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What are some health effects of drinking urine?

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Quick Answer

Occasionally drinking a little urine is likely not harmful, but there is also no medical evidence that it is an effective treatment for any illnesses, as some alternative medical practitioners claim, explains CVS Pharmacy. However, drinking urine may be a matter of survival when a person has no access to other liquid, such as when someone is lost in the wilderness.

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Urea, the next most comment component of urine after water, does have some antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral effects, explains CVS Pharmacy. On the other hand, the preliminary results of a 2014 study found that urine may not be as sterile as once thought, when researchers found bacteria in the urine of healthy women, reports WebMD.

Some traditional medical practices, such as those found in Egypt, China, India and Mesoamerica, insist that drinking urine is a treatment for a variety of ailments, explains CVS Pharmacy. Some alternative medical practices today use urine as a treatment for a wide range of diseases, including everything from acne to cancer. No medical evidence supports these practices.

Drinking only urine and no other liquids quickly leads to severe dehydration while also increasing the amount of harmful waste products, states CVS Pharmacy. Additionally, though urine does contain useful vitamins and proteins, the kidney already retains any useful vitamins and proteins, discarding what is not needed.

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