Plant-based diets (PBDs) are associated with decreased risk of morbidity and mortality associated with important noncommunicable chronic diseases. Similar to animal-based food sources (e.g., meat, fish, and animal visceral organs), some plant-based food sources (e.g., certain soy legume products, sea vegetables, and brassica vegetables) also contain a high purine load. Suboptimally designed PBDs might consequently be associated with increased uric acid levels and gout development. Here, we review the available data on this topic, with a great majority of studies showing reduced risk of hyperuricemia and gout with vegetarian (especially lacto-vegetarian) PBDs. Additionally, type of ingested purines, fiber, vitamin C, and certain lifestyle factors work in concordance to reduce uric acid generation in PBDs. Recent limited data show that even with an exclusive PBD, uric acid concentrations remain in the normal range in short- and long-term dieters. The reasonable consumption of plant foods with a higher purine content as a part of PBDs may therefore be safely tolerated in normouricemic individuals, but additional data is needed in hyperuricemic individuals, especially those with chronic kidney disease.
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