Health History Hidden in Urine

Metabolites differ across national, ethnic boundaries, could offer insight into disease
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2008 10:07 AM CDT
Health History Hidden in Urine
Chinese medical professionals practice urine collection procedures. The metabolites in urine from Chinese patients differed from those in Westerners' samples, as well as those from Japan.   (AP Photo/File)

Urine does indeed hold metabolic clues, researchers have found, and could shed light on blood pressure and heart problems, the Times of London reports. "Metabolic profiling can tell us how specific aspects of a person’s diet and how much they drink are contributing to their risks for certain diseases"—something DNA research can't do, says one of the scientists involved.

"What is really important," a researcher says about looking into urine, a technique first popular around 500 AD, "is that we can test out our new hypotheses directly, in a way that is not easy with genetic biomarkers.” (More public health stories.)

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