Scientists Create Urine Test That Reveals The Quality Of Our Diet

Scientists have developed a five-minute test that can determine the health level of an individual’s diet.

The diet test picks up on biological markers left in urine after the breakdown of ingested foods such as fruits, veggies, poultry, fish, and red meat. The fiber, fat, sugar, and protein an individual consumes is also revealed by this test.

The healthy-diet test may eventually allow scientists, doctors, and dietitians to track a subject’s, or patient’s dietary habits accurately.

“A major weakness in all nutrition and diet studies is that we have no true measure of what people eat,” said Professor Gary Frost, senior study author. “We rely solely on people keeping logs of their daily diets - but studies suggest around 60 percent of people misreport what they eat to some extent. This test could be the first independent indicator of the quality of a person’s diet - and what they are really eating.”

The researchers created a healthy-diet urine profile by having 19 volunteers follow four different diets, ranging from very healthy to very unhealthy, based on World Health Organization dietary guidelines. The participants followed the diets for three days within a London research facility; urine samples were collected morning, afternoon, and evening.

Each urine sample was analyzed for metabolites, or compounds produced when food breaks down in the body. The compiled data resulted in a urine metabolite profile for a balanced diet that includes plenty of vegetables, and fruit. Comparing an individual’s urine profile to the healthy-diet profile can reveal how well that person is eating.

The scientists tested the validity of their healthy-diet profile by using it to predict the diet of almost 300 people who provided urine samples, and kept a record of their daily food intake. The research team is now working on refining the test and further assessing its accuracy.

“This will eventually provide a tool for personalized dietary monitoring to help maintain a healthy lifestyle,” said Dr. Isabel Garcia-Perez, a study co-author. “We’re not at the stage yet where the test can tell us a person ate 15 chips yesterday and two sausages, but it’s on the way.”

The healthy-diet urine test was developed by researchers at Imperial College London, Newcastle University, and Aberystwyth University.

Source: Science Daily

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