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QUESTION & ANSWER

24/03/2006
Purines in beer

Question:Which beer has the lowest purine content, and which beer has the most? Which ingredients determine the purine levels?
Pete R.

Answer: Your first question defies any cut and dried (pseudo-) scientific this-then-next cause-and-effect explanation. Some specialists maintain that the purine content in beer is very low. The purine content in beer would appear to fluctuate between 19 and 110 mg/l, which bears comparison with the normal daily excreted quantity of purines - depending on your personal characteristics. Well, even so-called “NA” or non-alcoholic beer may be drawn from muddy waters: natural springs that may contain just as many purines as you might find in any normal beer. Other sources insist that they have only half as much. No systematic comparative study on the different types of beer has as yet been conducted.

Purines are end-products originating from proteins from the cell walls of the cereals on which beer is brewed. This probably explains the great diversity in the purine content in beer.


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