Purine

Purines and Gout

Purine can be found in almost everything we eat and drink, making them one of the most common chemical compounds on the planet. They are split into two categories, the exogenous purines that are absorbed by the body through the foods that you eat and the endogenous purines that are made directly by the body itself. 

Uric acid forms when purine are broken down in the digestive system.  As such, eating too many purines can cause a buildup of uric acid in the body.  If uric acid remains in the body for too long, it can crystallize and cause a gout flare.

Purine Cycle
Why You Should Eat Less Purine

In many cases, the body successfully digests and expels most purines without difficulty.  However, for gout sufferers during a flare cycle, this isn’t always the case.  If your digestive system is not fully able to process purines, or if you eat too many purines regularly, you may end up having uric acid build up in your body.

Purine Content in Common Foods and Drinks

The following table gives you information on how much purines an individual food contains. At the same time, the tables contain a conversion of how much uric acid is produced from the purines.

Try and keep your daily consumption intake to no more than 300-400 mg of uric acid.  Remember, 100g is about 3.5 ounces.

Of special note.  Although alcoholic beverages contain little or no purine, they inhibit uric acid excretion and thus increase the uric acid level.

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HIGHEST IN PURINE (400 mg. uric acid/100 g and higher)

Foods (alphabetically)

Total Purines in mg uric acid/100 g (Average)

Min

Max

Nutrition Density in mg/MJ

Fish, sardines in oil

480

399

560

519.5

Liver, Calf’s

460

  

837.5

Mushroom, flat, edible Boletus, dried

488

  

932.8

Neck sweet bread, Calf’s

1260

  

3012.9

Ox liver

554

  

1013.3

Ox spleen

444

  

1052.6

Pig’s heart

530

  

1382

Pig’s liver

515

  

937.9

Pig’s lungs (lights)

434

  

911.2

Pig’s spleen

516

  

1208.2

Sheep’s spleen

773

  

1702.6

Sprat, smoked

804

  

795.6

Theobromine

2300

  

1611.3

Yeast, Baker’s

680

  

2071.3

Yeast, Brewer’s

1810

  

1866.6

MODERATELY HIGH IN PURINE (100 to 400 mg. uric acid/100g)

Foods (alphabetically)

Total Purines in mg uric acid/100 g (Average)

Min

Max

Nutr. Density in mg/MJ

Bean, seed, white, dry

128

  

127.1

Bean, Soya, seed, dry

190

  

139.1

Beef, chuck

120

  

192

Beef, fillet

110

  

216.4

Beef, fore rib, entrecote

120

  

185.4

Beef, muscles only

133

  

292.1

     

Beef, roast beef, sirloin

110

110

120

201.4

Beef, shoulder

110

  

203.9

Black gram (mungo bean), seed, dry

222

  

194.3

Caviar (real)

144

  

141.6

Chicken (breast with skin)

175

  

288.4

Chicken (chicken for roasting), average

115

  

165.8

Chicken, boiling fowl, average

159

  

149.2

Chicken, leg with skin, without bone

110

  

152.2

Duck, average

138

  

146.2

Fish, Anchovy

239

  

560

Fish, Carp

160

  

330.9

Fish, Cod

109

  

335.9

Fish, Haddock

139

  

425.2

Fish, Halibut

178

  

439.9

Fish, Herring roe

190

  

342.4

Fish, Herring, Atlantic

210

  

216.9

Fish, Herring, Matje cured

219

  

197.6

Fish, Mackerel

145

95

194

191.2

Fish, Pike-perch

110

  

311.3

Fish, Redfish (ocean perch)

241

  

544.1

Fish, Saithe (coalfish)

163

  

473.4

Fish, salmon

170

110

250

202

Fish, sardine, pilchard

345

  

693.2

Fish, Sole

131

125

137

376.2

Fish, trout

297

  

686.7

Fish, Tuna

257

  

273.7

     
     

Fish, Tuna in oil

290

  

246.2

Goose

165

  

116.7

Grape, dried, raisin, sultana

107

  

86.4

Ham, cooked

131

  

248.1

Heart, Sheep’s

241

  

367.6

Horse meat

200

  

438.8

Kidney, Calf’s

218

  

419.6

Lamb (muscles only)

182

  

371

Lentil, seed, dry

127

114.45

164.65

93.8

Linseed

105

  

67.4

Liver, chicken

243

  

426.3

Lobster

118

60

175

346.4

Lungs, Calf’s

147

  

389.1

Mussel

112

  

391.5

Ox heart

256

  

504.3

Ox kidney

269

  

569.5

Ox lungs (lights)

399

  

961.4

Ox tongue

160

  

186

Peas, chick (garbanzo), seed, dry

109

  

84.2

Pig’s kidney

334

  

784.5

Pig’s tongue

136

  

208.2

Pike

140

  

406.7

Poppy seed, seed, dry

170

  

86

Pork belly

100

80

110

92.3

Pork belly, raw, smoked dried

127

  

82.6

     
     

