Live longer and healthier by reducing your uric acid levels!
Join board-certified neurologist and five-time New York Times bestselling author Dr. David Perlmutter as he breaks down the origins, causes, and health impact of uric acid in the body. He shares his years of knowledge and experience, and gives you actionable steps you can use to reduce uric acid in your body.
Listen now to reduce the risk of several preventable diseases!
New developments in our understanding of uric acid gives doctors different avenues to help patients regain their metabolic health. It has previously been considered a waste product after digesting certain foods, which accumulates and is eventually excreted through the kidneys.
When it’s not excreted properly or not enough of it is flushed out of the body, it would result in crystals forming in different parts of the body like the big toe (gout), in the kidneys themselves (kidney stones), coronary arteries, or even in the prostate gland.
But now we know that it’s involved in much more than that.
Research such as uric acid and Metabolic Syndrome has shown an association between increased levels of uric acid and hypertension, insulin resistance, type II diabetes, and other metabolic diseases.
According to the World Health Organization, chronic degenerative diseases (such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, coronary artery disease, etc.) are the number one cause of death globally. These diseases are all caused by metabolic dysfunctions and now we recognize uric acid plays a crucial role in adding to that breakdown. Dr. Perlmutter’s research focuses on what contributes to elevated levels of uric acid and what we can do to lower it to safer levels.
A sudden elevation in uric acid levels began around the 1920s, after the amount of sugar in our diets dramatically increased. A low-purine diet has been the go-to recommendation for patients with diseases attributed to high levels of uric acid, minimizing the consumption of high-purine foods such as red meat, organ meats, and seafood. In recent years, lowering sugar consumption has been added to many treatment plans.
Early humans had enzymes in their bodies called uricase that would break down uric acid into urea allantoin. Around 14 million years ago, during a time of food scarcity, there was a powerful selection process that singled out those who could survive on minimal food and water. So elevation of uric acid became a survival mechanism for our distant ancestors.
People with higher uric acid levels could make more body fat, reduce the utilization of body fat for fuel, raise blood pressure during times of water scarcity, and increase insulin resistance/blood sugar in their blood, allowing their brains to function better with little food, all of which were key for survival.
Due to modern advancements, many of us are no longer at risk of experiencing scarcity on that level, which has created an evolutionary and environmental mismatch.
Studies show that people who eat a moderate amount of fruit have lower amounts of uric acid because fruit, in its whole form, doesn’t actually contain as much fructose as we think. Instead, high amounts of sugar is added during the production phase of fruit-based highly processed products. And even if it’s not added, there is a major difference between eating an orange or drinking a glass of orange juice (equivalent to several oranges).
Prolonging health requires us, among other things, to ensure our uric acid levels stay low. Fructose, purine-rich foods, and alcohol are major contributors to our modern sugar intake, meaning we need to make decisions that prioritize long term health.
Unfortunately, eating too much sugar can cause inflammation. And Inflammation in the body threatens our ability to make good decisions, so the goal becomes breaking that downward spiral. Exercise, sleep, and dietary changes can get us back on a better path to long-term health. Listen now for more on how to reduce uric acid, prevent degenerative disease, and prolong health!
David Perlmutter, MD, is a board-certified neurologist and Fellow of the American College of Nutrition. He is a frequent lecturer at symposia sponsored by institutions including the World Bank, Yale, and Harvard, and serves as an Associate Professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He is also a five-time New York Times bestselling author who has published books such as Brain Wash, Grain Brain, Brain Maker, and his latest book Drop Acid.