Role of uric acid and vitamin C in chronic diseases

Role of uric acid and vitamin C in chronic diseases

 

Question : Diet & Disease

 

It has been hypothesized that in our early evolution, uric acid may have been beneficial as a physiological alarm signal under conditions of environmental stress and starvation and may have a basic role in the fattening-fasting cycle. But, ironically, this signal has now gone awry in Modern society with the introduction of the Western diet, which has resulted in a dramatic increase in serum uric acid due to the availability of purine-rich meats and the introduction of sugar (fructose). This increase in fructose intake, in addition to the loss of the key enzyme in vitamin C synthesis in primates, closely parallels the rise in gout, hypertension, obesity and metabolic syndrome that has occurred over the last two centuries and particularly, the last 50 years.  Explain the above.     

 

Students should discuss/ include the following points, in addition to those they consider relevant from their wider reading.

 

  • Mutation in uricase that occurred in human and ape ancestors nearly 15 M years ago.
  • Mutation in L-gulono lactone oxidase that is thought to have occurred approximately 30-40 million years ago involving all primates.
  • Potential survival advantage of these mutations relating to Neel’s thrifty gene hypothesis, including reference to fructose.
  • Effect of introduction Western diet on uric acid levels and lack of vitamin C.
  • Role of uric acid and vitamin C in chronic diseases today.

           

References will be posted with the lecture files.

  • Mutation in uricase that occurred in human and ape ancestors nearly 15 M years ago.
  • Mutation in L-gulono lactone oxidase that is thought to have occurred approximately 30-40 million years ago involving all primates.
  • Potential survival advantage of these mutations relating to Neel’s thrifty gene hypothesis, including reference to fructose.
  • Effect of introduction Western diet on uric acid levels and lack of vitamin C.
  • Role of uric acid and vitamin C in chronic diseases today.

           

References will be posted with the lecture files.

 

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