woman in white long sleeve shirt wearing blue gloves

Studying diseases like gout and kidney stones finds new drug targets: Researchers develop a strain of fruit fly that develops high uric acid levels when triggered by diet

Consuming too much alcohol, red meat and sugary beverages all contribute to high levels of uric acid in the blood or urine, which increases the risk of gout, kidney stones, metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes and early death. Alarmingly, more than 20 percent of the United States population has elevated uric acid levels, and existing drug treatments frequently have adverse side effects, contraindications or interactions with other drugs. To better understand how the body accumulates this compound, researchers developed a strain of fruit fly that builds up uric acid in its body when triggered by a high-purine diet. They discovered that the insulin-like signaling pathway, a pathway which animals use to sense nutrients, plays a role in regulating uric acid levels. Furthermore, they demonstrated that they could lower uric acid levels in the fly by suppressing this pathway. The investigators also found that they could reduce the effects of uric acid accumulation and improve fruit fly survival by inhibiting free radicals — unstable atoms that cause damage to cells — using antioxidants like Vitamin C or by suppressing a gene called NOX.

The researchers showed that three genes are associated with uric acid levels in the fruit fly model, and these potentially could be pursued as new targets for drug development. Previous research in humans has identified several genes associated with high uric acid levels, however their causal role in altering uric acid pathologies is not well understood. This fruit fly model could be used to investigate their role further and could help identify new drugs for the numerous diseases linked to uric acid accumulation. A person’s uric acid levels often increase with age, and so such therapies have the potential not only to prevent an early death, but also to increase a person’s healthy years.

“Uric acid is important for longevity,” said Kapahi. “Gout, the most common inflammatory arthritis, is associated with premature mortality. Conversely, many centenarians are genetically predisposed to have lower levels of uric acid. We think this work could help establish uric acid as a biomarker of aging.”

This content was originally published here.


0 out of 5 stars(0 ratings)

Get the Latest in Gout Prevention and Treatment Straight to You

Sign up today to prevent your next gout attack. Gout can be managed, let us help.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Recent Comments


    A recent study has shown that a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and nuts can reduce a person's risk of gout. The…

    • Diet
    • 86
    Read more

    Gout is a type of arthritis which causes sleepless nights to many by causing joint pain attacks especially in the big…

    • Diet
    • 51
    Read more

    Research published in the journal Clinical Nutrition determined that vegetarian diets are optimal for reducing risk of…

    • Diet
    • 73
    Read more

    Help us find great content


    GoutInformation.com takes a holistic approach to treating gout. It was created by individuals who themselves have experienced gout and want to share their knowledge with fellow gout sufferers. It can be managed, we're here to help!


    Subscribe Today For Gout Treatment and Prevention

    Get the latest news from medical experts and fellow gout suffers to help you manage gout and find the best treatment that works for you:
    • News Curated by Those Who Suffer From Gout
    • Research and Studies Backed by Medical Professionals
    • Diet Plans and Recipes
    Holler Box