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.

Purine in Fish roe, Fish milt, and Seafoods

Table 2. Total purines and uric acid content in fish roe, fish milt, and seafoods.

Fish type Total purine (mg/100g) Uric acid (mg/100g) Category
 Fish roe, fish milt   
Caviar 94.7 111.1 low
Flying fish roe, in soy sauce, Tobiko 91.5 107.1 low
Flying fish roe, Tobiko 67.8 81.8 low
Herring roe, Kazunoko 21.9 25.2 very low
Pollock roe, marinated, Mentaiko 159.3 186.0 moderate
Pollock roe, Tarako 120.7 141.2 moderate
Salmon roe, Ikura 3.7 4.4 very low
Salmon roe, Sujiko 15.7 18.5 very low
Milt, striped pigfish 305.5 351 very high
Seafood (shellfish, mollusk)
Botan shrimp 53.4 64.0 low
Botan shrimp roe 162.5 194.9 moderate
Clam 145.5 171.5 moderate
Common orient clam 104.5 122.7 moderate
Crab, ovary 152.2 175.4 moderate
Firefly squid 128.1 151.2 moderate
Japanese flying squid 186.8 223.6 moderate
Japanese scallop 76.5 94.2 low
Kuruma shrimp 195.3 235.3 moderate
Octupus 137.3 159.7 moderate
Octupus, organs 79.8  93.1 low
Okiami (krill) 225.7 267.3 high
Oriental shrimp 273.2 321.1 high
Oyster 184.5 213.5 moderate
Red king crab 99.6 119.4 low
Sakura shrimp, dried 749.1 907.0 very high
Sea cucumber 5.5 6.6 very low
Sea urchin 137.3 160.7 moderate
Shiba shrimp 144.2 176.5 moderate
Squid, shredded, dried 94.4 114.2 low
Snow crab 136.4 161.4 moderate
Spear squid 160.5 190.0 moderate
Spiny lobster 102.1 125.2 moderate
Squid, organs 59.6 68.8 low


Gout and diet related:

Purines and uric acid content in fresh and processed fish
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).