People with gout and hyperuricemia are advised to pay attention to their diet’s purines content. Because consuming high purine foods increases the blood uric acid level, which is associated with gout and hyperuricemia and increased risk of cardiovascular and kidney diseases.
Purines are found in all dietary sources. And we generally know some foods have higher levels of purines than others. But availability of good estimate of purines in dietary sources has been limited to few food types and is not labelled on food products.
Recently, researchers in Japan evaluated purines content in a long list of food stuffs, including vegetables, fruits, egg, milk products, fish, meat (beef, pork, chicken) and cereal grains. They also calculated the blood uric acid equivalent of the dietary purines content and categorized the foods into five levels based on the daily total purines upper limit recommended by the Japanese Guidelines for the Management of Hyperuricemia and Gout.
In Japan, the recommended upper limit for daily intake for total purines is 400mg. Accordingly, foods with less than 50mg total purines per 100g belong to 1 group; 50 - 100mg per 100 gram, low group; 100 - 200mg per 100g, moderate group; 200 - 300mg per 100g, high group; greater than 300mg per 100g very high group.
Their finding, filtered for the common foods in Western diet, is listed below.
Table: Total purines content in food stuffs. Total uric cid content is a meaure of what will be produced in the body when food with the corresponding purine content is consumed.
Total uric acid
|Cereals and legumes|
|Flour (bread flour)||25.8||30.3||very low|
|Flour (cake flour)||15.7||18.5||very low|
|Flour (pastry flour)||25.8||30.3||very low|
|Rice (polished)||25.9||30.3||very low|
|Rice (unpolished)||37.4||43.7||very low|
|Azuki bean (dried)||77.6||90.8||low|
|Broad bean||35.5||41.5||very low|
|Green peas (canned)||18.8||21.9||very low|
|Bean curd lees (Okara)||48.6||56.6||very low|
|Fermented soybean (Natto)||113.9||132.8||moderate|
|Green soybean||47.9||56.1||very low|
|Tofu (Kinu)||20.0||23.3||very low|
|Tofu (Momen, chilled)||31.1||36.5||very low|
|Tofu (Momen, 3 min boiled)||21.9||26.0||very low|
|Eggs, dairy products, mushrooms and fruits|
|Chicken egg||0.0||0.0||very low|
|Quail egg||0.0||0.0||very low|
|Grated cheese||12.9||15.4||very low|
|Shiitake (dried)||379.5||448.8||very high|
|Shiitake (for broth, dried)||242.3||288.4||high|
|Shiitake, raw||20.8||24.4||very low|
|Asparagus, upper part||55.3||64.7||low|
|Asparagus, lower part||10.2||12.0||very low|
|Balsam pear (goya)||9.9||11.6||very low|
|Bamboo shoot, upper part||63.3||74.0||low|
|Bamboo shoot, lower part||30.8||36.1||very low|
|Bean sprouts||35.0||41.2||very low|
|Cherry tomato||3.1||3.7||very low|
|Chinese cabbage||7.0||8.2||very low|
|Garlic chives (nira)||19.4||23.0||very low|
|Gumbo (okura)||39.5||46.3||very low|
|Spinach, young leaf||171.8||202.1||moderate|
|Sprouts, with bean||57.3||67.4||low|
|Sweet potato||17.0||20.1||very low|
|White radish sprouts||73.2||86.6||low|
Gout and diet related:
Kaneko K, Aoyagi Y, Fukuuchi T, Inazawa K, and Yamaoka N. Total Purine and Purine Base Content of Common Foodstuffs for Facilitating Nutritional Therapy for Gout and Hyperuricemia. Biol. Pharm. Bull 37(5), 709 - 721 (2014).