Why Purines Are Bad for People With Gout
Purines are the building blocks of
Hi, I'm Dr. Pamela Rosenthal, Rheumotologist at the NYU Langone Medical Center for About.com. In this video I'll be discussing about what purines are, where they're found, and how they're involved in gout.To begin with, purines are everywhere. They are actually the building blocks of DNA so all living things have purines. Purines are foundational. They are fundamental to life. Life couldn't exist without purines. It just so happens that there is this quirk in hominid metabolism where the turnover of purines leads to this build up of circulating serum uric acid. So purines aren't bad per se. Though if you eat too many of them and if you're somebody who is predisposed to gout, then too many purines can result in too much uric acid that can result in clinical gout.One thing I'd like to add is that even though serum circulating uric acid levels above a certain number are considered to correlate with the risk of gout, some people have high levels but don't in fact get clinical gout. So there is a little bit of discordance between having a high number and actually having clinical manifestations of gout. Though fundamentally, the pathway to gout is through uric acid, which is a consequence of purine metabolism.Purines, as we said, are the building blocks of DNA, so not only are they in all the cells in your body, they're virtually in everything that we eat. In particular, they're in abundance in animal proteins as well as certain types of alcohol, particularly beer, because there's a lot of yeast in beer. Even though there are a lot of purines in dairy products, dairy products, in terms of diet, turn out to be a little protective for gout for reasons that are not fully understood.Thank you for watching. To learn more, please visit About.com.