Pork chop with bone

145

140

150

260

Pork chuck

140

135

145

170.4

Pork fillet

150

145

150

334.8

Pork hip bone (hind leg)

120

115

130

155

Pork leg (hind leg)

160

150

160

357.4

Pork muscles only

166

  

374.9

Pork shoulder with skin (blade of shoulder)

150

145

150

165.2

Rabbit meat, average with bone

132

95

150

207.7

Rabbit/Hare (average)

105

  

219.4

Sausage “Jagdwurst”

112

  

127.8

Sausage salami, German

104

  

65.9

Sausage, liver (liverwurst)

165

  

122.2

Sausages, frying, from pork

101

  

80.2

Scallop

136

  

505.8

Shrimp, brown

147

60

234

397.9

Spleen, Calf’s

343

  

815.9

Sunflower seed, dry

143

  

59.5

Turkey, young animal, average, with skin

150

  

237.3

Veal chop, cutlet with bone

140

  

309.6

Veal fillet

140

  

347.3

Veal knuckle with bone

150

140

160

353.2

Veal, leg of veal with bone

150

140

150

310.2

Veal, muscles only

172

  

438.7

Veal, neck with bone

150

  

326.9

Veal, shoulder

140

  

309.3

     

Venison back

105

  

205

Venison haunch (leg)

138

105

154

336.5

LOWEST IN PURINE (100 mg. uric acid/100 g and le

Foods (alphabetically)

Total Purines in mg uric acid/100 g (Average)

Min

Max

Nutr. Density in mg/MJ

Almond, sweet

37

  

15.7

Apple

14

  

60.1

Apricot

73

  

71.6

Artichoke

78

  

834.6

Asparagus

23

19.71

29.57

310.9

Aubergine

21

  

290

Avocado

19

  

20.9

Bamboo Shoots

29

  

402.1

Banana

57

  

152.4

Barley without husk, whole grain

96

  

71.1

Bean sprouts, Soya

80

  

378.3

Beans, French (string beans, haricot)

37

20

43

266.9

Beans, French, dried

45

40

50

39.4

Beef, corned (German)

57

  

96.5

Beer, alcohol free

8.1

  

75.4

Beer, Pilsner lager beer, regular beer, German

13

  

75.2

Beer, real, light

14

  

86

Beet root

19

15

21

108.5

Bilberry, blueberry, huckleberry

22

  

143.7

Brain, Calf’s

92

  

203.1

Bread, wheat (flour) or (white bread)

14

  

13.9

     

Broccoli

81

  

691.6

Brussels sprouts

69

  

456

Cabbage, red

32

19.79

36.62

350.2

Cabbage, savoy

37

19.87

42.71

342.6

Cabbage, white

22

  

210.3

Carrot

17

14

25

155.9

Cauliflower

51

  

537.9

Caviar substitute

18

  

37.8

Celeriac

30

  

390.6

Cheese, Brie

7.1

  

5

Cheese, Cheddar/Cheshire cheese, 50% fat content

6

  

4.3

Cheese, cottage

9.4

  

22

Cheese, edam, 30% fat content in dry matter

7.1

  

6.8

Cheese, edam, 40% fat content in dry matter

7.1

  

5.4

Cheese, edam, 45% fat content in dry matter

7.1

  

4.8

Cheese, Limburger, 20% fat content in dry matter

32

  

41.7

Cherry, Morello

17

  

75.5

Cherry, sweet

7.1

  

64.2

Chicory

12

  

171.8

Chinese leaves

21

  

412.4

Chives

67

  

581.2

Cocoa powder, oil partially removed

71

  

49.7

Corn, sweet

52

  

140.9

Fish, Crayfish

60

  

220.3

Cress

28

  

200.8

Crispbread

60

  

44.9

     

Cucumber

7.3

  

141.7

Currant, red

17

  

122.6

Date, dried

35

  

29.9

Elderberry, black

33

  

144.4

Endive

17

  

297.7

Fennel leaves

14

10

16

139

Fig (dried)

64

  

60.4

Fish, eel (smoked)

78

45

110

57.2

Frankfurter sausages

89

68.74

129.52

80.2

Gooseberry

16

  

101.3

Grape

27

  

94.6

Grass, Viper’s (black salsify)

71

  

939.4

Kale

48

  

309.1

Kiwi fruit (Chinese gooseberry, strawberry peach

19

  

88.5

Kohlrabi

25

10.86

29.61

243.9

Leek

74

  

714.1

Lettuce

13

9.75

29.25

274.4

Lettuce, Lamb’s

38

  

645.3

Meat, luncheon

70

  

58.8

Melon, Cantelope

33

  

143

Millet, shucked corn

62

  

41.9

Morel

30

  

748.9

Mushroom

58

55.48

60.52

858.2

Mushroom, flat, edible Boletus

92

  

1011.6

Mushrooms, canned, solid and liquid

29

  

488.5

Mushrooms, Chanterelle

17

  

356.2

     

Mushrooms, Chanterelles, canned, solids & liquids

17

  

114.2

Nuts, Brazil

23

  

8.3

Nuts, hazelnut (cobnut)

