Hyperuricemia and gout appear to be rapidly increasing worldwide and frequently cause symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Dietary flavonoids have their potential beneficial effects on human health. In the present study, 15 flavonoids (quercetin, morin, myricetin, kaempferol, icariin, apigenin, luteolin, baicalin, silibinin, naringenin, formonoetin, genistein, puerarin, daidzin and naringin dihydrochalcone) were selected to investigate for their hypouricemic action in mice. Oral administration of quercetin, morin, myricetin, kaempferol, apigenin and puerarin at 50 and 100 mg/kg for 3 d was able to elicit hypouricemic actions in hyperuricemic mice induced by potassium oxonate. Luteolin, formonoetin and naringenin showed the significant effects only at 100 mg/kg. Quercetin, puerarin, myricetin, morin and kaempferol significantly reduced liver uric acid level in hyperuricemic animals. In addition, quercetin, morin, myricetin, kaempferol and puerarin exhibited significant inhibition on the liver xanthine oxidase (XOD) activities. It seems to be likely that these flavonoids reduce serum urate levels by mainly inhibiting XOD activity. However, the hypouricemic effect of apigenin observed seemed not to parallel with the changes in liver uric acid level and liver XOD activity, implying that apigenin might act via other mechanisms apart from inhibiting enzyme activity simply. Analysis of the chemical structure showed that a planar structure with the hydroxyl groups played a crucial role in hypouricemic activity of flavonoids. The exact mechanism of the hypouricemic action of flavonoids in vivo should be investigated in the future.