Scientists Say Medieval Beliefs About Urine May Contain Drops of Truth
May 10, 2008
Medieval physicians believed that they could diagnose disease by holding up a flask of the patient’s urine to the light and squinting at it. Now, scientists at Imperial College London believe they could have been on to something.
Researchers have completed the first worldwide study of the metabolites (breakdown products) that are found in urine, reflecting the diet, inheritance and the lifestyle of the people from whom it came. They call such studies “metabolomics.”
The team believes that the research may provide the basis for a “metabolome-wide association” approach to help to understand interactions between lifestyles, environment and genes and how they determine diseases.
For instance, the team has identified metabolites that are linked to high blood pressure, and others that are found in people with lower blood pressure who drink less and eat more fiber.