What Really Is A Purine?

What Really Is A Purine?

Here at Lifetones, we spend a lot of time researching the effects that uric acid has on the body and sharing that information with you. However, we've found that it can be difficult to understand some of the basic jargon that surrounds the concept of uric acid.

Uric acid exists because the body breaks down purines in foods and converts them into a natural waste byproduct. Too much of this uric acid in the body can crystallize, causing gout, joint pain, fibromyalgia, and muscle pain.

But What Is a Purine, and How Do We Avoid Them?

Well, we can’t totally. Purines are one of the most common nitrogen compounds. It is also necessary for life, as it forms the base for some DNA and RNA products.

Animal life wouldn’t exist without purines.

Because of this, most meat products are rich with purines. This includes fish, shellfish, dark and light meat, and poultry. Pretty much all of the main staples of our meals.

Even certain kinds of vegetables are high in purines, including spinach and asparagus.

However, there are still plenty of low purine options out there for us to enjoy! Most veggies, nearly all fruits, and the majority of grain products are low in purines. So are all low-fat dairy products, and just about all non-alcoholic drinks.

And while people with high uric acid should avoid drinks with high-fructose corn syrup, non-sugary carbonated drinks are generally fine.

To add even more confusion to the concept of purines: fatty products may be low in purines on-paper, but they also make it harder for your body to digest foods. Fatty diets have been linked to increased uric acid in the body because the body cannot completely digest and get rid of these products effectively.

On top of these factors, stress, poor sleeping habits, and not exercising enough all contribute to higher levels of uric acid in the body.

In addition to just being more conscious about our diets, we can also help our bodies to flush out uric acid by drinking more water every day.

Remember, it is natural to have some purines in the body. Purines have an extremely important role in building DNA and allowing cell metabolism. But, like anything, too much of these purines in our bodies can be dangerous if we aren't careful.

If you are curious about some specific food options that are great for managing purines in your body, we'd recommend reading Antioxidant Foods: Health Benefit or Hype?