Continuing on the theme of targeting uric acid , one of the most widely appreciated interventions , at least in the supplement world , is tart cherry . An abundance of peer-reviewed , scientific literature has confirmed that in humans , tart cherry has significant activity in terms of lowering uric acid . Traditionally , this research has focused on the translation of these findings to patients with gout , as one might expect . But now that we ’ ve gained a much broader understanding of the implications of elevated uric acid , including tart cherry makes even more sense . In a recent study reported in the journal , Nutrition in Health and Disease , researchers evaluated the effectiveness of tart cherry juice versus placebo on uric acid levels in a group of overweight or obese adults over a four-week period . The results were impressive , demonstrating an average reduction of uric acid by 19 % in those taking the tart cherry juice . In addition , these participants , in comparison to those receiving the placebo , showed a reduction in an important blood marker of inflammation , C-reactive protein .
When you ask people to name an antioxidant , likely vitamin C would likely be the most common response . And with good reason . The scientific validation of vitamin C ’ s antioxidant function is certainly vast . But historically , vitamin C came on to the scene when it was identified in the 1930s as the chemical that prevented the development of scurvy . Scurvy , as manifested by loss of teeth , bleeding , poor wound healing , and bone pain , is a disease of the connective tissue caused by the body ’ s reduced ability to utilize carbohydrates , fats and proteins . In addition , as a consequence of vitamin C deficiency and therefore , decreased antioxidant function , the tissue damage seen in scurvy is accentuated by the action of free radicals . Because vitamin C plays a central role in creating collagen , one of the body ’ s major building block proteins , vitamin C deficiency can have far ranging effects within our bodies .
Vitamin C works in tandem with the polyphenols quercetin and luteolin to provide antioxidant protection against the damaging effects of free radicals . But what ’ s really exciting about the synergy of these supplements , along with tart cherry , is that they all contribute to lowering uric acid . So , this isn ’ t your grandfather ’ s vitamin C . We now look upon this powerful , newly discovered attribute of vitamin C with excitement as it reveals that vitamin C throws a much wider net in terms of its potential health benefits . In what may be the most comprehensive evaluation of the role of vitamin C in lowering uric acid , researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine published a report entitled : Effect of Oral Vitamin C Supplementation on Serum Uric Acid : A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials . In their publication , the authors called attention to the importance of lowering uric acid when it is elevated , stating :
Hyperuricemia ( elevated uric acid ) has been associated with a wide range of diseases , including hypertension , obesity , renal disease , metabolic syndrome , obstructive sleep apnea , stroke , vascular dementia , and preeclampsia .
The report reviewed the results of 13 randomized , controlled trials that were aimed at determining the effectiveness supplemental vitamin C in human subjects . The average length of the studies was 30 days and the average dose of vitamin C was 500 mg . The combined results of the various trials showed a substantial effectiveness of vitamin C in terms of lowering uric acid .
Consumption of green tea has gained in popularity , especially among the health conscious . And unlike the specific chemicals described above , green tea is a food , and as such , contains a vast array of biologically active components , many of which offer up real health benefits . It is rich in polyphenols , providing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity . Another important antioxidant found in green tea is epigallocatechin 3-gallate ( EGCG ), which also serves to aid mitochondrial function , facilitating cellular energy production . And EGCG aids in the process of autophagy , an important mechanism whereby cells rid themselves of defective components , a central event in maintaining cellular function .
Vitamin D is deservedly in the spotlight these days because of its importance in immune regulation and especially in limiting inflammation . Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent around the world while chronic , degenerative inflammatory conditions like coronary heart disease , obesity and diabetes are now the number one cause of death on our planet . To be fair , this is a correlation . But it shouldn ’ t detract from considering the fundamental role of vitamin D in health , not just as a modulator of inflammation , but as an antioxidant , a central player in bone health , a regulator of gene expression related to cancer development , and its important relationship with insulin sensitivity .
Finally , let ’ s consider zinc , present within every cell and the second most abundant mineral in the body after iron . Zinc plays a central role in both the development as well as the function of immune cells and as such , joins the team to help control inflammation . More than 300 important enzymes in the body concerned with things like metabolism and nerve activity depend on zinc for proper functionality . Like vitamin C , we need zinc for proper wound healing . And to be sure , zinc really shines when we consider its potent role as an antioxidant .
We can all appreciate the solo musician . But the synergy of the orchestra ’ s performance elevates the value of each individual ’ s contribution . So it is when we look upon supplements that are science-based and creatively-constructed with multiple components focused on common goals .
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Extraordinary Health ™ • Vol 41 35