Uric acid is a chemical created when the body breaks down substances called purines. Purines are found in some foods and drinks. These include liver, anchovies, mackerel, dried beans and peas, and beer. Most uric acid dissolves in blood and travels to the kidneys. From there, it passes out in urine. If your body produces too much uric acid or doesn't remove enough if it, you can get sick. A high level of uric acid in the blood is called hyperuricemia.