What is urine therapy and should we all be doing it?

Advocates of urine therapy, or drinking your own pee, say it has a wealth of health benefits [Photo: Getty]
Advocates of urine therapy, or drinking your own pee, say it has a wealth of health benefits [Photo: Getty]

Fancy swapping your morning coffee for a warm cup of Rosie pee?

Nope didn’t think so.

But believe it or not the practice of ‘urine therapy’ or drinking your own wee is actually becoming more popular.

A quick scroll of ‘urine therapy’ on Instagram throws up hundreds of posts from pee-chugging converts convinced the process has a whole wealth of health benefits.

Take Kevin Hinkle, a urine therapy advocate who has often used his grid to shout about some of the reported benefits of the practice.

“Fasting and urine therapy combined will heal anything on this planet,” he wrote in one Insta post before going on to list some of the perceived health pros which he says include helping to heal diseases including cancer, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, regulating hormones, boosting your immune system and helping reduce inflammation.

Others believe drinking your own pee can aid with weight loss, while some beauty gurus believe applying urine to the skin can help with acne, eczema, rashes, and dry skin, and also boost the elasticity and suppleness of the skin.

While drinking and adding urine to your daily beauty regime might sound like a bonkers new trend, urine therapy has actually been around for centuries.

“Reports dating back to ancient Rome, Greece, and Egypt suggest that urine therapy has been used to treat everything from acne to cancer,” Dominica Roszko, health expert and founder of Vegerasta told Yahoo UK.

But while our ancient cousins may swear by urine therapy, some experts, including Dominica, have concerns about the practice as urine is composed of fluid and waste products that your body doesn’t need.

“Whilst the practise of drinking urine is becoming more well-known and increasingly popular, there is no clinical evidence to suggest that it would confer any benefits, as the compounds being excreted are no longer required by the body,” explains Nature’s Best nutritionist Keri Filtness.

That’s something Dr Andrew Thornber, Chief Medical Officer at Now Patient agrees with.

“There have been claims that drinking it (in very small amounts) can help with problems such as acne, cancer and heart problems,” he says. “However there are no real specific scientific studies into the health benefits of drinking urine, so the jury is still out.”

“Some people also think that it by drinking urine it gives you a quick vitamin shot, but there are much healthier ways of making sure you get your vitamins such as eating a healthy and balanced diet or taking supplements,” he adds.

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Dr Thornber explains that the whole point of urinating is for the kidneys to filter the blood and get rid of any excess fluid and salts, as well as minerals.

“Urine in a healthy person is made up of about 95 per cent water, but the other 5% is waste products the body is looking to expel such as potassium and nitrogen – which if you have too much in your body can cause problems,” he says.

What’s more drinking urine could actually have a negative impact on your health.

“When you drink urine, it will eventually come back out again and be much more concentrated, which could lead to gut problems,” Dr Thornber continues.

“Some studies have shown it does contain bacteria, which obviously could have harmful affects. The kidneys will have to work hard to filter out all the excess again, putting strain on them and potentially leading to kidney issues.”

Keri Filtness also raises concerns that urine therapy could impact your dehydration levels. “Some of the waste products excreted via urine, such as nitrogen, sodium and other minerals, may cause issues such as dehydration if they are consumed excessively,” she explains.

Though everyone is perfectly entitled to do what they wish with their own bodies, those wanting to test out the practice for themselves should proceed with caution.

While drinking a small amount of urine is unlikely to be hazardous to your health, there’s not much evidence to suggest it will do you any good either.

“Drinking your own urine has absolutely no benefit to you, and I wouldn’t recommend it,” says Consultant urological surgeon Kieran Jefferson, of BMI The Meriden Hospital.

“There may be stories out there claiming health benefits, but really kidneys excrete all that for a reason – once it’s gone, you really don’t need that any more.”

Think we’ll stick to a nice herbal tea, thanks all the same.

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