Urine Metabolome In Humans

Urine samples play significant roles in research

Urine Metabolome In Humans

The quality of one’s urine determines their health. This is because it is the by-product of what we consume daily. Urine is the liquid waste which the bladders of humans and animals excrete. Urine consists mainly of salts, urea, and water produced from kidneys and transported to the bladder, then flushed out through the urethra.

Scientists worldwide are still investigating the chemical constituents of urine and they are succeeding. Like the scientists from Alberta University, Canada, a research team of almost 20 members who carried out their research for over 7 years. Their results revealed over 3,000 metabolites (chemicals) found in urine.

University Scientists Discover More About Urine Metabolome In Humans

Over the century, scientists conducted experiments to determine the benefits of urine to human environments. As the Alberta University scientists attempted to establish medical, environmental experiments and nutritional values that can help in so many ways.

The team was headed by David Wishart, the project chief scientist. They did their research with the use of modern analytical methodologies in chemistry. Mass spectrometry, liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. These were to tactically identify the numerous compounds, using varieties of urine types released by humans.

In order to fortify the outcomes of their tests, scientists adopted computerized data prospecting techniques. Used for foraging over a century old of scientific publications on anthropological urine. The chemical storage enclosed in a loosely accessible database known as ‘Urine Metabolome Database (UMDB). The storage included structures, synonyms, concentrations, disease affiliations for urinary metabolites spanning thousand years, and chemical titles.

NB: UMDB is a reference material that enhances clinical, environmental, and medicinal urinalysis. It is managed and maintained by the Metabolomics Innovation Centre in Canada.

Every stakeholder in the health sector need information on urine’s chemical components. This is important because it helps them to know more about health in humans. Ranging from the food they consume, drinks they take, drugs taken, and pollutants floating around their surroundings.  

Shedding more light on the relevance of the project to science. Wishart explained that the majority of medical literature only provide between 50-100 urinary chemical compounds. For it, the most popular clinical tests on a urine only weighed 6 to 7 compounds.

Wishart’s discovery

“Spreading the names of common chemicals found in human urine by 30 odds factor and developing the technique in order for us to identify chemicals running into hundreds in urine at once could transform medical experiments,” says Wishart. He added that the project would give room for a new era of swift, painless and cost-effective medical experiments to be carried out, where blood and tissue biopsies would be replaced with urine.

“There are new diagnostic procedures where urine is used to detect pneumonia, celiac disease, dismissal of organ-based transplants, colon cancer, ulcerative colitis, and prostate cancer,” he noted, emphasizing that the project paved way for such development.

NB: Metabolome is the chemicals or whole metabolite sets located in one particular tissue or organism. This word is a combination of ‘metabolism’ and ‘genome’.

The early times

Back in history, the study of human urine by medical experts to further medical advancements goes back in time to over 300 centuries ago. This continued till the end of the 1800s. Urinalysis back then involved the use of taste, uroscopy (smell), and colour. It encompassed the main techniques physicians in the olden days used for disease diagnoses. Daily, scientists carry out experiments with the use of chemically concentrated urine samples. They utilized urine to detect metabolic diseases, diagnose diabetes, supervise kidney activities, recognize abuse of dangerous drugs, and detect infections of the bladders.

The anthropological urine research was among the sequence of researches by the University of Alberta scientists, targeted at methodically designating the whole metabolome of humans. Ten years ago, this research team at Alberta University explained the chemicals in cerebrospinal fluid in humans. Three years after, they confirmed the chemical constituents found in human blood.

Wishart assured the public that they have not heard the last revelation on this subject as far as urinalysis is concerned. “Discoveries on the chemicals in urine is endless. New methodologies and susceptible tools are on the increase to fast-track the study,” he said.

Research on the anthological genome is ongoing, catching the majority of global attention. According to Wishart, research on metabolome in humans is impacting greatly and positively on public health.

Source- University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.

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