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Gout Dugout.Issue #081 | cooking and purines | pork cuts high in purines|
April 01, 2018

Hello and welcome to the Spring 2018 edition of the Gout Dugout newsletter. The Gout Dugout is the 10 minutes' read from that gives you useful ideas that may help you with your gout. Copy and print if you prefer to read a version on paper. If you are extra busy now you could bookmark it for later.


What is said here about cooking and purines is by no means the last word on the subject. But there is ione big idea here which can help you improve your choices of what to eat for your gout.

Purines in foods' numbers are normally counted in the raw state of food, but that isn't the real number you eat if food is cooked and stored.

We saw in the last issue of the Gout Dugout (December 2017)

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that rinsing and draining ground (minced) beef, and bacon but not minced turkey, lowers purines by a useful amount. Or at least they did in the quoted experiment, probably the only one ever covering meat. rinsing. (1) (There have been more studies of rinsing on the purines of certain fish (seafood) - more about this in a later issue). You do not have to rinse for long - two and five minutes should have useful effect; ten is probably better.

Ground (aka minced) beef is a very common choice world wide. It's inexpensive and versatile. Seems you can reduce its purines by rinsing and cooking.

And in that article it seemed a good bet that rinsing and draining will lower purines in other prime beef cuts too, not only the ones tested.

But what about cooking and purines ? This has an effect too. Cooking will lower or raise purines. Moreover, different cooking methods will have different effects on purine levels.So relevant questions are - does boiling lower purines more than frying ? Or grilling more than steaming ? And so on.

Rinsing (washing) or cooking ? Which lowers purines more ? In all four meat types discussed in the last issue, cooking caused a fall in purines. Bacon did both, depending on how long it was fried. But the big idea is the cooking reductions were not nearly as large as the rinsing reductions.

Moreover, rinsing seems a more reliable way to reduce purines, more than any method of cooking.

The beef and bacon measurements here are in milligrams (mg) per gram of protein in the meat - the best way to measure purine changes by cooking.

25% fat ground (minced) beef Rinsing -.2.48 (-28.9%); Sauteing and grilling - 0.67 ( -7.8%)

7% fat ground (minced) beef Rinsing - 2.47 (-31%;) Sauteing and grilling - 0.38 (-4.9 %)

Bacon Rinsing 2 minutes -1.34 (-22%);Rinsing 5 minutes - 1.57 (-25.9 % Pan frying bacon - 0.20 ( 2 mins) and + 0.19 (5 mins); -.3.3 %; and + 3.1%)

Turkey measurement - mg per gram, of turkey sample

Ground (minced) turkey insignificant rinsing reduction. Cooking -0.68 (-15%); this was only when rinses and grilled for 3 minutes; not five. Seems an odd result.

Numbers here are calculated using the mid point of the range of rinsing results for the reduced amounts.after rinsing and cooking.

As you can see, for the percentage reductions the rinsing numbers are much larger than the cooking ones.

Where did the purines go ? In the meat rinsing, it's thought they got washed away in the draining water.

The purines' reduction numbers in this experiment were not merely for purines counted as a whole. The experiment obtained results for all the four types of purine bases - adenine, guanine xanthine and hypoxanthine. Two of them - adenine and hypoxanthine, which are related, are believed to affect blood uric acid levels the most by far. The other two - guanine and xanthine, which are also related - it is thought do not or not much.

Therefore, a prime cut containing more hypoxanthine and adenine will create more blood uric acid, other factors equal, than a cut which has less.

We shall come back to cooking and purines n subsequent issues.

To read this experiment in its entirety click on this link

To the rinsing and cooking experiment

It can be downloaded. The explanation of the rinsing and cooking begins on the pdf page number 44 (not the different study page number) up to the end at pdf page 71.


Which of four pork prime cuts are highest in purines ? A purines-in-beef-and-pork cuts study (2) found in the case of pork it was pork rump (the backside of the pig). How many ? Pork rump contained 150.7 mg/100 purine grams wet weight; next was pork tenderloin at 144.7 mg; then pork fore hock (pig's front leg) at 129.4 and finally loin chop at 112 mg. Other prime cuts were not measured.

