|MadSci Network: General Biology|
Normally, urine has a mild aromatic odor. How strong is dependent on the concentration of urea in the urine. First morning urines are the most concentrated. Urine in a container acquires a pungent odor as the urea breaks down to ammonia due to bacterial action. Various abnormalities contribute to the strong odors which urine can have.
Condition Odor Constituent Normal aromatic urea Bacterial action pungent ammonia Bacterial infection foul ammonia Diabetes fruity ketones (acetone) starvation dehydration Maple Syrup Urine Disease maple syrup aminoacids Phenylketonuria mousy / musty phenylalanine Hypermethioninemia fishy / rancid butter ? ? sweaty feet butyric or hexanoic acidSome medication and also eating foods with strong odors, such as garlic and asparagus, contributes those odors to the urine as well.
Bauer, Ackermann, Toro, Clinical Laboratory Methods 8th ed., Mosby 1974 Graff, A Handbook of Routine Urinalysis, Lippincott1983
(newer texts don't even bother to mention odor)
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