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Onions Effects on Urine

author image Derek Buckner
Derek Buckner has been writing professionally since 2005, specializing in diet, nutrition and general health. He has been published in "Today's Dietitian," "Food Essentials" and "Eating Well Magazine," among others. Buckner is a registered dietitian and holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition and food science from Drexel University.
Onions Effects on Urine
A sliced red onion on a wooden table. Photo Credit: Photosiber/iStock/Getty Images

A variety of factors can affect the look or odor of your urine. Sometimes your urine can give indications that you have other health problems, such as dehydration, liver disorders, urinary tract infections or potential toxins that are in your body. If you notice that your urine smells or appears different for more than a day or so, make an appointment with your physician to determine possible causes.

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Urine Odor

Multiple factors can alter the smell of your urine, such as the consumption of onions, garlic, alcohol, fish and certain vegetables. These types of foods tend to increase the odor of urine and give your urine a more foul or pungent smell than it normally has. Other foods such as cranberry juice, yogurt, parsley and buttermilk tend to decrease urine odor, according to If you have a urostomy, odor may be a great concern for you.

Diluting the Odor

Onions are found in many dishes and added to hamburgers, salads and other foods that are quick for your lunch break, but you can dilute some of the odor that onions produce in your urine. recognizes the importance of controlling urine odor related to onions, garlic, fish and asparagus. Water and cranberry juice can help dilute the smell of urine. Since chemical reactions occur differently in everyone’s bodies, you may have to try drinking different amounts of water or cranberry juice to dilute the smell of your urine until the odor is no longer noticeable or as strong as it once was.


It’s possible for the lining of your urethra to become inflamed, which can cause an infection known as urethritis. Some foods and drinks can irritate this condition and worsen symptoms. Symptoms typically include abdominal pain, painful urination, burning or itching around the urethra opening, fever, chills, frequent urination and blood in urine or semen. Men may also experience pus or a white mucus discharge from the opening of the penis. Certain foods, such as onion rings, French fries and other processed foods can cause additional irritation.


If the smell of your urine becomes too foul or pungent after eating onions, you may wish to limit them in your diet. Reduce the amount of onions that you normally have and see if that helps decrease the odor. If it does not appear to help your situation, you may have to stop eating them altogether.

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