First, a little refresher on uric acid: When the body metabolizes fructose and purines (substances that are found in both the body and foods), it generates uric acid in the blood. And according to Perlmutter, high levels can affect your metabolic health at large: Uric acid informs the body that it’s in a situation where it needs to store fat and water. This phenomenon is key for our species’ survival, but you can see how things might go awry if it occurs too often.
Perlmutter explains that consuming fructose and sodium can result in elevated uric acid levels, but that’s not quite the end of the story: “There’s an enzyme called xanthine oxidase that allows the formation of uric acid. If you can block xanthine oxidase, you can reduce uric acid formation,” he says.
Despite the technicality of this bodily process, there is one simple thing that you can add to your routines to support this process: “It turns out, you can target that enzyme with quercetin.” Quercetin, as a reminder, is a powerful flavonoid that neutralizes free radicals and is connected to some pretty serious immune support.* And, well, we can add metabolic health to its list of benefits: “One recent study from England showed that 22 young males with elevated uric acid had an 8% drop of uric acid in just two weeks by taking 500 milligrams of quercetin [per day],”* says Perlmutter.