The results of urine can vary from person to person in terms of their overall health, diet, medication use and other factors. Urine tests are conducted in individuals for the purpose of
- Pregnancy status
- Sugar conditions or indication of diabetes
- Signs of kidney disease
- Cancerous conditions if any
- Presence of sexually transmitted diseases
- To test the drug status of an individual or presence of recreational drugs in their body
The last 2 factors are especially important from a legal point of view because they determine the qualification in sports, tournaments or for admission in schools, colleges, universities and internships. Because of the increasingly circulating instances of fake urine to obtain a clean chit under medical grounds, it is important to understand the difference between real and synthetic urine.
What is Real Urine?
Real urine is the byproduct of metabolism in humans and other animals and is important for the osmoregulation process of living beings. It is formed in the kidneys through filtration of wastes and extra water from blood after which it travels down the ureters into the urinary bladder before being eliminated from the body. The usual colorless and odorless characteristic of urine is affected by the diet, systemic condition and medication status of the individual.
What is Synthetic Urine?
Synthetic urine also called laboratory urine or fake urine is a laboratory compound created for the sole purpose of mimicking real urine. Like real urine, synthetic urine contains adequate amounts of urea, uric acid, creatinine, ammonia and sulfates. It is created for the purpose of
- testing the impact of urine on products like diapers and medical devices related to urine incontinence
- To evaluate the efficacy of mattresses and cleaning agents advertising urine -free technology
- For hunting purposes
- To get away with drug tests conducted for testing presence of recreational drugs or alcohol intake in human body
Test Clear, Sub Solution, Quick Luck and Urinator are some of the popular synthetic urine brands used in powder or solution form and containing a lot of characteristics of real urine.
Difference between Real and Synthetic Urine
|Characteristics||Real Urine||Synthetic Urine|
|Color||Straw color or colorless||Warm yellowish color|
|Creatinine levels||20 mg/dl||2mg/dl- 5mg/dl or overall<20 mg/dl|
|Temperature level||32-38° Celsius||outside the range of 32-38° Celcius|
|pH level||4.6 – 8||below 4.5 or above 9/ below 3.0 or above 11|
|Smell||Variable odor from aromatic – pungent depending on the body condition of individual||Mild odor- odorless|
|Expiry of sample under refrigeration||not more than 24- 48 hours||24 months – 36 months|
|Volume provided for sample||15-30ml||>15-30ml sample should be regarded suspicious and tested / retested|
|Specific gravity weight||1.005-1.030||> 1.0010 – 1.030|
|Sediments||Absent especially on heating||Present as observed on heating the sample|
|Froth when shaken||Absent||Present|
Can labs detect between difference between real and synthetic urine?
In a study conducted to evaluate whether or not synthetic urine can replace authentic urine to ‘beat’ drug testing, accessioning and testing procedures were conducted using eight different commercial SU products. Synthetic urine was not detected as adulterated with the adulteration test strips but was successfully detected as SU with the On-site synthetic urine. The study proved that even with rigorous testing methods, it is still difficult to test the authenticity of the sample urine. In these conditions, it is important to rely on physical evidence of urination or further developed technology to differentiate between real and synthetic urine. Strict legal action for individuals involved in the production, supply and submission of spurious urine can further assist in reducing to some extent the malpractices related to spurious urine.