The strong “asparagus pee” odor is thought to be caused by two chemicals produced when asparagus is digested in the gut, methanetiol and S-methyl thioesters. Both of these metabolites contain sulfur (think of the smell of cooked or rotten cabbage). But, some of us can smell these thiols (or “asparagus pee”) more readily than others.
Studies show that people who cannot smell their own “asparagus pee” are also unable to smell it in the urine of known producers. Genetic variation in multiple olfactory receptor (smell receptor) genes are linked to the inability to smell asparagus metabolites.
Take this test to find out whether you are more likely to detect the “asparagus pee” odor.
This test looks at one variant in the OR2M7 gene. This gene gives instructions to make an olfactory receptor protein found on the surface of cells located at the back of the nasal cavity (olfactory epithelium). Olfactory receptors are responsible for interacting with odorant molecules, setting off nerve cells to trigger our sense of smell. People with the “asparagus smell” OR2M7 variant are more likely to smell the odor of “asparagus pee” compared to people without the variant.
Benefits of Eating Asparagus
Don’t keep the odor associated with asparagus from eating this healthy food. It is a great food for:
- Vitamins A, C, E, K and B6
- Minerals (folate, iron, copper, calcium and fiber)
- Weight loss, as one cup of asparagus contains only ~30 calories
- Increasing your fiber intake
- Acquiring antioxidants
How It Works
Step 1: Sign up for a free DNA Access account.
Step 2: Upload your DNA markers to DNA Access.
Step 3: Log in to your account to access your results when they are ready.