Team: Intestinal dysfunction linked to gout
Japanese researchers say intestinal dysfunction is one of the causes of a disease that makes people suffer from swollen joints. Gout is usually linked to high levels of uric acid in the blood.
The team from the Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, the National Defense Medical College and the University of Tokyo announced their finding on Tuesday.
The researchers looked at how a protein that helps to release uric acid works in different parts of the body.
They used mice whose genes were modified so they will not produce this protein.
The kidneys of the mice functioned normally, but their intestines discharged far lower amounts of uric acid.
Scientists have long thought that gout is caused by kidney problems, but the team says intestines are also linked to the disease.
The team says its finding will help develop new treatments and drugs to combat gout.
Wednesday, April 04, 2012