FEB 28, 2018 07:48 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 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
SEP 12, 2018
Health & Medicine
SEP 12, 2018
Before You Tear the Moldy Portion of Your Bread Off and Call it Good... Watch This
While most people cringe at the thought of a moldy piece of bread lurking in their refrigerator, there exist bolder people who will gladly tear the moldy b...
OCT 02, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
OCT 02, 2018
Iridium Anomaly and The Extinction of Dinosaurs
Iridium is a hard, dense, silver-looking transition metal often found in high abundance in meteorites. When the higher-than-usual amount of iridium (around...
OCT 02, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 02, 2018
Here's What'd Happen if We Detonated a Nuclear Bomb in Space
Have you ever wondered what would happen if humankind detonated its most powerful nuclear bomb in space? If so, then this is a video you’ll want to w...
OCT 03, 2018
Videos
OCT 03, 2018
The Use of Cannabis to Treat Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can lead to depression, addiction to opioids, anxiety, other side effects, and more. The first video from Howcast talks about clinical tr...
OCT 04, 2018
Videos
OCT 04, 2018
Understanding Fibromyalgia
Many people wonder exactly what causes Fibromyalgia, since there was never a definite answer, some question if the disease is even real despite the pain be...
OCT 21, 2018
Earth & The Environment
OCT 21, 2018
Here's What'd Happen if Earth's Rotation Switched Directions
The Earth rotates in a specific direction, from West to East. But have you ever wondered what would happen if our planet suddenly stopped and then started...
Loading Comments...