Purine content in fish varies depending on the type and processing. Japanese researchers measured purine content in fish and seafood common in their diet. Depending on the purine level in 100g of edible portion of the food, and risk of gout, they classified them into six classes.

  1. Very low purine sources, <50mg: In this class are roes (eggs) of salmon and herring.
  2. Low purine sources, 50 - 100mg: Fish with this low purine level include Japanese eel, monkfish, red king crab, botan shrimp, squid organs and caviar.
  3. Moderate purine sources, 100 - 200mg: Common fish and seafood in this category include salmon, tuna, bastard halibut, mackerel, rainbouw trout, seabass, spiny lobster, herring, kuruma shrimp, octupus, oyster.
  4. High purine sources, 200 - 300mg: Of the common fish with high purine content is sardine. Other examples are oriental shrimp, krill, half-dried mackerel.
  5. Very high purine sources, >300mg: This level of purine in the fish and seafood is mostly as a result of drying, which increases the concentration of purines. This class of products need to be avoided or their consumption reduced. Examples are dried sardine, anchovies, and sakura shrimp.

 An extended list of fish and seafood, including organs, with their purine content is presented below. The uric acid content is what the corresponding purine amount in the food would convert to in the body.

Purine in Fresh and Processed Fish

Table 1: Total purines and uric acid content in fresh and processed fish.

Fish type Total Purines (mg/100g) Total Uric acid (mg/100g) Category
Fresh fish
Bastard halibut 133.4 163.1 moderate
Bonito 211.4 258.9 high
Carp 103.2 126.1 moderate
Chub mackerel 122.1 149.6 moderate
Fat greenling 129.1 158.0 moderate
Flying fish 154.6 188.3 moderate
Gnome fish, meat 150.8 184.4 moderate
Gnome fish, skin 382.3 435.5 very high
Herring 139.6 169.8 moderate
Jack mackerel 165.3 198.4 moderate
Japanese amberjack 120.8 147.9 moderate
Japanese eel 92.1 110.9 low
Japanese seabass 119.5 146.2 moderate
Mebaru 124.2 151.3 moderate
Monkfish, meat 70.0 84.2 low
Monkfish, liver, raw 104.3 121.8 moderate
Monkfish, liver, steamed 399.2 468.2 very high
Pacific saury 154.9 184.9 moderate
Raibow trout 180.9 216.8 moderate
Red seabream 128.9 158.0 moderate
Sablefish, meat 123.3 151.1 moderate
Sablefish, skin 66.9 80.8 low
Sailfin sandfish 98.5 117.7 low
Salmon 119.3 146.2 moderate
Sardine 210.4 247.1 high
Silllaginidae 143.9 176.5 moderate
Spanish mackerel 139.3 171.5 moderate
Striped pigfish 149.3 183.2 moderate
Tilefish 119.4 146.2 moderate
Tuna 157.4 193.3 moderate
Dried fish, canned fish, processed fish
Jack mackerel, half-dried 245.8 289.1 high
Pacific saury, half-dried 208.8 245.4 high
Sardine, half-dried 305.7 358.1 very high
Anchovy, dried 1108.6 1314.2 very high
Bonito, dried (katsuaobushi) 493.3 600.1 very high
Baby sardines, dried 746.1 879.2 very high
Whitebait, dried 471.5 554.0 very high
Salmon, canned 132.9 159.7 moderate
Tuna, canned 116.9  142.9 moderate
Fish ball 67.6 80.7 low
Fish sausage 22.6 26.9 very low


Gout and diet related:

Purine and uric acid content in fish roe, fish milt, and seafoods
Purines and uric acid content in beef, pork and chicken
Purines and uric acid content in vegetables, fruits, eggs, dairy products

Kaneko K, Aoyagi Y, Fukuuchi T, Inazawa K, and Yamaoka N. Total Purine and Purine Base Content of Common Foodstuffs for Facilitating Nutritional Therapy for Gout and Hyperuricemia. Biol. Pharm. Bull 37(5), 709 - 721 (2014).