Researchers with Imperial College London collaborated with experts from a number of other institutions to develop a urine test that, among other things, can provide ‘precision nutrition’ information for patients. Put simply, the urine test can help shed light on the ideal diet for your particular body, potentially helping avoid diseases and increase one’s overall health and wellbeing.
This new urine test only takes five minutes to produce results, according to Imperial London College, where researchers have published two studies on the project. The test works by identifying 46 metabolites in urine — these are produced when the body digests various foods. As such, the test sheds light on the quality of the diet the person is consuming.
The test may provide more accuracy about a patient’s diet compared to having them keep a food journal, which may be incomplete or inaccurate for various reasons. The metabolites can reveal things about alcohol and different types of meat consumption, how much citrus fruit the person eats, things like glucose and fructose, and more.
Of particular interest is the potential for helping doctors develop a ‘precision nutrition’ diet for their patients, one that involves foods ideal for the patient’s own biology. The idea of personally-tailored diets isn’t new and some studies have found that certain people are, for example, better able to thrive on high-carb diets compared to other people.
“Our technology can provide crucial insights into how foods are processed by individuals in different ways – and can help health professionals such as dieticians provide dietary advice tailored to individual patients,” according to Imperial Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction’s Dr. Isabel Garcia-Perez.