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Gout Dugout.Issue #079 | The best beef for gout; pineapples for gout
October 25, 2017

Hello and Welcome to the Autumn (Fall) 2017 edition of the Gout Dugout newsletter. The Gout Dugout is the 15 minutes' read from that gives you useful ideas that may help you with your gout.

Our main story this quarter is what's the best beef for gout ? I hope you find it is worth reading because it says something about beef and gout I don't think you have heard of before. That is, the cuts of beef likely to be lowest in purines. If you find it too long, skip the reasoning and just go down to the conclusion.

I didn't get as many useful conclusions as I had hoped, but what's said may well be new to many readers.

But first, are pineapples any good for gout ?


With around 50 mg of Vitamin C per 100 grams of pineapple chunks, pineapples are ranked alongside those fruits which are high in Vitamin C content: viz lemons, grapefruits, peaches, Kiwi fruit, papayas and strawberries. But behind the Vitamin C leaders - the Acerola cherry, guavas, lychees and blackcurrants.

Vitamin C has been found to lower uric acid, albeit inconsistently. So it’s possible that drinking a glass of pineapple juice a day, or eating pineapple, might lower uric acid, but probably not much. I remember pineapples lowered uric acid somewhat in a small study a few years ago.

It's thought bromelain is good for gout too, and it is found in pineapples, but only in the stem, not the fruit.

So it seems you mainly rely on the Vitamin C to help, if you eat pineapples for gout, or drink their juice. My best guesstimate is you would need much more Vitamin C daily than the amount in pineapples. A whole pineapple daily would give you about 450 mg, but that is a lot of pineapple to eat every day.

It has been reported you'd need at least 1 gram of Vitamin C, and probably more, daily.

Now the main story.


There are many contradictory topics in the realm of gout and one close to the top is beef (and meat) and gout. It's high in purines, creates a great deal of uric acid and causes gout attacks. Or so they say.

Well it certainly can be a cause of gout and I am sure it sometimes has especially in the 18th century when purines seem to have been the sole cause of gout. And if you splurge on meat, or eat its offal (organ meat) such as liver or kidneys.

Some population studies have shown the expected correlation between meat consumption and uric acid levels, and the risk of gout. But many cuts of beef are not so high in purines. It has been recorded that a few are even low purine, (see below). But you do have to watch the amount you eat.

The purines that matter

The key to the best beef for gout is which prime cuts (shoulder, flank, sirloin, rump (round), shin (shank) etc), are lowest in purines or which create the least uric acid? Purines amounts vary across the whole body of a cow or heifer so looking at the cuts, counts.

Moreover, according to one study, (and there are not many on this subject) just two of the four purine bases - hypoxanthine and adenine - actually create uric acid. So how much hypoxanthine and adenine are found in various cuts of beef ?

Amounts of uric acid created from prime beef cuts

Firstly to have an overview, what is high, medium and low purine in numbers ? This varies but we can say high purine foods begin at 400 mg of uric acid/100 grams of food; medium purine foods are from 100 mg to 399 mg/100 grams; low purines foods are below 100 mg/100 grams. These numbers are all for 100 grams which is half a fairly normal serving of beef of 200 grams (7 ounces).

So where do beef cuts rank ?

In one purines table (1) the following cuts of beef average 110 - 120 mg of created uric acid from 100 grams of beef.That just, only just, puts them in the medium purine category.

UK/Aus/NZ - also includes Irish and South African (see names and coverage below)

UK/Aus/NZ beef fillet 110 mg. US/Can loin/tenderloin

UK/Aus/NZ beef roast sirloin 110 mg. US/Can sirloin/loin

UK/Aus/NZ beef shoulder 110 mg. US/Can chuck

UK/Aus/NZ beef chuck/blade 120 mg. US/Can chuck

UK/Aus/NZ beef fore rib 120 mg. US/Can rib

U.S. beef cuts

Prime beef cut's names and coverage in top English speaking countries

I have to explain the following because of the international nature of the readership.

The prime cuts that follow until the end of this article are taken from a Japanese study (3), the best so far on this subject. I guess their names have been translated into English, and they have mainly the same names as British cuts. Both British and Japanese cuts are somewhat (not completely) different to American cuts.

New Zealand and Australian cuts are just about the same as British. So too are Irish and South African. For South African only about three of 14 -16 prime cuts are different. Canadian beef cuts are more or less the same as American, the only difference is that the American "round" becomes "hip" in Canadian.

The areas of the cow covered by each country's named cut may not be precisely the same. Brisket for example covers slightly different areas in some countries.

If you want to research this yourself, I suggest you begin with your country's beef cuts chart and compare them with the cut's purines/uric acid numbers here.

Prime beef cuts that are lowest in purines and uric acid Numbers quoted here below, are uric acid in mg created from 100 grams of beef.The top five are low purine. The best is about 30% better than the worst. Lowest numbers,the better, are placed first.

Generally the lowest in purines are the ribloin, shoulder (clod), neck and brisket. But what ribloin is I don't exactly know. It has been translated from Japanese - probably from the ribs part next to the loin. i.e the fore rib (U.K); rib (U.S).

