Understanding Uric Acid

Uric Acid

Purines perform multiple important functions within our cells, including regulating energy metabolism and signaling the energy conversion from one to another.  Purines are essentially the building blocks for all living things as a necessity for the growth, proliferation and survival of all cells.  The two purine bases, adenine and guanine, create bonds that form the DNA ladder. Humans breakdown purines and convert them into uric acid.

Uric acid happens to be a potent DNA protector.  All other mammals possess an enzyme known as uricase.  Uricase converts uric acid into allantoin, which can easily travel through the bloodstream and readily eliminated through the urine.  Humans do not possess this enzyme, therefore, we cannot oxidize uric acid into the more soluble compound of allantoin.  Our liver and kidneys are left to do the all-important jobs of purine breakdown and uric acid disposal, conducted respectively.


Blood serum uric acid levels are determined by two components:

  • uric acid synthesis
  • uric acid excretion

Synthesis takes place in the liver as a result of the breakdown of purines.  Purine levels are mostly determined by what is naturally produced by the body, with approximately the other 30% absorbed from the food we eat.  The second component, uric acid excretion, is determined by the rate at which the kidneys are able dispose of the excess.  According to a study conducted by Hyon K. Choi in 2005, about 90% of hyperuricemia is attributed to impaired renal excretion.

As we mentioned above, uric acid is a potent antioxidant and DNA protector.  Could this be why only 10% of the uric acid that enters a normal human kidney is disposed of?  Would it be safe to assume the other 90% that is reclaimed and sent back into the bloodstream is done so for our bodies to utilize its powerful antioxidant and free radical neutralizing powers? 

According to science…..

Uric acid is responsible for the neutralization of over 50% of the free radicals in our bloodstream.  Considering humans and primates are unable to naturally produce Vitamin C, we may have inherited the ability to utilize uric acid.  Uric acid remains extremely controversial and difficult to manage.  On one hand, uric acid protects high-oxygen tissues (like the brain) from damage and has been shown to increase the risks of several neurological disorders in the presence of sub-par levels.  On the other hand, high-serum uric acid levels are inversely associated with the severity of several diseases, especially the state of cardiovascular diseases.

Is there a balance?

Yes, although the course(s) of action to achieve this balance may be equally as complex, as well as individually determined.  As a former Gout sufferer, I naturally ventured down the path of reducing my purine intake by focusing on my diet.  Once I understood a bit more about the roles of purines and uric acid I was able to conclude that this path was not going lead me to success. 

I asked myself the following questions:

  1. If only 30% of the purines in my body come directly from food, then will a low-purine diet do anything to help with the main 70% of my production?
  2. Do I have any control over the other 70% that occurs naturally in my body?
  3. Am I doing anything to directly contribute to higher purine production aside from the food I eat?
  4. If the food I eat is low-purine, but still unhealthy, does that have any impact on the amount my body is naturally producing?

The last question truly gave me pause.  If the natural purine production stems from normal DNA and RNA turnover, were there things I was doing to my body to cause my cells to die and turnover faster than usual? 

This brought me to another series of questions, ones I believe to be more relevant to my cause:

  1. Do my medications and over-the-counter drugs contributing to faster cell death?
  2. Was I hydrated enough?  Cellular dehydration is extremely common and definitely causes cellular turnover.
  3. Did my slightly overweight body and lack of exercise have anything to do with the health of my cells?
  4. Was my rather heavy alcohol consumption a bigger problem than just the purines alone?  Does it affect my cells, too? 
  5. Did my high stress life contribute to faster cellular death?
  6. Does my sweet tooth and sugar intake affect my cells and uric acid production?
  7. If my body can’t naturally produce certain vitamins and antioxidants, could I help my body by supplying enough in my diet and supplementation in hopes of my kidneys not reclaiming as much uric acid to help in their absence?

Looking ahead….

