Hyperuricemia (high blood uric acid) may be found in as much as 10% of the population worldwide. Patients with gout must reduce their uric acid levels to relieve their symptoms. Lifestyle changes needed for treatment include weight loss, reduced use of alcohol and reduced consumption of purines.
Medications used to reduce uric acid include mostly xanthine oxidase enzyme inhibitors and drugs that increase the output of uric acid in the urine. Allopurinol is the most commonly used drug for gout, but, it has lots of side effects. The side effects include rash, liver toxicity and hepatitis.
Phyllanthus niruri is a plant from South America. It is used in Folk Medicine. It has been used in Malaysia and South America. This herb was found to reduce uric acid in rats.
The authors proposed to study the mechanism of action of Phyllanthus niguri and it’s lignans. Strong uricosuric activity was seen with a methanol extract of the herb. Much of the activity was due to the lignans. The use of Phyllanthus niruri should be explored in gout where 90% of the patients are uric acid under-excretors. The lignans seen with Phyllanthus niguri are phyllanthin, hypophyllanthin, phyltetralin and niranthin.
The xanthine oxidase enzyme inhibition would reduce uric acid levels by reducing it’s production. The inhibition seen with Phyllanthus did not seem to be from the lignans.
CONCLUSION: Phyllanthus niruri extract and it’s lignans can be used to treat hyperuricemia in animals. It increases uric acid excretion and inhibits the xanthine oxidase enzyme.
NOTE: Purines are found in the following: meat, liver, kidney, sardines, herring, mackerel and scallops. Purines are degraded metabolically to uric acid.
Read a hyperuricemia review.
Lignans are fibers from the structural parts of plants. They have specific health benefits.
The xanthine oxidase enzyme depends on the presence of molybdenum.