UK/Aus/NZ ribloin (fore rib) 74.2 mg US/Can rib (likely)

UK/Aus/NZ shoulder ribs 77.4 mg US/Can chuck

UK/Aus/NZ shoulder sirloin 90.2 mg US/Can chuck

UK/Aus/NZ brisket 95.8 mg US/Can brisket

UK/Aus/NZ sirloin/fillet 98.4 mg US/Can tenderloin

UK/Aus/NZ neck 100.6 mg US/Can chuck

UK/Aus/NZ clod (shoulder) 104 mg US/Can chuck

UK/Aus/NZ shin 106.4 mg US/Can shank

UK/Aus/NZ topside/silverside 110.8 mg US round; Can hip

(Silverside is from just under, or adjacent to, the topside; both are behind the rump (Round or hip in US/Can)

One inconsistency is that shoulder showed up higher (110 mg) in the first table shown above but 77.4 mg,90.2 mg or 104 mg in this one.

Counting only hypoxanthine and adenine in prime beef cuts

The Japanese study reports that only two of the four purine bases - hypoxanthine and adenine - actually create uric acid. Guanine and xanthine do not. So if we counted the uric acid from only these two how would the numbers look ? Lowest first. Remember below 100 mg is low purine:

UK/Aus/NZ shoulder ribs 51.6 mg U.S/Can probably chuck

UK/Aus/NZ ribloin (fore rib) 53 mg U.S./Can rib (likely)

UK/Aus/NZ brisket 62.5 mg U.S/Can brisket

UK/Aus/NZ shoulder sirloin 72 mg U.S/Can probably chuck

UK/Aus/NZ neck 73.3 mg U.S/Can chuck

UK/Aus/NZ shin. 76.1 mg U.S/Can shank

UK/Aus/NZ clod (middle shoulder) 84.2 mg U.S/Can probably chuck

UK/Aus/NZ topside/silverside 91 mg. U.S round, Can hip

Kidney Stone Natural Treatment

British beef cuts

Adding xanthine uric acid numbers to hypoxanthine and adenine in prime beef cuts Whereas the Japanese study said two, and so did one other studym and third reported three of the four purines bases create uric acid - hypoxanthine and adenine, plus xanthine. Only guanine, says this study, does not. So if we look at the same beef cuts with the uric acid from three purines from the Japanese study;s numbers counted, this is what the best (lowest) look like. All these are also low purine.

UK/Aus/NZ ribloin (fore rib) 66.6 mg U.S/Can rib likely)

UK/Aus/NZ shoulder ribs 68.3 mg U.S/Can chuck

UK/Aus/NZ brisket 71.6 mg U.S/Can brisket

UK/Aus/NZ shoulder sirloin 81.1 mg U.S/Can probably chuck

UK/Aus/NZ neck 87 mg U.S/Can chuck

UK/Aus/NZ clod (middle shoulder) 94.9 mg U.S/Can chuck

UK/Aus/NZ shin 92.8 mg U.S/Can shank

UK/Aus/NZ topside/silverside 100.2 mg U.S rump; Can hip

Don't agonise about which study is correct about which purine bases create uric acid. If you compare the numbers you'll see it doesn't make much difference.

I have not found purines data for these cuts:

U.K/Aus/NZ skirt. U.S/Can flank

U.K/Aus/NZ thin flank. U.S/Can plate

U.K/Aus/NZ thick flank. U.S/Can bottom sirloin

U.K/Aus/NZ leg U.S/Can shank

U.K/Aus/NZ thick rib U.S/Can brisket

U.K/Aus/NZ thin rib U.S/Can plate

The beef portions you buy

Described next are the marketing names you get to know when you purchase. e.g beef stew, minced (ground) beef, T bone, Porterhouse etc., not the prime cuts which have been described above. Although sometimes they are the same - brisket is a prime cut and a marketing name for example. So too is topside, silverside (both a cut and marketing name).

And note too portions like ground beef (minced beef), beef stew (casserole), T-bone or Porterhouse etc. may come from different prime cuts. So these portions may have more or fewer purines than the same portion you last ate.


I don't advise you to be too enamoured (enamored) with this analysis, interesting though it is. We really need much more data for purines in beef cuts, although the Japanese study did take food heating methods such as frying boiling and steaming into account. Cooking methods affect purines amounts. However more studies would make us feel more certain the numbers are more or less correct.

If guanine and xanthine do not create uric acid, and only adenine and hypoxanthine do, population studies about foods' effects on uric acid have still found a correlation between purines' intake and uric acid levels.

You can use this as a guideline. The best thing to note here is that most beef cuts are low purine or low-medium purine. Only a couple of topside numbers (US part of the round, Canada part of the hip) are well into medium purine territory. In the first numbers above, all those cuts were low-medium purine.

It seems most of the lowest-in-purines' beef cuts come from the cheaper cuts. e g. clod, shoulder, brisket, shin (flank), neck. But not exclusively. Tenderloin is an expensive cut and is low purine. So too are sirloin and fore rib which are low/medium purine in one set of numbers.

To follow up on this requires patience and determination to find out where your purchase has come from on the cow or heifer.You need to be purchasing from a knowledgeable butcher (meat shop) who may be able to tell you which cut your purchase is from on the cow. Or direct from a farm or farm shop where you can ask, or from an food shop where the beef's origin is named on the packaging, so you can call them and ask.

In the December issue I'll try to assess from the available data, which of the beef cuts people ask for when they purchase e.g minced (ground beef), stewing beef, T-bones, fillet, corned beef etc., are low or medium in purines, or created uric acid. We'll also take a look at how beef compares with pork, lamb, chicken and game in purines.



(2) Total purine and purine base content of common foodstuffs for facilitating nutritional therapy for gout and hyperuricemia.

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Thanks for reading and all the best of gout free health.

John Mepham BA (Econ)
Makati City

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