Most of the nutrients that help you to feel at your best act within the cells of your body where they do things to help to make enzymes function well, improve mitochondrial function, and impact DNA expression. Our circulatory system (blood) helps get those nutrients from our gut where they are digested to the organs, tissues, and cells where they are needed.
If nutrients are not needed, they are not absorbed by the cells and continue on with the bloodstream to the kidneys. As blood passes through our kidneys, they filter approximately 125 mL of blood per minute, and through a very complex process help to pull out excess nutrients that we didn’t need, and combine this with water and other metabolic byproducts the body doesn’t need to make our urine, which collects in our bladder until we go pee.
A blood test measures nutrients in your bloodstream at a moment in time, whereas the first-morning urine test that Vessel uses reflects around 8 hours of nutrient levels (depending on when you last went pee before bed), which is much more useful information.
Furthermore, because we also test for something called urine creatinine we can normalize your results regardless of how much water you drank (how dilute your urine is).
Urine is increasingly being used for what’s called “precision nutrition” because it can accurately reflect not only what nutrients we have consumed, but also how those nutrients are being utilized (by measuring what are called metabolites). Fine-tuning your nutrient levels often requires repeated testing, which can be painful, expensive, and inconvenient if it requires a blood draw. Testing urine makes this process much easier to do.
Urine isn’t the best for everything, and that’s why we are also creating simple fingerstick blood tests to pick up things like COVID-19 antibodies in just 15 minutes.