Best beef cuts for gout.  Is beef high purine ? Not according to this study

This page about the best beef cuts for gout, page 2 of 2  of our best beef for gout pages,  was first updated or reviewed on 7 November 2017   

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If fewer than the four purine bases in foods actually create uric acid, for example just two or three of them do, what do the created uric acid numbers fall to ?

Counting only hypoxanthine and adenine in prime beef cuts 

The Japanese study (1) 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: - so they are all low purine.

UK/Aus/NZ includes South African and Irish. prime cuts - see page one for an explanation.

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

Created uric acid from three purine bases in prime beef cuts  

Whereas the Japanese study (1) said just two of the purine bases created uric acid, and so did another study, a third reported that three of the four purines bases create uric acid - hypoxanthine and adenine as above, plus xanthine. Only guanine, says this study, does not. So if we look at the same beef cuts with the amount of uric acid created from three purines, also using the Japanese study's numbers, 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 (agonize) about which study is correct about precisely which purine bases create uric acid. If you compare the numbers for each prime cut you'll see there is not that much difference.

Missing data - I have not found purines data for these prime 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 - butcher's cuts

Described next are the marketing names you get to know when you purchase from the butcher (meat shop), supermarket etc. e.g. beef stew, minced (ground) beef, T bone, Porterhouse, fillet etc. 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).


Interesting though beef cuts' purines' numbers are, we really need much more data for purines in beef cuts. And cooking methods affect purines amounts. The Japanese study did take food heating methods such as frying boiling and steaming into account. More studies would make us feel more certain the numbers are more or less correct, even if we could never expect them to be exactly the same in every study.

If guanine and xanthine do not create uric acid, or not much, and only adenine and hypoxanthine seriously do, population studies about foods' effects on uric acid have still found a correlation between purines' intake and uric acid levels.So they are the uric acid amounts  that have been determined by just adenine and hypoxanthine.

You can use this information as a rough guideline.

So what are the best beef cuts for gout? The best points to note, at least from this study, (1) are that most beef cuts are low purine or low-medium purine. Only a couple of  numbers for the topside (round/hip) prime cut, are well into medium purine territory. 


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 dealing with a knowledgeable butcher (meat shop) who most likely can tell you which cut your purchase is from on the cow. Or buying direct from a farm or farm shop where you can ask; or from a better quality food shop where the beef's origin is named on the packaging, so you can call them and ask too. I bet they have never been asked about purines before though, just the prime cut's source of a meat purchase, although some may know something.

Visit page 1 of 2 of the best beef for gout article

Related pages

Did you know you can probably lower the purines in the meat you eat ? Find out how here 

Visit our page about eating meat on the Atkins diet, for gout 

To the best fish to eat for gout, one of the most popular pages on this website

Study References 

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


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