lemon juice for gout is a remedy that is both effective and easy to use.

With a few tweaks to your daily habits, you can reduce the pain and swelling of gout attacks and enjoy the added health benefits of drinking lemon water.

Check out our other blogs to find out more about home remedies for gout, or contact us for more information.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Never Miss an Update!

Never Miss an Update!

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Donald Carnley

    Can you mix lemon juice and lime juice together and it relieve gout?

    1. I personally use lemon juice. Can’t comment on combining them as I haven’t done that.

      Try alternating between the two, and see how it helps you.

      Make sure to try the ideas in this article here as well! 🙂

  2. Osman

    is it safe to drink lemon juice while taking gout and anti inflammatory drugs . I am now on colchicine+profenid=cortancyl). Another thing that might sound queer yet true ; I got gout flare just after taking anti biotics ( negazole+amoxyl 875mg)

    1. Hey Osman!

      I’m NOT a doctor and cannot give you actual medical advice, I can only share my experience and my research… However, I see no harm in having lemon juice and have done that before (with NSAIDs during a flare).

      Also, I would be careful to link your antibiotics to the flare. Although it’s *possible*, correlation is not causation. Just because something looks to be a cause, it isn’t sometimes.

      One thing is for sure though: Drink A LOT more water. At least 8-10, 8oz. glasses, EVERY DAY. That’s been a huge game changer for me, along with the supplements mentioned on this website.

  3. Chris W

    When I have gout flare up or notice any pain from my recurring gout, I’ll take a shot of lemon juice in the morning and at night. It works for me. I am not on any other gout prescriptions or medications. I do take a supplement daily, and it keeps the gout away for the most part. I will go months without an attack using the above methods. When a severe attack comes, I drink a lot of black cherry juice and that will start to act on the gout the same day. Good luck to the gout people out there, it’s a nasty and painful curse to deal with.

  4. Frances

    I have just recovered from my second gout attack on my big toes. this time swelling in the legs as well unable to put shoes on until today had to wear slippers.Dont do anything to create it doctor says its genetic. I am fighting back and have just bought lemon juice powder which I will fill empty capsules with .I am so worried about tooth corrosion I will take a capsule full of powder on empty stomach first thing in the morning with a glass of water then after each meal a capsule with water until evening meal that will make 4 capsules a day.what do you think? its organic lemon powder
    I will be drinking lots of filtered water through out the day as well

    1. Team IWantGoutRelief

      Hello there Frances!

      Although we’re not doctors and don’t give official medical advice, if you’re putting the organic lemon juice powder into capsules and then swallowing them, I don’t think it would affect your teeth as it would be bypassing your mouth completely.

      Also, if you drink organic lemon juice with water, and then thoroughly rinse your mouth and/or brush your teeth, it also shouldn’t have too much of an affect on your teeth.

      Wishing you well!

  5. Frances

    hi I am new at taking anything for gout so I have spent hours doing research and educating myself
    I came across a clinical trial with lemon juice it said lemon activated the pancreas to produce calcium
    carbonate so I have purchased some calcium tablets from iherb and they are made from calcium carbonate so I will have lemon powder and 1/2 tab calcium with my meals and lets see what happens
    I also purchased acid/alkali testing strips to test my urine it will hopefully tell me I am winning in achieving alkalinity and hopefully dissolving uric crystals in my body. I have declared war on uric acid its not a good thing to have it can do terrible things – so its worth the effort to get rid of it

    1. Team IWantGoutRelief

      *Excess* urid acid is the issue, not uric acid itself (which is normal and good).

      Those who are affected by gout have hyperuricaemia (but not everyone with hyperuricaemia gets gout).

      So helping your body process the excess uric acid is the key in all this.

  6. Frances

    yes its the excess I feel that my body has lots of crystals in my fingers and toes maybe my shoulders as well . My focus is on trying to dissolve crystals and calm my uric acid output.
    thankyou for being here it makes the journey less stressful

Leave a Reply