Uric Acid and Inosine Increases IQ, Productivity and Lifespan


In 1904, Havelock Ellis found in his “A Study of British Genius” that there was an unusually high rate of gout among eminent men in his study.  Gout is associated with higher volumes of uric acid (or urate) in the blood.  He, therefore, suggested that it might have something to do with it. (R)

Later investigators have examined this relationship, and there is indeed a correlation.  A review found only a slight correlation between IQ and uric acid.  However, there was a stronger correlation between uric acid and scholastic achievement, even after controlling for IQ. (R)

Another study found a correlation (+.37) between uric acid and publication rates of university professors. This is extremely significant for just one measure tested.  Insane. (R)

Uric acid has a similar chemical structure to that of caffeine, and can maybe act as a natural stimulant. (R)

Other Benefits of Uric Acid

Uric acid levels correlate with longevity in monkeys and animals.  This is presumably because of urate’s antioxidant properties. (R)

Uric acid levels are much lower in people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and a study with 11 people found correcting these levels are therapeutic.  (R)

In fact, it prevented the progression of MS in all 11 patients tested and even improved the symptoms of some patients. (R)

Like MS, low uric acid also correlates with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s. (R, R2)  Clinical trials are underway to determine if raising urate levels will slow the disease in people.  Animal models have

Uric acid reduced Th1 immune dominance in people with MS (R), which is good for me.

As a natural antioxidant, urate provides up to 60% of the antioxidant capacity in human blood.  It also provides protection from the free radicals that it doesn’t neutralize. (R)

However, recent studies indicate that these mechanisms couldn’t explain all of its beneficial effects in the brain. (R)

Studies have found that urate was neuroprotective by protecting neurons from glutamate-induced toxicity, a central cause of neuron degeneration. (R)

In mice with autoimmune conditions, urate was beneficial and increased the survival rate.  (R)

On a cautionary note, uric acid can increase Th17 inflammation if inflammation is present (IL-1b, IL-18). (R)  It can be inflammatory in general if you have too much.  (R)

Too high or too low levels of uric acid are not good. Too low leads to oxidative stress, but too high can also lead to inflammation, gout and kidney stones. (R)

This is why it’s important to measure your Uric acid levels before you embark on a journey to increase it.

Screenshot 2014-12-29 20.39.42(R)

How too much uric acid causes inflammation:


How to Increase Uric Acid

Zinc elevates uric acid if you’re deficient. (R)

Animal products increase uric acid in general. (R)   Fructose can also increase uric acid (R), but I don’t know at what dosage or if it does in humans.

Dairy and maybe calcium lower uric acid levels, which explains why vegans have higher levels than omnivores.  Soy might also increase urate levels. (R)

Estrogen increases uric acid excretion, which explains why men have higher levels than women.  (R)

In general, diet was more of a factor in men in its ability to influence urate levels rather than women. (R)

Inosine, found in liver and fish, is the most powerful way to increase uric acid levels.  (R)  This is what’s used in studies with MS and Parkinson’s.

Inosine Effects

Inosine has been shown to have antidepressant effects in mice through increasing brain growth (via BDNF, MAPK, adenosine antagonism).

Inosine increases RNA and DNA production and blood oxygen carrying capacity, which preserves ATP levels.

In a clinical trial with MS patients, Inosine more than doubled uric acid levels (increased from 3.9 to 8.3).

It decreased Nitrotyrosine,a marker of cell damage and inflammation, by more than half (from 73 to 32). (R)

It increased IL-10 and IL-13, which are Th2 cytokines.  IL-10 is an anti-inflammatory cytokine.  Mac-1 is a marker of inflammation and it more than halved (from 2.7 to 1.2).

Screenshot 2015-01-03 09.30.03

My Experience With Inosine: It’s Amazing

For my first dosage, I took 3 grams in one shot, as an experimental dosage.

For me, it certainly increases cognitive performance and is wakeful promoting.  It works.

However, it also caused some slight pain in random places, one of which was my kidneys.  Kidney stone formation is very common with inosine supplementation.

I’m still going to include 500mg 1X a day and see how that works in the long term.


There are some negatives to uric acid/inosine such as gout and kidney stones, so be careful.  In studies with MS and Parkinson’s, kidney stones were quite common from inosine treatment (up to 1/4 people got it).

However, in the studies that were in a  controlled environment,  the patients were properly hydrated and none of them got kidney stones. (R)

You need to drink a ton of water (over a gallon) and take potassium citrate to prevent kidney stones.

Uric acid is also capable of binding iron (R), so be careful if you’re anemic.

If you need to supplement with calcium because you’re not getting enough from your diet, it’s better to use the citrate form.  I also recommend magnesium citrate.

I’m still taking a risk, but I like the effect enough that it’s worth it for me.

Buying Inosine

Increasing Inosine

Uric Acid on SelfDecode


  1. blue

    ketogenic diet is a 2-in-1 way to boost brain as ketones are a more efficient energy source for brain than glucose and they compete with uric acid in kidneys for excretion.

    • Betsy

      In people with MS, where do you suppose all their uric acid is going. If they are eating any amount of foods with purines, they surely should not be showing such low uric acid levels.
      And PS: Cold showers lower blood uric acid levels because it makes the uric acid precipitate into the tissue.

  2. Jae hee

    Nice job on this article. Thanks. Interestingly, doesnt inosine do the exact opposite of the drug used for autoimmunity: cellcept (and myforte)? Those drugs inhibit b cell proliferation by preventing purine metabolism. That may imply people with ai disease (except perhaps brain affected folk) steer clear of inosine. Also curious how ingestion ofasparagus might increase uric acid and do thesame thing more gently (doneone will probably point out u need 5lbs a day…). I guess measuring uric acid is a first step. Any home test kits for that?

  3. sciman

    Great article!

    I am convinced to try it. However, is it possible to get the kidney stones before kidneys start to hurt? How do you know that you are all right taking it?

    • Joseph M. Cohen

      I pee in a portable urinal and if it starts forming too much solids, it’s a warning sign. Otherwise, you can check the acidity of your urine, but that might not be a great indicator.

      Otherwise, when I took 3g, I felt some pain in my kidney area.

  4. ella m

    Hi joe, took 1 g of Swanson inosine yesterday and while it did give me a clear cognitive boost it also made me really aggressive and moody – does if make sense with this supp?

  5. Joanna

    You know, I wonder if this has anything to do with the temporary boost in creativity and mental function people get from alcohol consumption, since alcohol temporarily increases levels of uric acid.

    I find that if I hit a “sweet spot” with drinking I get a pleasant afterglow effects the day after for a short time. It seems to go away after eating and/or drinking + urinating.

    Then of course, there is GABA modulation, but I feel like the afterglow feeling is most noticeable the day after, which would make uric acid make more sense.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I just thought it was interesting.

  6. Hi Joseph,

    maybe you have an idea of this issue. In the morning, and with age (just turned 40) happens to me that I’m going to say a word and say another. For instance, wanting to say my wife, and I say my mother.

    Do you know what part or process in the brain can be wrong for this type of mistakes?.

    Thanks a lot. Santiago

    PS: you have created a very useful blog.

  7. Chris

    American Psychological Association. “High-normal Uric Acid Linked With Mild Cognitive Impairment In The Elderly.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 January 2007.

    • Joseph M. Cohen

      maybe I recall reading uric acid increases in response to oxidative stress or perhaps its inflammatory action

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