You may have heard that if you were in a place where access to safe drinking water was not possible, you could use urine to quench your thirst, as urine is sterile and free of any infectious agents.
But is the notion that urine is sterile true?
In this article, we will examine this important question and give it a correct and scientific answer.
Unfortunately, you should know that urine is not as free of infectious and harmful factors as you think.
The popular belief is that probably because it is the result of purifying the blood in the kidneys, then certainly in people who do not have kidney and urethral infections; the urine is free of infectious agents and is sterile.
Is the urine of healthy people both infectious and pathogenic?
The answer to this question is yes, it is true that urine after leaving the bladder may become contaminated with infectious agents as it passes through the urethra.(In people with urinary tract and genital infections, however, studies have shown that in many cases, when urine is taken directly from the bladder, it is not free of infectious agents.
In other words, urine extracted directly from the bladder of many healthy women without genital urinary tract infections was contaminated with germs.
What is microbiota?
We know that in order to detect urinary tract infections, urine samples that are collected in the right way are usually studied in special culture media. It is interesting to know that even the urine of a healthy person can be contaminated with contaminants that are not detected in common urine culture media. These so-called contaminants are called Microbiota.
Suppose a urine sample has been studied in a conventional culture medium and was found to be free of any bacterial infection, we notice the presence of bacteria in the seemingly sterile urine sample. So if someone asks whether the urine is sterile or not, the answer is no
The harms of drinking urine
As you know, the main reason for urinating is that the kidneys purify the blood of any wastes that may be harmful to the body. For this reason, it is true that the urine of a healthy person consists of 95% water, but the remaining 5% is waste products such as potassium and nitrogen that the body seeks to excrete. Therefore, it can be said that returning these wastes to the body, in addition to doubling the work of the kidneys and putting a lot of pressure on them, can also cause damage to the human digestive system.
Does drinking urine really quench your thirst?
In the following, we will examine several factors that prove that drinking urine, even in acute conditions, not only does not quench thirst, but can also reduce the chances of survival.
- As mentioned, returning the same small amount of urea, ammonia and other waste products in the urine can negatively affect the overall function of the body, which can reduce the chances of surviving an emergency.
- Because the concentration of sodium and chloride in the urine is high, drinking it in conditions of acute thirst not only does not help the body but may also worsen the dehydration.
- Another issue is the psychological impact and stress of doing this unpleasant act, which causes the body to expend its energy on producing adrenaline and increasing heart rate, all of which clearly reduce a person’s chances of survival when they are trying to survive.
- Another important issue that people may be unaware of is the possibility of vomiting in these conditions. If a person vomits due to drinking urine, the body loses the same amount of water that it had before. This will also reduce the person’s chances of survival.