Your pee contains thousands of metabolites that can diagnose serious diseases

Secrets of what's in our urine revealed
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Urine has more compounds than previously known

Now researchers know more about your pee than ever before.  University of Alberta scientists say they have uncovered the chemical composition of human urine, finding there are more than 3,000 metabolites.

The finding means new ways to discover what’s going on in the environment and in our bodies.

David Wishart, the senior scientist for investigation said in a press release, "Urine is an incredibly complex biofluid. We had no idea there could be so many different compounds going into our toilets.”

He adds, "Most medical textbooks only list 50 to 100 chemicals in urine, and most common clinical urine tests only measure six to seven compounds.”

Expanding our knowledge of what we metabolize in our urine means faster, more inexpensive, less invasive and painless ways to test for a variety of diseases.

For their study, the researchers used several sophisticated tools including nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, gas chromatography, mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography to discover a wider range of compounds in pee than previously known.

They also looked at 100-years of scientific literature from an online data base about urine called the Urine Metabolome Database, or UMDB.

What’s a urine metabolome?

In case you too got caught on the work ‘metabalome”, the researchers explain it’s a combination of metabolites and genome. Studying urine metabolites and genomes is part of a larger project aimed at identifying all of the metabalomes in the human body.

"This is certainly not the final word on the chemical composition of urine," Wishart said. "As new techniques are developed and as more sensitive instruments are produced, I am sure that hundreds more urinary compounds will be identified.”

If you want to keep up with what’s in your pee, you may want to check the database regularly. More information is being posted daily. Wishart adds the human metabalome project will have a more significant and immediate impact on human health than the humangenome project.

Diagnosing colon and prostate cancer, celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, pneumonia and organ transplant rejection with a simple urine test is already in the making.  Researchers now know there are at least 3,000 metabolites in urine that can help reveal the state of our health.

Source: PloS ONE