These are some really important questions that opened my eyes to a whole new approach and a whole new outlook on the importance of taking better care of myself.  These questions initially targeted my efforts to gauge my cellular health (or lack thereof), but also really put my kidney and liver health into question. Many of us unknowingly damage the health of our cells, furthering excess uric acid production. In doing so, we are also placing unnecessary strain on the very organs we need to help us rid of the excess uric acid.  What a conundrum!

These epiphanies led me to better health, elimination of my medications (blood pressure, cholesterol, and Gout), correction of my glucose levels, secured my beliefs in the right all natural remedies, led to my blog, and changed my life! It doesn’t have to be so overwhelming. Take a step back and look at the bigger picture and you will find there is a lot of common sense in play here, and even more common sense solutions.  Take it slow, one adjustment at a time for attainable goals.  This blog offers a series of articles to highlight a bit more on the specifics regarding stress, hydration, diet, and much more.  Comment below for additional questions/need for guidance. 

Here’s to your Gout and Inflammation free 2019!

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19 Replies to “Understanding Uric Acid”

  1. Thanks so much for all these information about Uric Acid, I know for sure that I need to go on a diet I’ve seen where I really need to read up more about the risk of Uric Acid.

    1. Hi Ms. Alicia. I am glad you enjoyed the information. I can run a complete analysis on your diet and lifestyle and help make suggestions to fit your needs and quest for Gout control. Just let me know and I’ll send you the questionnaire link. Have a great night and thanks for stopping by! Check back in for more great posts.

    1. There are quite of a bit of other issues that cause uric acid levels to rise. Any and all of these conditions are related to inflammation, and commonly go hand in hand. To be specific on that correlation, lack of oxygen can cause tissue breakdown which also allows for uric acid levels to rise. In addition to this, apnea also causes the blood to be more acidic which blocks the bloods ability to hold uric acid in a soluble form in the blood. In turn, urate crystal precipitation is much more likely.

  2. Thanks for the info .I suffer from uric acids my doctor tell me to drink plenty of water I do but still have flair up.any suggestions thanks

    1. It can definitely be difficult and confusing to manage and needs to be a comprehensive approach with diet, lifestyle, water intake, and key nutrients/vitamins/supplements. This gout food page is a great resource to understanding more about how the diet affects you, and not just worrying about purines. https://www.goutcure.com/gout-foods.html

  3. Thanks for the very useful information on uric acid. I am used to a quite controlled diet throughout my life. No alcohol, take fruits and vegetables daily, mostly eat egg and fish once a day, very rarely eat red or white meat (maximum once a week), take plenty of water etc. Do not have any cronic disease, BP, blood suger level are all normal. Only I have very high uric acid have to take medicine everyday. I do not have any joint pain or inflammation though. Any suggestion what can be the reason for high uric acid and any way it can be controlled naturally.

  4. I am just now dealing with very high levels and trying to figure out the best course to take as I am not one who wants or needs to take pills every day. I have autoimmune issues as well as a heart condition and need the most natural and tasty way of breaking down the uric acid in the body. Thanks

    1. UA Sure is a good product and available on Amazon. A few important notes: Blood levels cannot give you a full
      and accurate picture when Gout is involved. The crystals jabbing at the joints cannot be seen in the blood.

  5. I have had gout for the first time about a year ago….a month ago I had a second attack of gout. I am now using a drug called
    allopurinal which reduces the amount of uric acid in the body. The bad news is that a drug is a drug and wish I wouldn’t need it. I’m not sure if I’m doing the right thing. Anybody have thoughts on this.

    1. ALLOPURINOL (Zyloprim) inhibits uric acid synthesis which is good in theory, but begs the question as to where those purines go? If we unnaturally stop something as natural and uric acid conversion (UA protects our DNA), we must ask ourselves about the danger of this in the long run. It’s really a catch 22. Dealing with uric acid naturally takes a comprehensive approach of pH balanced diet, proper water intake, and the right organ supporting supplements to deal with uric acid production and excretion in a healthy manner.

  6. Thanks a lot for your detailed article and thought provoking questions. I always believe that medication is not the only solution. There are other small lifestyle changes we can make one at a time to get things under control. Can you please send me your questionnaire you were referring to?

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