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Heterocyclic compound of the purine type, the end product of metabolism of the purines in nucleic acids in many animals, including humans. It is excreted by reptiles and birds as the chief nitrogenous end product of protein breakdown. Small quantities are normally found in human blood; in gout, levels are abnormally high. Uric acid is used industrially in organic synthesis.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on uric acid, visit Britannica.com.