The Untold Story Of Uric Acid: Solving The Puzzle Of Obesity, Diabetes, And Chronic Disease

Uric acid is a central player in metabolic mayhem. Despite its long association with gout and kidney stones, it’s involved in so much more—especially our metabolic disease epidemic. There are three things that raise our levels of uric acid: purines, alcohol, and fructose. The latter is the biggest challenge, due to its overwhelming presence in our Standard American Diet. That doesn’t mean all fruit is bad or even that all alcohol and purine-rich foods have the same effect. Like all parts of health and nutrition, there are nuances we need to consider to create optimal health.

That’s why I’m so excited to take a deep dive into the topic of uric acid on this episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy, with my friend and colleague Dr. David Perlmutter. Dr. Perlmutter and I jump into this episode with some eye-opening facts on how fructose and uric acid impact our physiology, including why our bodies evolved to act this way. Gout is most definitely one issue, but insulin resistance, obesity, blood pressure, and brain health are all part of the picture as well. If you’re confused about the difference between fructose and other sugars, like glucose, we’ve got you covered.

Dr. Perlmutter and I talk about why fructose is so unique in how it impacts our metabolic pathways and I think you’ll be relieved to hear that a certain amount of fruit, in its whole form, can still be part of a healthy diet. It’s the high-fructose corn syrup hiding in boxes, bags, and bottles that is the real villain. We also explain what purine-rich foods are, how to eat them mindfully, and what type of diet is the most uric-acid-friendly. Eating lots of plant foods rich in nutrients like vitamin C and phytochemicals like quercetin is one way to balance uric acid (and support the rest of the body while you’re at it). If you want to take a more proactive approach to your health, we discuss how to talk to your doctor about uric acid, ways to test it, and what levels to use as a functional reference range. We also touch on what supplements and lifestyle changes could be helpful in addition to dietary changes. This is such an exciting evolution in how we view, prevent, and manage metabolic diseases.

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