Uric Acid in Food

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Uric acid is formed in the body from the metabolism of purine, a nucleic acid found in the nucleus of cell. Elevated uric acid levels in the blood may cause a type of arthritis called gout or form kidney stones. People with high uric acid levels should be aware of the purine content of food. The following is a list of high-purine and low-purine food.

High Purine Food

  • All meats, including organ meats and seafood
  • Meat extracts
  • Yeast and yeast extracts, beer and other alcoholic beverages
  • Beans, peas, lentils, oatmeal, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, mushroom

Low Purine Food

  • Refined cereals and cereal products, corn flakes, white bread, pasta, flour, sago, tapioca, cakes
  • Milk and milk products, eggs
  • Sugar, sweets, gelatin
  • Butter, polyunsaturated margarine and all other fats
  • Fruits, nuts and peanut butter
  • Lettuce, tomatoes, and green vegetables (except those listed above)
  • Cream soups made of low-purine vegetables but without meat or meat stock
  • Water, fruit juice, carbonated drinks

The purine content of a food reflects its nucleoprotein content and turnover. Foods containing many nuclei (e.g. liver) have many purines, as do rapidly growing foods such as asparagus. The consumption of large amounts of a food containing a small concentration of purines may provide a greater purine load than consumption of a small amount of a food containing large concentrations of purines.

Excerpt from Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment.