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Purines in foods


Clinical bottom line

Since gout is caused by high levels of uric acid, with crystals forming in the joints, some dietary measures to reduce purine intake would seem sensible.

Uric acid is a metabolic product of purine nucleic acids. Some purines are made in the body, while other purine comes from the food we eat. Reducing the amount of purines eaten would seem sensible, though evidence to demonstrate that would seem to be lacking. Weight reduction in those who are overweight is probably at least, if not more, important.

Foods with different levels of purines are given in Table 1.

Table 1: purine contents of foods

High levels of purines

best to avoid

Moderate levels of purines

eat occasionally

Low levels of purines

no restriction

Liver Asparagus Carbonated drinks
Kidney Beef Coffee
Anchovies Bouillon Fruits
Sardines Chicken Breads
Herrings Crab Grains
Mussels Duck Macaroni
Bacon Ham Cheese
Scallops Kidney beans Eggs
Cod Lentils Milk products
Trout Lima beans Sugar
Haddock Mushrooms Tomatoes
Veal Lobster Green vegetables
Venison Oysters  
Turkey Pork  
Alcohol esp beer Shrimp