Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Uric acid is a normal byproduct of cell turnover in the body, but research suggests that diets high in fructose can raise its levels in the blood. Excess uric acid is known to cause gout, and now new research at Washington University School of Medicine suggests that rather than being a symptom of metabolic syndrome, it actually disrupts metabolism.
A team led by Dr. Kelle H. Moley found that a protein, GLUT9, is a vital carrier of uric acid. In her study on mice, when GLUT9 stopped working in the gut, uric acid built up in the rodents’ bodies; Within 6-8 weeks, they’d developed the markers of metabolic syndrome such as high insulin, blood pressure and cholesterol.
“Switching so heavily to fructose in foods over the past 30 years has been devastating,” Moley said, adding that more studies would follow to establish a clear link between fructose and uric acid.