Reply To: Is Quorn high in Purines?

Stopping Gout Together Forums Help My Gout! The Gout Forum Is Quorn high in Purines? Reply To: Is Quorn high in Purines?

Keith Taylor

Firstly Jason ( @jason-ayers ), I’ve merged your topic about Quorn here as the subject doesn’t generate enough interest to warrant 2 topics. However, if you want to ask about personal help planning a low-purine diet, then start another topic. But please see my comments below.

Secondly, I agree with Nobody’s reply to Jason’s post. I believe Jason should acknowledge it.

Thirdly, I want to share some science about Quorn (mycoproteins) and Purines.

Quorn and Purines
As far as I can see, the only study that directly addresses this issue is:
Havlik, Jaroslav, Vladimir Plachy, Javier Fernandez, and Vojtech Rada. “Dietary purines in vegetarian meat analogues.” Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 90, no. 14 (2010): 2352-2357.
Which concludes:

Protein‐rich vegetable‐based meat substitutes might be generally accepted as meat alternatives for individuals on special diets. The type of protein used to manufacture these products determines the total content of purines, which is relatively higher in the case of mycoprotein or soybean protein. While appearing lower in wheat protein and egg white‐based products. These are therefore more suitable for dietary considerations in a low‐purine diet for hyperuricaemic subjects.

However, there is a 2016 study which references that 2010 study:
Lockyer, S., and S. Stanner. “Diet and gout–what is the role of purines?.” Nutrition Bulletin 41, no. 2 (2016): 155-166.

That refers to different types of purine bases discussed in the 2010 study (more later). Then it summarizes some earlier relevant work:

Finally, 100 subjects consumed 20 g dry weight mycoprotein in cookies, an amount comparable to an average retail portion of Quorn<sup>TM</sup> products, or control cookies for 30 days, separated by a one-week washout period (Udall et al. 1984). There was no significant change in Serum Uric Acid (SUA). A smaller study reported in the same paper (n = 13) also stated that SUA remained within the normal range after consumption of mycoprotein for 16 days.

Now, the more I study purines, the more I realize that they are only an indicator of what might happen to uric acid levels in your body. Because different types of purines have different effects on uric acid. Also, people process purines in food differently. So foods that raise or lower uric acid in one person might have no effect or the opposite effect in another person.

More importantly, most gout sufferers do not manage their diet in a way that allows them to monitor the effect on uric acid. In fact, of all the thousands of gout sufferers I have corresponded with over the years, only a handful have ever tried to correlate diet changes with uric acid changes. Fundamentally, if you are not prepared to monitor those changes, then you are much safer if you discuss allopurinol or it’s alternatives with your doctor. Because that makes all foods low purine. Allowing you to focus on eating healthily.

Which brings me to my final point on Quorn and purines. In my opinion, Quorn is not a healthy source of protein. Instead, I recommend you plan your gout diet around healthy whole foods. With my mantra being EFSEP:
Eat Food (avoiding processed food-like substances).
Sufficient (avoiding being overweight).
Especially Plants (avoiding excessive animal consumption which is linked to gout and many other diseases).