Purines are amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins.
The two purines important in proteins in the body are guanine and
Some foods contain high amounts of purines, including:
Organ meats, such as liver, kidneys, sweetbreads, and
Meats, including bacon, beef, pork, and lamb, and game
meats such as deer or elk.
Anchovies, sardines, herring, mackerel,
Legumes, such as dried beans and
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.
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Mary F. McNaughton Collins, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine