You’ve heard of everything: living with grizzly bears, jumping off waterfalls, women who eat their own placenta, and now this. Drinking your own urine. Why the heck would anyone ever do it?
Those who are fans of the practice say there are many benefits to drinking pee. The thinking goes like this: your pee is a “pure” substance because it’s a liquid that’s already been filtered by both your blood and your kidneys. What’s left over is something full of unfiltered nutrients and vitamins.
Is this bogus folklore or the truth?
People have been practicing urotherapy for centuries. According to Jutta Loeffler of University College London, London, UK, it’s formed of “mostly water, lots of urea (25g/d) and uric acid (1g/d), creatinine (1.5g), various electrolytes (10g/d, mostly NaCl), phosphate and organic acids (3g/d), only trace amounts of proteins (40-80mg/d,…insignificant amounts of antibodies or enzymes), varying traces of (not necessarily active) hormones, glucose and water-soluble vitamins.”
Drinking your urine, Loeffler feels, is possibly beneficial. But not entirely.
“There may be rare situations where urine is the cleanest liquid at hand to pour over a dirty wound, or the only liquid to drink when buried under a collapsed building or lost at sea for days,” she states in an editorial published on the U.S National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health webpage, “but most of the time there are better or tastier ways to improve one’s health”.
In fact, large numbers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria were found in urine consumed as a health remedy in a rural community in Africa. So, consumer beware.
The takeaway: sure, it could work. But modern science has more pleasant ways to treat what ails you. And they may actually work better.