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Parkinson’s disease risk in men has been found to be lower with high uric acid (urate) levels in blood. Urate is formed when purines – found in many of the foods and beverages we consume – are broken down in the body.
Study author Xiang Gao said, “These results suggest that urate could protect against Parkinson’s or slow the progression of the disease in its very early stages before symptoms are seen. The findings support more research on whether raising the level of urate in people with early Parkinson’s may slow the disease down.”
Gao suggests that individuals can easily increase their purine levels in the body in order to receive protective properties of these substances, but excessively high amount of purines can lead to kidney stones and gout.
The study looked at 90,124 participants from three large study groups. Blood tests were used to measure urate levels. Across the groups, 388 individuals developed Parkinson’s disease. The results were compared to three previous studies for meta-analysis.
Men with the highest levels of urate were nearly 40 percent less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease, compared to those with the lowest levels of urate. The relationship between urate and Parkison’s disease was not seen in women as it was in men.
Gao pointed out the study only reveals a relationship and not cause and effect, nor does it prove that urate can protect against Parkinson’s disease.