What are high purine foods?

When we talk about gout, we often talk about and read about the term ‘high purine foods’, and how we need to try and reduce them in our diet…..but what exactly are these purines? and why are they so important…… These are all good questions.

Purines are naturally occurring organic compounds and are in most foods.

They are compounds that contain nitrogen that form a key part of DNA and RNA in our cells as well as forming a part of key molecules in the cells responsible for regulating cell activity.

Some of these chemicals are the energy molecules of ATP, cAMP, NADH etc.

They can also act directly as neurotransmitters.

There appear to be higher content of purines in animal based foods than vegetable based foods.

Purines are metabolized into uric acid, which is why they are so important when it comes to gout, which is caused by an accumulation of excess uric acid in the body.

Purines are in all foods, as they are part of DNA which is in every cell, but some foods are more concentrated in purines:

When you have gout, it is a good idea to minimize if not avoid these particular foods, in particular the ones that you know in your experience make your gout worse.

High and moderately high Purine Foods:

  • anchovies
  • asparagus
  • bacon
  • beef
  • beef kidneys
  • brains
  • cauliflower
  • chicken
  • dried beans and peas
  • game meats
  • gravy
  • herring
  • lamb
  • lentils
  • liver
  • lobster
  • mackerel
  • mushrooms
  • oatmeal
  • peas