A study in Japan (3) a few years ago reached fairly close results to these amounts above. Pork rump - 113 mg/100 grams of purines or 137 mg/100 grams of created uric acid. Both studies scored pork rump; and tenderloin the top two cuts for purine amounts. In the Japanese study, tenderloin was 120.7 mg for purines and 145 mg for uric acid.

No surprise too that pork rump and tenderloin contained the most of two purines that create uric acid - hypoxanthine and adenine. With the exception of pork offal (organ meat) in the Japanese study. Offal (organ meat) is always higher in purines than prime cuts.

This study found that purines in different parts of the cow and pig vary in number. This means the four purine bases - adenine, guanine, hypoxanthine and xanthine - also vary around the animal's body. Prime cuts that have high amounts of hypoxanthine and adenine will create more blood uric acid.

Because of their high amount of purines, if you decide to eat these two pork cuts, it would be a good idea to rinse them first, at least for 2 minutes, which will probably lower their purines by about 25%.Most people already rinse but don't know its effects on purines.

I can't discuss the beef results until I have been able to correctly identify the four beef prime cuts they analysed for purines breakdowns and totals. I am waiting to hear from the researchers about this. More in a later issue

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"Beneficial effects of weight loss associated with moderate calorie/carbohydrate restriction and increased proportional intake of protein and unsaturated fat on serum urate (uric acid) and lipoprotein levels in gout: a pilot study."

I repeat some of the main points of this diet and study in the Gout Dugout from time to time to remind readers what can be achieved with a diet.

New readers arrive who have never heard of this study, so if you've read this before, please bear with me.

The website page that describes this study only receives under 0.5% of all page views on the website at present. So many visitors – too many visitors – do not see it and have never heard of it. But everyone wants a dietary cure for gout, if they can achieve it.

A diet will not definitely control gout but losing weight is one way of reducing blood uric acid.

In this dietary study all trialists had gout. Participants ate many of the so-called “wrong” things – they ate meat, and they ate fish and they drank wine ! The dietary regimen - reduced calories and carbohydrates plus increased protein and increased unsaturated fat - was based on Dr.Barry Sears’s Zone diet (Enter The Zone) It reduced uric acid by a useful amount; a reduction perhaps equal to three or four months of taking allopurinol daily.

Despite these “wrong” foods, they lost weight, about 17 lbs on average (7.7 kg) over 4 months. Their uric acid levels fell, by on average 1.7 mg/dL and so did the frequency of their gout attacks (down by 2.1 to 0.6, abut 70%) over the following year after the end of the main study.

They actually achieved what so many gouty people hope can be done by a diet. One drawback was that there were not a large number of participants, just 13 males.

This study has been widely cited around the world’s scientific gout community which means they recognise its usefulness.

The page about this study is here.-a gout-sufferers-diet.

There is a link on the page to download the whole study free. courtesy of the British Medical Journal.(BMJ).

SEL 212

The update about SEL 212 phase 2 study was due this issue, with complete results for the highest dose in the phase 2 trial. But the SEL 212 news will not now be published until April 9 or 10. Expect it in the June Gout Dugout. There should also be further news in the September issue.

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Next issue - Summer 2018, end June

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

John Mepham BA (Econ)
Makati City

I am pictured here with my Filipina wife who helps me with my gout researches for this website. In 2006 it was her belief that she had gout that began my enquiries into "the disease of kings." However, as it turned out, she happily did not !


(1) Anna Ellington - Reduction of purine content in commonly consumed meat products through rinsing and cooking.

(2) Shengzhong Rong,et al, Determination of purine contents in different parts of pork and beef by high performance liquid chromatography Food Chemistry Volume 170, 1 March 2015, Pages 303-307

(3) Kaneko K, Aoyagi Y, Fukuuchi T, Inazawa K, Yamaoka N. Total purine and purine base content of common foodstuffs for facilitating nutritional therapy for gout and hyperuricemia. Biol Pharm Bull. 2014;37(5):709-21. Epub 2014 Feb 20.

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