Posted in Health, news

Is Drinking Urine Healthy?

A group in Colorado claims urine has multiple medicinal properties and drinks it regularly.

Urine Therapy Group meets and group members will either use urine topically for ailments or drink it.

For centuries, the application, or imbibing, of one’s urine has been touted for its health benefits. In fact, diabetes used to be diagnosed when one’s physician would taste their urine to determine its sweetness.

A previous case study published in the Journal Of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology had made headlines, reporting it found urine therapy to be potentially beneficial.  They report a 16-year-old boy, under the direction of his mother, applied urine to his face to help treat his acne. It apparently worked so he began to store some urine for future use, but did so in a way such that the urine became warm and contaminated and then subsequently inflamed the skin.

They report:

IN DERMATOLOGY, SYNTHETIC UREA IS AN ACTIVE INGREDIENT IN NUMEROUS COMMERCIAL PRODUCTS. UREA, OR CARBAMIDE, IS UTILIZED TO INCREASE WATER-BINDING CAPACITY OF THE STRATUM CORNEUM. IN HIGHER CONCENTRATIONS, IT IS ALSO BELIEVED TO BE KERATOLYTIC AND IS USED FOR CONDITIONS SUCH AS PSORIASIS, ICHTHYOSIS, AND DERMATOPHYTOSIS. IN A STUDY UTILIZING 21 HUMAN VOLUNTEERS, UREA IMPROVED BARRIER FUNCTION AND ENHANCED ANTIMICROBIAL PEPTIDE (AMP; LL-37 AND Β-DEFENSIN-2) EXPRESSION. FURTHERMORE, THE STUDY SHOWED THAT TOPICAL UREA APPLICATION NORMALIZED BOTH BARRIER FUNCTION AND AMP EXPRESSION IN A MURINE MODEL OF ATOPIC DERMATITIS.

Studies however have not consistently found evidence that our notorious waste product can help fight ailments such as infections, cancer, rashes and allergies that so many claim.

 

What is urine?

Urine is a yellowish liquid, created by the kidneys, as a result of filtering toxins and unneeded substances from the blood.  From the kidneys, it travels through a ureter, into the bladder for storage, and then upon urination, travels through a urethra to the outside world…..to get AWAY from the body.

1-kidneys-ureter--urinary-bladder-monica-schroeder.jpg

Why is urine yellow?

Urochrome is responsible for the yellow color of urine. It’s a byproduct from the degradation of heme when red blood cells are broken down.

Why do vitamins make urine brighter?

If one takes a multivitamin or B-Complex they may notice their urine turn neon yellow as the body is trying to eliminate the excess riboflavin (Vitamin B2).

What is urine composed of?

Urine is approximately 95% water with the remaining 5% consisting of:

  • urea
  • ammonia
  • salts such as sodium, chloride, and calcium
  • minerals
  • protein
  • creatinine
  • variety of cells
  • toxins

What causes urine to smell?

Healthy urine should hardly have an odor as its 95% water. However, dehydrated individuals may exhibit more of an ammonia smell.  Infections, food and medications can also alter the odor of urine.

Is urine a good source of vitamins?

No.  Vitamins leached out into the urine are the excess the body does not need and may  additionally be the byproducts of their original useful form.

Does drinking urine cure acne?

No, not by drinking.  Acne is caused by a multitude of factors ranging from hormones to bacteria infections, such as Propionibacterium acnes.  However, if one claims their consumption of it clears their complexion, the only thing I can fathom is hydration with water has proven beneficial for the skin….water.  This is not an approved traditional medicine treatment for acne.

Topical applications, however, have been suggested to help as some believe the urine has antibacterial properties against the P. acne bacteria….but I’d rather reach for the Clearasil.

Is it safe to drink your own urine?

This is debatable because in theory, urine is sterile and mostly composed of water.  But  realize this is in situations where one is healthy and hydrated.  If in a survival situation, chances are the urine is highly concentrated with salts and waste products, so drinking it could severely strain the kidneys and not give the hydration benefit desired.

 

Does urine cure anything?

Actually, in practice I’ve noticed that those who’ve peed in the shower, soaking their feet in the urine as it exits the drain, seemed to have the smoothest of feet.  Studies have shown, the urea in urine, applied topically, can help dry skin, feet and callouses.

Urotherapy, or the application of urine for medicinal purposes, is believed by some who practice alternative medicine, to cure cancer as it reintroduces antigens, that exited the body once, in hopes of stimulating the immune system.  In traditional medicine, however, this is not an approved cancer treatment.

 

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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

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Nationally Syndicated Radio Host, Board Certified Family Medicine Physician, Author

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