May 25, 2020

Impact of food and drinks on urine production: a systematic review

U S Alwis et al, 2020. Impact of food and drinks on urine production: a systematic review, International Journal of Clinical Practice, published online.


Context The impact of food and drinks on body fluid metabolism is of direct clinical relevance but current evidence remains fragmented.

Aim: Synthesize current evidence on the role of food and drinks in urine production.

Methods: Systematic review as per PRISMA guidelines using MEDLINE and EMBASE databases (completed October 2019). Studies reporting on the effect of food, food constituents, and drinks on urine production were included. Two authors performed an independent extraction of relevant articles using predetermined datasets and completed quality-of-study indicators.

Results: A total of 49 studies were included, of which 21 enrolled human subjects, and 28 were clinically- relevant animal studies (all of which utilized rodent models). The included studies were determined to be of variable quality. High dietary sodium, as well as wine, spirits, high-caffeine coffee, and caffeinated energy drinks, increased urine production in human studies. Decreased urine production was associated with low dietary sodium and consumption of milk, orange juice, and high-salt/high-sugar drinks. In animal models, a variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, and honey were associated with increased urine production.

Conclusion: Current evidence suggests that although several types of food and drinks may impact body fluid metabolism, the quality of the data is variable. Urine production appears to be influenced by multiple factors including composition (i.e., moisture, macronutrients, and electrolytes), metabolite load, and the presence of specific diuresis-promoting substances (e.g., caffeine, alcohol) and other bioactive phytochemicals. Future research is needed to support current evidence and the physiologic mechanisms underlying these findings.

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