FEB 28, 2018 7:48 AM PST

The Medicines Harvested From Pee

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

There have been a lot of jokes about the pee-drinking habits of Bear Grylls. But it turns out that our urine does contain some valuable chemicals.

Sure, urine is mostly water, then there's a bit of a chemical called urea in there, and some ions that our body has disposed of. But the small amount left over carries some interesting chemicals in it. Apparently, there's even a tiny amount of stem cells in there.

Hear more about the stuff we excrete in our urine. For example, penicillin once had to be recycled from the urine of patients that were using it. Because of a severe shortage, it had to be harvested for reuse. While we could do that for other chemicals, it makes more sense to make the stuff, as companies started doing with the antibiotic.

Hormones are another molecule that have been taken from human urine. Surprisingly, even when huge quantities of urine were needed to generate enough of the hormone for use in a patient, society delivered. Human ingenuity has led to some interesting solutions for problems we face, as these stories attest to. It is still not advisable to drink your own urine, however.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on over 30 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 70 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
NOV 06, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
The Most Powerful X-ray Source On Earth
NOV 06, 2020
The Most Powerful X-ray Source On Earth
Located inside the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Z Pulsed Power Facility (or Z Machine) i ...
DEC 15, 2020
Immunology
The Possibility of Improving an Older Adult's Response to Vaccines
DEC 15, 2020
The Possibility of Improving an Older Adult's Response to Vaccines
A recent study published in the eLife journal examined how they can improve older adults' responses to vaccines ...
FEB 24, 2021
Plants & Animals
Texas Freeze Caused Historic Sea Turtle Stranding Event
FEB 24, 2021
Texas Freeze Caused Historic Sea Turtle Stranding Event
In addition to the millions of humans who suffered through Texas' historic freeze last week, local wildlife also exp ...
MAY 01, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Small Galaxies Played Key Role in Evolution of the Universe
MAY 01, 2021
Small Galaxies Played Key Role in Evolution of the Universe
Astrophysicists from the University of Minnesota have found evidence for the theory that small galaxies emitting high-en ...
MAY 15, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Scientists Find Liquid Water Inside Meteorite
MAY 15, 2021
Scientists Find Liquid Water Inside Meteorite
Scientists know that water is abundant in the solar system- existing in the rings of Saturn and on its moon, Enceladus. ...
JUL 05, 2021
Plants & Animals
Why Are Some Fish Warm-Blooded? A Need for Speed
JUL 05, 2021
Why Are Some Fish Warm-Blooded? A Need for Speed
Great white sharks are warm-blooded, and new research helps explain why.
Loading Comments...