Uric acid (From foods eaten) is made in the liver and is excreted by the kidneys (Passes out of the body in urine). It is an organic compound of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen. Uric acid is the end product that metabolizes or physical and chemical process, within the body create and use energy (Breathing, circulating blood, digesting food and nutrients, eliminating waste through urine and feces, and regulating temperature). When uric acid concentrates (not able to be pass through the urine) or consequently lower than normal levels in the kidney, develop serious medical health concerns. A uric acid blood test or urine test evaluates the amount of uric acid in the body, (Normal values fall between: Male – 2.1 – 8.5 mg/dL and Female: 2.0 – 6.6 mg/dL. Slightly higher range in the elderly.).
Recommended four hours before the test (preferable 24 hours) discontinue taking any drugs, alcohol, aspirin, caffeine or any substances, which may adversely affect the result of the test. Increase concentration of uric acid can cause crystals to form in the joints, which leads to join inflammation and pain characteristic of gout. Also, crystals can form stones in the kidneys, which can damage the organ. Other related medical problems arising from high uric acid includes: Diabetes, lead poisoning, renal failure (loss ability of the kidneys to remove waste and concentrate urine), Hypoparathyroidsm (A condition in which the body produces too little parathyroid hormone, important to regulate calcium and phosphorus in bone and blood), preclampsia (After twentieth week of pregnancy, elevated blood pressure and protein in the urine, may result in premature delivery.), Leukemia, and cardiovascular disease.
Lower than normal levels of uric acid may indicate: Wilson’s Disease (Rare inherited disorder – Excessive amounts of copper in the body, causing a variety of affects including liver disease and damage to the nervous system.), Fanconi’s syndrome (A condition where there is not enough red blood cells in the blood as result causing Hemolytic anemia (Insufficient amount of oxygen found in the red blood cells)), Multiple Sclerosis (MS – Affects the central nervous system by causing muscle weakness, and other debilitating conditions, including fatigue and visual problems), and other medical conditions. Certain foods provide excellent source to metabolize the kidneys to produce uric acid include: Anchovies, sardines, beef kidneys, meat extracts, herring, sweetbreads, scallops, mackerel, and gravy. Other, less prominent sources of foods include: Poultry, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms, green peas, dried peas, oatmeal, wheat bran, wheat germ, beef, and asparagus. Vegetarians will have a lower detectable level of uric acid.
In January 2007, issue of Neuropsycholgy, published by the American Psychological Association (APA), researcher at the Johns Hopkins and Yale University medical school, discovered a link between high — normal uric acid levels and cognitive impairment in senior citizens or elderly. Researchers examined uric acid test levels of 96 community — dwelling adults aged 60 to 92 years. Those uric acid levels indicated high end of the normal range (Men: 5.8 to 7.6 and Women: 4.8 to 7.1), had the lowest scores on tests of mental processing speed, verbal memory and working memory (Besides other tests included: MRI brain scan, and physical examination). Researchers considered in their evaluation and corrected the data for possible overestimation by adding to the equation age, sex, weight, race, education, diabetes, hypertension, smoking and alcohol abuse or dependence.
Lead author Dr. David Schretien said: “It might be useful for primary-care physicians to ask elderly adults with high normal serum uric acid about any problems they might be having with their thinking, and perhaps refer those who express concern, or whose family members express concern, for neuropsycholgical screening.” Also Dr. Schretien said: “Uric acid level increase with age, although the reason behind it is not entirely clear. The end-stage of renal (kidney) disease increases the risk of cognitive dysfunction and dementia in elderly adults, suggesting uric acid may potentially become a valuable biological marker for every early cognitive problem in old age.” Furthermore, researchers discovered a link between uric acid and vascular damage in the brain. The authors of the study plan to seek further studies to examine how medications such as allopurinolcan or ibuprofen (Also, high doses of aspirin lowers the concentration of uric acid.) help reduce in older people with high-normal uric acid levels, and thus prevent the development of mild cognitive deficits that often precede dementia. Also, attempt to determine which aspects of uric acid and its production help or hurt the nervous system. Known factors that raise uric acid level in the body, including the consumption of alcohol, Fasting, starvation diet, and strenuous exercise.
Uric acid known to have antioxidant (Preventing degenerative disease, especially diseases associated to aging. Also, attributed to lower rates of cancer and heart disease.) properties (Continual supply uric acid to the blood vessels thus preventing damage. Published in November 2005 issue of the Annals of Neurology: Linked antioxidant properties of uric acid decreased significantly risk of Parkinson’s disease) despite the link to cognitive deficits.