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Urine Test Can Now Show If A Person's Diet is Healthy

Update Date: Jan 17, 2017 09:27 AM EST

Scientists in the UK have developed a simple urine test to show if your diet is healthy. This 5-minute urine test can determine the food that was broken down in your body.

The analysis would show if you have eaten red meat, fish, fruit and vegetables and its accuracy can even specify the type of food. It can also measure fat, sugar, fiber and protein intake.

The work has been completed by researchers at Aberystwyth University (AB), Imperial College London (ICL), and Newcastle University. The study was published in the journal Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.

"A major weakness in all nutrition and diet studies is that we have no true measure of what people eat. We rely solely on people keeping logs of their daily diets - but studies suggest around 60% of people misreport what they eat to some extent," said Professor Gary Frost, Senior Lead Researcher in ICL.

WebMD Health News reported most people inaccurately under-report their unhealthy food intake and over-report fruit and vegetables intake. This is found to be common to overweight and obese people when asked about their diet.

The study is focused mainly on tracking and monitoring a person's diet. 19 volunteers were tasked to follow four different diets, ranging from very health to very unhealthy.

Scientists collected urine samples during the 3-day diet period and each sample was analyzed for compounds, called metabolites, that is produced when food is digested. The information collected was used to develop a profile indicating if each person had followed a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

They said that the breakthrough is at an early stage, but the test can potentially be used for future weight loss programs.

Wales Online reported that co-author Professor John Draper from the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at AB, is now developing the test for home use.

"The future challenge is to apply the technology developed in this laboratory study in a community setting and objectively monitor diet in the home," said Draper.

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