Picture 1: Antigonon leptopus (Kadena de Amor) and Picture 2: Mimosa Pudica (Makahiya) are identified to treat gout by Dr. Christine C. Hernandez, NRCP Regular Member of Division X-Chemical Sciences and Director of the Institute of Chemistry, University of the Philippines Diliman. Photos: Google

Treatment for gout can be found in your yard!

Antigonon Leptopus (Kadena de Amor) and Mimosa Pudica (Makahiya) plant extracts are scientifically proven anti-gout.

Gout is a form of arthritis caused by overproduction or under secretion of uric acid. The most cases of gouty arthritis triggered older men and postmenopausal women with risk factors in age, body weight, diet, and climate. Over the last decades, the severity of gout has been increasing and it continues to be a major health problem due to shifts in diets and lifestyles.

For three decades, allopurinol, a purine analogue, is the only commercially available medication for gout. This medication is used to decrease high blood uric acid levels which causes gout. According to the study, despite allopurinol efficacy and safety profiles, there are very rare but serious adverse reactions occurred including interstitial nephritis, renal failure, hepatotoxicity, vasculitis and an array of skin rashes varying from mild to very severe and life-threatening allopurinol hypersensitivity syndrome.

Through the research project, “Standardized Anti-Hyperuricemia Extracts from Selected Philippine Plants,” funded by the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP), Dr. Christine C. Hernandez, Regular Member of Division X-Chemical Sciences and Director of the Institute of Chemistry, University of the Philippines Diliman, led the efforts to search for new biologically active compounds from local herbal remedies.

Dr. Hernandez’ screened plant extracts for its potential anti-gout symptoms using xanthine oxidase. The xanthine oxidase enzyme, which can be found in the liver and the small intestinal mucosa, oxidizes hypoxanthine to xanthine and xanthine to uric acid which leads to hyperuricemia and gout. This led to the discovery and identification of Kadena de Amor and Makahiya extracts that can potentially cure hyperuricemia and gout.

Dr Hernandez’ has satisfied the purpose of the study to examine xanthine oxidase inhibitory activity of extracts from A. leptopus and M. pudica and isolate and identify xanthine oxidase inhibitor(s) from A. leptopus and M. pudica using an enzyme-guided bioassay scheme.

The research results of this project was presented during the 2nd National Basic Research Symposium “Communicating Basic Research Results to the People: The Values of Philippine Flora and Fauna” last 12 October 2018 at Hotel Jen, Pasay City.