High fructose levels raises uric acid and thereby hypertension risk.

High intake of fructose or fruit sugar, such as that contained in sugary soft drinks, is associated with a number of spin-off metabolic disturbances, including hypertension.

Elevated fructose levels eventually raise uric acid levels, which are associated with increased risks for hypertension, gout, and renal impairment. A new article published in Renal and Neurology News says that while renal impairment itself seems to increase the risk for elevated amounts of uric acid through decreased excretion, “the effect of uric acid on metabolic syndrome begs the question of whether a causative effect exists between uric acid and subsequent renal impairment.”

Author Grissim Clark Connery, MS, RD, refers to an animal study that showed that rats on a high fructose diet and treated with allopurinol or benzbromarone ― drugs used to increase the excretion of uric acid in the urine, did not develop hyperinsulinism, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, or gain excess bodyweight. Those fed the same diet without the medication, developed all these symptoms, indicating that “elevated uric acid is a potential propagator of metabolic syndrome.”

How it works. Connery explains that uric acid appears to reduce nitric oxide synthesis, an important regulator of blood pressure through endothelial vasodilation. According to a study of hypertensive adolescents, “a reduction in uric acid levels normalized blood pressure (BP) in 66% of the participants compared with controls.” In another study, high pressure increased in 74 overweight subjects after they received a high fructose diet for two weeks. The results were reversed after they received uric acid reducing agents. There is also a large body of evidence linking chronic kidney disease (CKD) and elevated uric acid levels.

Connery says that reducing consumption of added syrups and sugars in the diet is the most powerful way to reduce fructose intake. “Sweetened beverages often provide the largest fructose dose in the general population. Fruit in its natural form can be an appropriate food when proper portions are considered, but the intakes of fruit juices or dried fruits can easily provide high sources of fructose through excessive portion intake.” He also recommends getting ones carbohydrates from starches, like potatoes and yams, due to their low fructose content and positive effect on potential renal acid load.

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