Uric acid (urate) is an organic compound that is a factor in purine metabolism, which is an important part of RNA and DNA generation. Uric acid is also an important antioxidant and is therefore beneficial to cell regeneration and integrity. The correct levels of uric acid aid the body in fighting oxidative stress, which can cause breakdowns in many systematic functions, leading to stroke, heart disease and cancer.
The lack of a sufficient presence of some minerals in the body may contribute to low uric acid levels. Molybdenum deficiency has been linked to low uric acid level as has a deficiency of zinc. Additionally, deficiencies in magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin B-12 have been shown in some studies to contribute to low levels of uric acid. In some cases, low levels of uric acid have been linked to the onset of multiple sclerosis.
Certain dysfunctions in the body may lead to low uric acid levels. Liver disease, some forms of cancer and Wilson’s disease (an affliction related to copper that can affect the brain, the kidneys and the liver) may cause a decreased presence of uric acid. A lack of sufficient protein in the diet may also contribute to this condition, as can hormonal imbalances such as SIADH, a syndrome that causes the buildup of large amounts of fluid in the body.
Significance of Low Uric Acid Levels
The disposal of uric acid is normally handled by the kidneys and the liver. Uric acid is therefore passed out of the body through waste (most often in urine). High levels of uric acid can lead to the collection of urate crystals in the renal organs as well as in the joints of the body, which can result in kidney stones and liver disease as well as arthritis and gout. Lower uric acid levels, consequently, can be seen as a positive prognosis relative to the onset of these conditions.
Diabetes has reportedly been connected with low levels of serum uric acid (uric acid in blood plasma). According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there have also been studies that indicate low levels of uric acid may contribute to death in some patients undergoing dialysis treatment. Parkinson’s disease has also been linked to low levels of uric acid in a study done by the American Journal of Nephrology that compared patients both with and without this affliction, using factors of body mass, dietary consumption and serum uric acid levels.
Gout and arthritis are two of the most common ailments whose treatment focuses on controlling uric acid levels in the body. In general, dietary alterations and exercise are indicated for lowering uric acid levels to prevent the increase of urate crystalline buildup that leads to these joint afflictions. Lowered intake of sugar and salt are recommended, along with incorporating herb seasonings (basil, marjoram, oregano) and increasing the intake of brown rice and whole wheat products.