37

27

42

13.9

Nuts, peanut

79

  

33.8

Oats, without husk, whole grain

94

  

63.6

Olive, green, marinated

29

  

51.1

Onion

13

  

112.4

Orange

19

  

105.9

Ox brain

75

  

140.7

Oyster

90

  

322.6

Oyster, mushroom

50

  

1054.6

Parsley, leaf

57

  

266.2

Pasta made with egg (noodles, macaroni, spaghetti

40

  

26.6

Pea, pod and seed, green

84

  

245.7

Pea, seed, dry

95

84.78

166.56

82.7

Peach

21

  

119.6

Pear

12

2

17

51.5

Peppers, green

55

  

681

Pig’s brain

83

  

161.71

Pineapple

19

  

81.4

Plaice

93

  

257.6

Plum

24

  

116.8

Plum, dried

64

  

67.9

Potato

16

  

53.6

Potato, cooked with skin

18

  

60.3

Pudding, black

55

37.23

90.55

42.8

     

Pumpkin

44

  

422

Quince

30

  

185

Radish

15

  

234.3

Radishes

13

  

210.6

Raspberry

18

  

126.3

Rhubarb

12

  

212.6

Rolls, bread

21

  

18.2

Rye, whole grain

51

47

63

41

Sauerkraut, dripped off

16

12

20

224.7

Sausage “Bierschincken”

85

  

117.3

Sausage “Fleischwurst”

78

  

66.8

Sausage “Mortadella”

96

79

130

67.4

Sausage “Munich Weisswurst”

73

  

65.7

Sausage, Vienna

78

  

65.7

Sausages, frying, from veal

91

  

81.5

Sausages, German (Mettwurst)

74

  

45.9

Sesame (gingelly) seed, Oriental, dry

62

  

26.5

Spinach

57

  

844.7

Squash, summer

24

  

296.2

Strawberry

21

11.81

25.59

156.8

Tench

80

  

243.8

Tofu

68

  

196.4

Tomato

11

  

145.7

Nuts, Walnut

25

  

9.1

Wheat, whole grain

51

40.2

83.41

39.4

Yogurt, min. 3.5% fat content

8.1

  

27.7

Also remember that food is usually responsible for only 30% of the uric acid content in the blood serum. Diet is very important to those who wish to lower their uric acid, yet other considerations should not be overlooked.  Extremely physical exertion or traumatic injuries may contribute to the occurrence of gout. Also foods that elevate the blood acidity, despite their low purine content, may cause an aggravation of gout. Some examples may be: very spicy and greasy food, coffee, alcohol, excess tea, deeply fried food and more. 

The following foods list is from the book Gout by Prof. R. Grahame, Dr. A. Simmonds and Dr. E. Carrey:

Group A: 0-50mg purine per 100g

Group B: 50-150mg purine per 100g

Group C: 150-1,000mg purine per 100g

Fruits

Poultry: (Chicken, duck, turkey, goose)

Wild or Farmed Game (Pheasant, quail, grouse, rabbit/hare, venison)

Vegetables: All, except those in Group B (runner/green/string beans/French beans, mange-tour, and sugar snap peas are all right

Red Meats and Sausages (Veal, beef, lamb, pork, bacon)

Organ Meats (Kidney, heart, sweetbreads, liver, pâté, terrine, liver sausage, foie gras)

Cereals: All except those in Group B (most breads and cakes, most breakfast cereals, biscuits, rice, barley, couscous, polenta, and pasta

are permitted in moderation)

Fish: Except those in Group C

Extracts of Meat and Yeast (Bovril, Oxo, Marmite, Vegemite)

Dairy Products (Milk, creams, yogurt, ice cream, cheese, eggs – bearing in mind the high fat content of most dairy products)

Oysters, Mussels, and Most Other Shellfish, Prawns,

Shrimp, Scampi

Fish Roe (Cod roe, caviar, taramasalata)

Fats, within reasonable calorie limits (Butter, most cooking oils, lard,

“shortening,” salad dressing, mayonnaise)

Wholegrain Bread and Pasta

Scallops, Herrings, Mackerel, Trout

Nuts: Not peanuts or cashews, and preferably not salted nuts

Wholegrain Cereals (Including oatmeal, brown rice, and tahini)

Crayfish, Lobster

Olives

Preserves and Sweets (Jam, marmalade, chutney, pickles)

Lentils, Soya Beans, Bean Curd, Tofu, Tempeh, Miso,

Hummus, Peas and Beans (including Chickpeas)

Peanuts, Peanut Butter, Cashews, Ground Nuts

Small Fish – Whole or Processed (Anchovies, sardines, sprats, whitebait, anchovy paste, Gentlemen’s Relish, Thai fish sauce)

 

Beverages: Including tea, coffee, soft drinks (but these may contain caffeine)

Peanuts, Peanut Butter, Cashews, Ground Nuts

Brassicas (Cauliflower, broccoli/calabrese, kale, Brussels sprouts, “Chinese greens”

Spinach, Asparagus, Avocado, and Mushrooms

 
 

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