Arch Gerontol Geriatr 1984 Dec;3(4):321-48
Urate and ascorbate: their possible roles as antioxidants in determining longevity of mammalian species.
Urate has been shown to be a major antioxidant in human serum and was postulated to have a biological role in protecting tissues against the toxic effects of oxygen radicals and in determining the longevity of primates. This possibility has been tested by determining if the maximum lifespan potentials of 22 primate and 17 non-primate mammalian species are positively correlated with the concentration of urate in serum and brain per specific metabolic rate. This analysis is based on the concept that the degree of protection a tissue has against oxygen radicals is proportional to antioxidant concentration per rate of oxygen metabolism of that tissue. Ascorbate, another potentially important antioxidant in determining longevity of mammalian species, was also investigated using this method. The results show a highly significant positive correlation of maximum lifespan potential with the concentration of urate in serum and brain per specific metabolic rate. No significant correlation was found for ascorbate. These results support the hypothesis that urate is biologically active as an antioxidant and is involved in determining the longevity of primate species, particularly for humans and the great apes. Ascorbate appears to have played little or no role as a longevity determinant in mammalian species.
Uric Acid and Ascorbate, Similar Functions in man