Gout is a prevalent metabolic disorder around the world and is characterized by elevation of uric acid levels in the blood, leading to increased accumulation of needle-like urate crystals in the joints and kidneys.The accumulation of urate crystals in the tissues activates the inflammatory sequence, followed by acute inflammatory response such as swelling, warmth and quite pain1.
Unluckily, humans are the only being of the rest of the other mammals, who cannot convert uric acid to a more soluble substance, allantoin. This is due to the absence of the uricase enzyme. As a result, the elevation of uric acid levels in the blood due to the hepatic overproduction of uric acid will lead to the occurrence of hyperuricemia and gout respectively2.
There are two types of urate-lowering drugs in the gout treatment: Xanthine oxidase inhibitors and uricosurics. However, the use of these drugs will not be without serious health complications such as hepatotoxicity, renal toxicity and severe allergic reactions and sometimes may lead to renal failure3. Thus, the search for new anti-hyperuricemic drugs, including more safety and efficacy would be very useful in treatment of the gout and related diseases4.
Plants contain a large amount of potential antioxidants and bioactive substances, making them a target for the search for new drugs13. It has been demonstrated that the many plant-derived antioxidants can be regulated uric acid through either increasing uric acid excretion (uricosuric activity) or by reducing the production of uric acid (inhibition of xanthine oxidase) to reduce the risk of gout5.
Watermelon is commonly consumed in the summer as a refreshing fruit all over the world. It consists of more than 90% water and hence it is called watermelon. It is rich natural source for many bioactive materials such as A, C, E and B-complex vitamins and it contains amino acid citrulline, cucurbitacin, triterpenes, alkaloids and many different minerals6.
Many studies have shown that watermelon juice has numerous beneficial therapeutic effects such as potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, laxative, anti-giardial and anti-hyperlipidemic activity7. The protective effect of watermelon for several different tissues such as liver, kidneys and nerves has been reported in literature.
Researchers conducted a study to evaluate the anti-hyperuricemic activity of watermelon powder on mechanism action of urate-lowering effect through either by increasing of uric acid excretion and/or by decreasing of uric acid production via the inhibition of xanthine oxidase (XO) enzyme8.
The results of the study revealed that the watermelon has a moderate activity of XO inhibition. It was found that all doses of watermelon powder were able to significant reduce serum uric acid levels in the hyperuricemic rats. Uricosuric activity assay showed that the watermelon significantly increased the urinary excretion of uric acid.
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17 November, 2019