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Assessment of systemic uric acid levels among consumers of alcoholic beverages in port Harcourt Nigeria

Author: 
Igwe, F. U., Ndon, O. M. and Brown, H.
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

The alteration in systemic uric acid homeostasis following consumption of certain beverages is generating concern among clinical scientists. There is renewed speculation that high levels of uric acid in body fluids can cause accumulation of urate crystals in joints which may result in gouty conditions. This study assessed the relationship between consumption of various types of alcoholic beverages and corresponding uric acid levels in the blood and urine of regular consumers in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Randomly selected adult male and female volunteers, who accepted to undergo alcohol, caffeine and aspirin fast for 48 hours prior to consumption of specified volume of the various alcoholic beverages, were studied. The volunteers were divided into groups according to sex and preferred choice of alcoholic beverage. Blood and urine samples were collected, before and one hour after consumption of the beverage. Serum and urine uric acid levels were determined using uricase methods. There was significant (P<0.05) increase in the serum uric acid levels of male volunteers that consumed stout and larger beer. The urine uric acid levels of the male volunteers that consumed stout, larger beer and brandy were significantly (P<0.05) lower than the corresponding levels before consumption. For the female volunteers, there was significant (P<0.05) increase in the serum uric acid levels among those that consumed stout, brandy and table wine. Conversely, there was significant (P<0.05) decrease in the urine uric acid levels among those that consumed larger beer. The elevation of serum uric acid and its decreased elimination through urine may lead to uric acid accumulation in blood and predispose regular consumers of high doses of these alcoholic beverages to gout arising from deposition of uric acid crystals. Appropriate choice of the less susceptible brands of alcoholic beverage and moderation in consumption frequency is advocated.

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