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Urine test can tell if one had veggies, fish or meat

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Doctor looking at a urine sample

A team of researchers from the Human Nutrition Research Center (Newcastle University, England) has designed a new type of urine test which can predict with a fair accuracy what types of food you ate during the day. It can also show how much fat, sugar, fibre and protein a person has eaten.

The study had 19 people follow four different diets, ranging from very healthy to very unhealthy. Participants spent their next three days in a London research facility, throughout which they were monitored by researchers and their urine samples were also collected three times a day. Details of the urine test and study conducted on a small group have been published in the journal Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.

In designing this urine test, the researchers involved in the project sought ways to tell if patients are truthful about their diets.

There are also compounds that point to specific foods such as citrus fruits, grapes and green leafy vegetables.

A report published by Wales Online added, "From that information they were able to develop a urine metabolite profile that indicated a healthy, balanced diet with a good intake of fruit and vegetables".

This model urine profile can be compared with any person's urine profile, to provide an instant indicator of how healthy the person's diet is, the researchers said.

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Researchers from the Aberystwyth University, Newcastle University and Imperial College London have chose to test this on larger groups, developing a more accurate analysis.

The researchers focused on similar studies that analyzed urine samples and dietary information from 66 people in Denmark and 225 English subjects.

Urine test is not the only way to find out more about one's diet. The team is hoping to broaden the test's spectrum to include all food groups.

The test comes in response to evidence that people inaccurately record their own diets by under-reporting the unhealthy food they eat and over-reporting fruit and veg intake.

However, the work on the test is still in its initial stages, and it is not commercially available yet, Garcia-Perez said. This will eventually provide a tool for personalised dietary monitoring to help maintain a healthy lifestyle. Isabel Garcia-Perez, the co-author of the study, claimed that the test they developed did not reach such an advanced stage to make it able to tell what kind of cake or how many chips the person ate yesterday. The idea would be to collect a urine sample at home and deliver it to a local centre for analysis. With the research data, researchers created a health graph with the amount of protein, fat, fiber, and sugar eaten.

"The teams in Aberystwyth and Newcastle have been doing just this and the results are looking very promising", Aberystwyth University's professor of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences Dr. Draper said in a statement. Typically, the information on people's diets that is used in studies is self-reported.

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