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Polyphenol Supplements May Reduce the Risk of Gout

Researchers at the Hyogo College of Medicine in Japan recently conducted a study which found that supplements containing polyphenols may reduce the risk of gout. Their findings were published in the December 2010 issue of the Journal of Functional Food.

Gout is a painful form of arthritis that is caused by the formation of urate crystals in bodily tissues, especially the joints, leading to recurring attacks of painful inflammation. The formation of urate crystals occurs when the body produces too much uric acid.

Six healthy males were recruited for the study. The Japanese researchers found that polyphenol supplements derived from lychee fruit significantly decreased uric acid excretion just one hour after consumption.

They also conducted an in vitro experiment and found that polyphenols inhibited a compound called xanthine oxidase which leads to the creation of uric acid.

Polyphenols are the powerful antioxidants found in plant foods such as green tea. They have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-carcinogenic properties. These properties have been tested in various studies suggesting that polyphenols may help with everything from weight management to potentially slowing the aging process.

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