Carnivorous by choice

We like to associate ourselves with carnivores. The hunters. The predators. If you were watching lions hunt a gazelle or zebra you would most likely be rooting for the lions.

When asked, if you were an animal, what would you like to be? Someone will say a lion or a tiger. Maybe even a cheetah or a leopard. These days we even have hyenas.

I have never heard anyone say they would like to be an antelope. I mean, fair enough, no one wants to live while knowing they could be eaten at any moment.

But we have more in common with the herbivores than the carnivores. This being a health article, we will look at how far our similarities go with those who munch on all things green as far as health matters are concerned.

Joining our discourse today is one uricase. This enzyme is not found in humans. If we had it no one would ever get arthritis. As a consequence of digesting meat, the body produces a waste product called urea.

Urea is toxic to the body and annoyingly, it is not very soluble. This presents a conundrum for the body when it comes to getting rid of it. It is in the blood but you can’t just urinate it out because it is not soluble in water, which has the majority shares in our body.

So the urea gets converted to uric acid, in an attempt to make it more soluble but even this is not enough, so the amount that gets out in urine is still meager.

Fulfill the meaty desires of your appetite well enough and the uric acid will start to accumulate. It then forms crystals in the cooler parts of the body, such as the big toe.

And then you will experience pain because the body will mistake the crystals for bandits and launch an aggressive immune response. Pain that is so exquisite, so lively and torturesome you won’t be able to place a bedsheet over that toe.

In fact, you won’t allow anyone to come into the room because their footsteps aggravate the pain. This is the pain of arthritis. The carnivore you aspire to be will just be looking at you and laughing.

When confronted with urea, it simply unhooks uricase from its collection of enzymes and uses it to baptize and convert uric acid into the readily soluble allantoin. It will then point you to your herbivore folk as it waters the world with allantoin.

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