|Uric Acid: Not Just for Gout Anymore
The major flaw of the antioxidant theory of aging is the lack of efficacy of antioxidant supplements against diseases of aging. A patchwork of experimental demonstrations show that oxidative stress is involved in several degenerative diseases, and diet, but not supplements, protects people from those diseases. Dissecting diet from a lifetime of exposure has always raised more questions than it has solved.
New evidence is establishing a direct link between oxidant balance and disease, demonstrating that increased uric acid, one of the body’s most effective antioxidants, is correlated with reduced risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Uric acid, a metabolite of purine metabolism, is maintained in the body rather than broken down by uricase, as it is in most animals. Interestingly, save humans, most animals that excrete uric acid do so to reduce water loss through urine. Could it be that human antioxidant needs were the major drive for retention of a uricase mutation in humans that blocks activity and allows high urate levels?...