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Uric Acid Protects Endothelium in Diabetics, Smokers

May be due to its antioxidant properties

MONDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Uric acid can improve endothelial function in type 1 diabetics and regular smokers, possibly through its antioxidant properties, according to a report in the November issue of Diabetes.

W. Stephen Waring, Ph.D., from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and colleagues treated eight men with type 1 diabetes, eight healthy smokers and eight healthy controls with 1,000 milligrams of uric acid administered intravenously in combination with a vehicle; 1,000 mg vitamin C alone as an antioxidant control; vehicle alone; and 0.9 percent saline. The treatments were given on separate occasions over a one-hour period, with at least one week between visits. Endothelial function was assessed by measuring forearm blood flow in response to acetylcholine and sodium nitroprusside.

The researchers found that uric acid and vitamin C significantly improved the acetylcholine response in diabetics and smokers, which was impaired in these two groups compared with controls. Uric acid also improved endothelial function in diabetics and smokers, according to the study.

The study findings suggest that "high uric acid concentrations in vivo might serve a protective role in these and other conditions associated with increased cardiovascular risk," Waring and colleagues conclude.

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