Uric acid and urea in human sweat

Chin J Physiol. 2002 Sep 30;45(3):109-15.


The present study investigated whether thermal sweating may relieve elevated concentrations of serum uric acid or urea. Concentrations of uric acid and urea were measured in the sweat of sixteen male volunteers, who were treated with external heat after one hour of intense physical exercise. The same analytes were also measured in their urine and serum samples. Furthermore, creatinine and some electrolytes were determined in these specimens. The results show that the concentration of uric acid in the sweat is 24.5 micromol/L, which is only 6.3% of that in serum. The concentration of urea in the sweat is 22.2 mmol/L, which is 3.6 times that in serum. The results indicate that sweat uric acid concentration is quite minimal, and the estimated total uric acid excretion per day in normal physiological range is insignificant. However, the level of sweat urea was found at a much higher concentration than the serum level. No correlation could be established between the level of uric acid in sweat and in serum. There was also no correlation between the level of urea in sweat and that in serum. These results suggest it would not be effective to relieve the elevated serum uric acid concentration by thermal sweating when the renal excretion of uric acid is partly compromised. Nevertheless, the potential of urea excretion via profuse sweating is apparent particularly when the kidneys are damaged or their function is impaired. These findings also suggest that persons who take vigorous exercise or are exposed to hot environments should be well advised to drink adequate fluids since heavy sweating excretes only minimal uric acid, accompanied by significant diminution of urinary output and diminished urinary excretions of uric acid, which may induce elevated levels of serum uric acid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Gout / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hyperuricemia / metabolism
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sweat / chemistry*
  • Sweat / metabolism
  • Urea / analysis*
  • Urea / blood
  • Urea / urine
  • Uric Acid / analysis*
  • Uric Acid / blood
  • Uric Acid / urine


  • Uric Acid
  • Urea