Uric Acid in Human Life
Humans and a few primates are unique in that we lack an enzyme called uricase to to change uric acid into a compound we can excrete easily in urine. Uric acid is generated as a breakdown product of nucleic acids (specifically purine) and there is evidence of the trend that structural compounds when broken down exert effects at the level of consciousness. Humans actually have the gene for uricase- it is just permanently silent. The inhibition of this powerful enzyme points to a greater wisdom- that there is a reason for uric acid in the human.
In animals we find that birds and reptiles are able to excrete uric acid alone. Fish excrete ammonia (aquarium keepers must always be on guard about keeping the levels of ammonia in check). Mammals produce the intermediate urea for urinary excretion of protein byproducts. From fish to mammal to reptiles and birds we see that ammonia, urea, and uric acid has more and more a water to solid tendency. Uric acid forms crystals in gout and kidney stones. Birds (formed from mainly head forces) occupy the air element but their bodies are far more earthly than mammals. The crystal-leaning substance of uric acid exemplifies these head-forces. Rudolf Steiner pointed to thinking as a finely distributed crystallizing process of uric acid in the brain. He indicated that an imbalance of uric acid in the urine versus the blood would be associated with sleep disturbances. The graph from a study linking these variables is a modern confirmation.
In gout we see the process of excretion of uric acid happen inappropriately into joints. Gout can occur because of too much uric acid being produced or because of too little being excreted in the urine. The I activity is not able to fully take hold of the process and the astral body attempts to compensate. The astral forces are inward working forces and we see uric acid crystallize in the joints- typically cooler peripheral joints away from the warmth of the I activity. The kidney (the astral body’s seat in the organism) also bears these uric acid crystals. Interestingly we see gout associated with too much astrality in our foods (rich, meaty foods) and with alcohol (a dampener of the I activity).
Lesch Nyhan Syndrome points to the head and nerve focus of uric acid as well. In this genetic disorder, uric acid accumulates to extremely high levels. Behavioral disturbances occur, the most typical being a compulsion to lip biting that can cause tragic disfigurement.
Some Powerful Relatives
We can see that uric acid ties itself to thinking and consciousness by looking at some relatives. Caffeine is present in coffee, tea and chocolate. Steiner commented on the differing quality of effect from consuming coffee versus tea. There is now genetic evidence that caffeine production by plants occured by different pathways in tea and coffee. Theobromine is the compound in coccoa which acts on the heart and kidneys (but not on consciousness directly).
Theophylline is an asthma medication that relaxes the smooth muscle of the airways. It also has effects on the heart and kidneys. It commonly causes anxiety and insomnia. Coccoa is one of the best natural sources of theophylline.
The barbiturates are a clear example of how uric acid can move the other direction in affecting consciousness.
2 thoughts on “Coffee, Fioricet, Chocolate: The Silver Lining of Gout?”
Crystal-growing as a hobby had taught me that crystals grow in a highly saturated solution at the proper warmth for crystals to precipitate out of solution.
In the late 1990’s I experienced uric acid gout from overdoing meat and bacon consumption per Dr. Atkins’ low-carbohydrate diet. (He wasn’t at fault, I was.)
I came to work wearing soft slippers that first day. Needle-sharp uric acid crystals were giving severe pain, so I determined to reverse the situation. To precipitate crystals one needs a precise recipe: warm temperature (that is allowed to cool slowly) plus a super-saturated solution of whatever element you are growing crystals. If the solution is too cold it will not grow crystals. If the solution is not well-saturated it will not grow crystals. Voila, I put 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (alkaline) in a glass and added water, drank it…and the alkalinity broke up the super saturated acidity. No more gout after 2 days.
Uric acid crystals require the solution to be acidic.
I had gout for several years and it just went away. I associated it with Diovan which I took during that time and quit when I realized it was interacting with other things to raise, not lower, my blood pressure. I am not sure this is why it went away. I still had gout a few times after that but not since 2013. I enjoyed your article and also your biography. say hello to Enid. Love to you all Stephen
P. S. What you write about art is informative. If you like I could post a link on My Art and Anthroposophy site and maybe your bio or a short article. Have you written anything else on art?