Genes are crucial: not everyone can smell asparagus in the urine

Genes are crucial: not everyone can smell asparagus in the urine

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Pungent smell of urine after asparagus enjoyment not to smell for everyone
Asparagus is one of the most popular vegetables in Germany. Lovers of fine vegetables unfortunately also know the bad smell of urine that arises after asparagus has been consumed. But many people don't even notice it. The genes are to blame, as American scientists now report.

Delicious and healthy
Most Germans love asparagus. The noble vegetables are not only delicious, but also healthy. Among other things, the sticks are said to have a positive effect on the nervous system, cell growth (skin, hair) and digestion. In addition, the vegetable contains a variety of valuable vitamins (A, C, B1, B2 and E) as well as minerals and trace elements (iron, calcium, potassium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc). Health experts recommend the popular vegetables for constipation, biliary and liver problems, diabetes or problems with the bladder. One disadvantage: eating asparagus leads to malodorous urine. But not all people can smell it.

Many don't notice the bad smell in the urine
A team of researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston has now investigated why this is so. For their work, the scientists evaluated two previous studies, the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, with a total of over 6,900 participants.

As NBC News writes, the results showed that "40 percent of the study participants were certain that they could smell a distinct odor in their urine after eating asparagus, and 60 percent said they could not, so they were considered." "Asparagus odor-blind" classified ".

Certain variations in the genome
The researchers had previously suspected a genetic cause for this phenomenon. During their investigation, they actually found that this olfactory blindness can be linked to certain variations in the genome of the test subjects.

According to the information, the experts found certain genetic features in the DNA that are significantly related to the ability to smell the asparagus breakdown products in the urine.

However, it is not yet known why there are such gene variations in some people and not in others.

The scientists have now published their results in the Christmas edition of the British Medical Journal. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Sniffing out significant Pee values: genome wide association study of asparagus anosmia (May 2022).