Effects of onion on serum uric acid levels and hepatic xanthine dehydrogenase/xanthine oxidase activities in hyperuricemic rats

Pak J Biol Sci. 2008 Jul 15;11(14):1779-84. doi: 10.3923/pjbs.2008.1779.1784.


The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of onion on serum uric acid levels and hepatic Xanthine Dehydrogenase/Xanthine Oxidase activities in normal and hyperuricemic rats. Hyperuricemia was induced by intraperitoneal injection of 250 mg kg(-1) potassium oxonate in rats. Oral administration of onion at 3.5 and 7.0 mg kg(-1) day(-1) for 7 days was able to reduce serum uric acid levels in hyperuricemic rats with no significant effects on the level of this compound in the normal animals. In addition, onion when tested in vivo on rat liver homogeneities elicited significant inhibitory actions on the Xanthine Dehydrogenase (XDH) and Xanthine Oxidase (XO) activities. This effect resulted less potent than that of allopurinol. However, the hypouricemic effect observed in the experimental animal did not seem to parallel the change in XDH and XO activities, implying that the onion might be acting via other mechanisms apart from simple inhibition of enzyme activities. Such hypouricemic action and enzyme inhibitory activity of onion makes it a possible alternative for allopurinol, or at least in combination therapy to minimize the side-effects of allopurinol, in particular in long-term application.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hyperuricemia / blood*
  • Hyperuricemia / enzymology*
  • Liver / enzymology*
  • Male
  • Onions*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Uric Acid / blood*
  • Xanthine Dehydrogenase / metabolism*
  • Xanthine Oxidase / metabolism*


  • Uric Acid
  • Xanthine Dehydrogenase
  • Xanthine Oxidase