Today’s health news concerns a certain waste product produced by your body when you digest foods. It’s called uric acid, and it’s formed when your body breaks down purine—a substance found in organ meats and some types of fish. Normally, uric acid is carried in your blood, passes through your kidneys, and is eliminated in urine.
When this elimination system isn’t working properly, gout, kidney stones, or even kidney failure could develop. A high uric acid level doesn’t necessarily cause problems, but it has been shown to appear prior to the development of high blood pressure, heart disease, or chronic kidney disease.
Now researchers from the West Virginia University say there may be a link between breathing problems while sleeping and high blood levels of uric acid. Both sleep disordered breathing and high uric acid levels themselves are independent risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
The research team examined results from the 2005-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination. They looked at sleep variables and high serum uric acid among 6,491 participants aged 20 years and up. The sleep variables included sleep duration, snoring, snorting, and daytime sleepiness.
They found that snoring more than five nights per week, daytime sleepiness, and a high score of sleep variables were associated with high serum uric acid in people—even after adjusting for sex, age, and lifestyle/behavioral risk factors. The association was somewhat lessened with the addition of variables related to health problems, such as depression, diabetes, hypertension, and high-cholesterol levels—but still present. The researchers concluded that a positive relationship between sleep variables and high serum uric acid levels definitely exists.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, try lowering your intake of these foods that are high in purines: sardines, liver, mushrooms, and brewer’s yeast. Some kinds of fish, organ meats, and beans can also be high in purines.
For other alternative remedies that can help you get a good night’s sleep, read the article How to Sleep Soundly.