Modifications In The Urine Caused By Food

The quantity as well as the composition of the food eaten exercises an important influence over the composition of the urine. Animal food increases the acidity of the urine and naturally also its nitrogenous elements, urea, uric acid, and urates, and vegetable food increases the carbonates and earthy salts. A concentrated diet restricted in fluids as well as solids reduces the water of the urine, and makes it relatively more acid, although the absolute quantity of acid may not be increased. Conversely, watery foods, milk, succulent fruits and vegetables, and all beverages increase the quantity of urinary fluid and tend thereby to lessen its acidity and density. Cantani dissents from the common view that the organic acids, such as fruit acids, form carbonates which promote alkalinity of the urine, and says that this is true of small quantities, but that larger amounts or the continued administration of these acids makes the urine strongly acid. Phosphaturia or the excessive deposit of phosphates in the urine is best treated dietetically by the use of meats, eggs, cheese, cereals, and legumes.

Potatoes, fresh green vegetables, and fruits should be avoided.

A diet rich in fatty food, or an excess of cod-liver oil, may sometimes give rise to fat in the urine, or lipuria. The volatile fatty acids may similarly be present. The presence of the fat makes the urine somewhat turbid, and oil globules and fat crystals may sometimes be seen under the microscope.

A milk diet makes the urine alkaline, and increases the indican.

Foods producing oxaluria are described under Oxaluria.

The odour of asparagus in the urine is explained on p. 175.