A team of British researchers is working on a urine test that could be used in the near future to help people better manage their diet. The scientists focused on a specific series of biomarkers in human urine that give out information on one’s diet and can help better manage people’s eating habits for a healthy lifestyle.
The aim is to create a kit that could be used by anybody at home to keep a closer eye on food intake and nutritious values, says co-author of the study, Professor John Draper. Similar studies on diet plans conducted in the past revealed that approximately 60 percent of individuals that take up specific food plans report and sticks to their diet.
The researchers focused on similar studies that analyzed urine samples and dietary information from 66 people in Denmark and 225 English subjects. Using a technique dubbed proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, the scientists were able to accurately predict 19 subjects’ diets on their urine samples alone.
Over the course of three days, the subjects were fed either healthy foods or very unhealthy ones. Urine samples were gathered three times a day. At the end of the trials, the researchers identified specific biomarkers that can be linked to the subjects’ diets. The team of researchers focused primarily on metabolites, which are produced when the human body breaks down certain foods.
Urine Test’s Limitations
Even though the scientists are making progress, the urine test has its limitations. Dr. Isabel Garcia-Perez, co-author of the study says the researchers cannot yet tell how much food and what exactly a person ate before the test. Nevertheless, they are working on this aspect, as well.
Urine Test’s Applications
The researchers hope the urine test will provide sufficient information for the users to better monitor their food intake and nutritious values of their diet. Furthermore, the scientists are working to make the test easy to use at home for anyone who is looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
So far, dietary information used in other studies is based on self-reports. With the urine test, the researchers want to provide the population with more accurate information on their diets and overall health in just a matter of minutes. The results, as well as more details on the study, have been published in the journal Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.
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