What Your Urine Samples Can Reveal About Obesity

   |  Updated: April 30, 2015 18:43 IST

What Your Urine Samples Can Reveal About Obesity
A new study, led by Imperial College London, shows that obesity has a 'metabolic signature' detectable in urine samples that is linked to the body mass and can affect your health. We know that it’s not hard to detect obesity with measures and BMI calculators, but this study aims to highlight the link between obesity and other ailments that it triggers like diabetes and heart disease.

These findings were published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. According to the study, urine contains a variety of chemicals known as metabolites. These are produced from a vast range of biochemical processes in the body. With the help of technology we can analyze the metabolic makeup of a sample which can offer huge amounts of information about a person's genetic makeup and lifestyle factors.

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To reach this conclusion, researchers analysed urine samples from over 2,000 volunteers in the US and the UK. They found 29 different metabolic products whose levels correlated with the person's body mass index, and how they fit together in a complex network that links many different parts of the body.

Some of these metabolites are produced by bacteria that live in the gut, highlighting the important role that these organisms play in obesity. Other metabolites showed that the skeletal muscle of obese people uses energy differently than those with normal weight.
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"Obesity has become a huge problem all over the world, threatening to overwhelm health services and drive life expectancy gains into reverse," said Professor Jeremy Nicholson, Director of the MRC-NIHR National Phenome Centre at Imperial College London and a senior author of the study.

"Tackling it is an urgent priority and it requires us to have a much better understanding of how body fat and other aspects of biology are related. These findings provide possible starting points for new approaches to preventing and treating obesity and its associated diseases," he added.

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"Our results point to patterns of metabolic markers in the urine associated with obesity. It may be possible to identify non-obese people who have such patterns in their urine profile," said Professor Paul Elliott, Head of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Imperial.

The results of the study can be used to create more effective strategies for prevention and treatment of various chronic ailments that are related to obesity.

CommentsWith inputs from PTI

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Tags:  Obesity