Display Mode:

    Main content

    Health Information



    Purines are amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. The two purines important in proteins in the body are guanine and adenine.

    Some foods contain high amounts of purines, including:

    • Organ meats, such as liver, kidneys, sweetbreads, and brains.
    • Meats, including bacon, beef, pork, and lamb, and game meats such as deer or elk.
    • Anchovies, sardines, herring, mackerel, and scallops.
    • Gravy.
    • Legumes, such as dried beans and dried peas.
    • Beer.

    Purines in food are broken down into uric acid. High levels of uric acid in the blood sometimes cause the deposit of uric acid crystals in a joint, such as a toe joint, or the ankle or knee. This condition is called gout and results in episodes of sharp pain in the affected joint.

    Current as of: February 24, 2016

    Author: Healthwise Staff

    Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Mary F. McNaughton Collins, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine

    This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

    © 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.