The reason why asparagus makes your pee smell

The reason why asparagus makes your pee smell Ever noticed that when you consume asparagus your pee has a different odor? Maybe you have noticed it but never thought to yourself why this occurs. Well, science has now unveiled the mystery behind this phenomenon and the answer depends on your genetic makeup.

Researchers looked at data from over 6,900 people and found that only 40 percent of participants could smell asparagus in their urine.


The researchers identified 871 variants in multiple genes which are associated with smell and the ability or inability to detect the smell of asparagus in urine.
The authors explained, “[The] findings present candidate genes of interest for future research on the structure and function of olfactory (sense of smell) receptors and on the compounds responsible for the distinctive odor produced by asparagus metabolites. Future replication studies are necessary before considering targeted therapies to help anosmic people discover what they are missing.”

Women were less likely to report smelling asparagus in urine either as a result of being modest or due to their position while peeing.

Author Bio

Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.


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