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View Full Version : Asparagus (Pee-U, TMI & FYI)

06-10-2007, 05:22 AM
Before I ask this question please forgive me if this is TMI but I love asparagus especially this time of the year because we often grill it. But no matter what way it is prepared it always leaves a smell that is less than desired when going to the restroom. http://www.wahm.com/forum/smileys/smiley11.gif Not sure if there are many asparagus eaters here but has anyone else noticed this?
I guess my husband had never noticed it before so last week when he panicked http://www.wahm.com/forum/smileys/smiley3.gif I assured him it would be gone by the following day. So I went and googled it and found that this common in about 20 percent of the population.

06-10-2007, 05:29 AM
We love asparagus too but have never experienced this. Very interesting.

06-10-2007, 08:22 AM
http://www.wahm.com/forum/smileys/smiley36.gifYes! We love asparagus but we joke around about that whenever we have it.

06-10-2007, 10:03 AM
I love love love asparagus but I've never experienced either. I'd like to thank you for making me overly conscious about it when I throw it on the grill tomorrow http://www.wahm.com/forum/smileys/smiley36.gifJust joking!

06-10-2007, 12:43 PM
Yes!! My sisters and brothers and I always joke about this!! here is some info on the curious subject.

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<TD vAlign=top colSpan=2>I'm not sure if "Ask GreenWorks" is the right venue for this question, but I have a question I've been just dying to know the answer to. Why does eating asparagus make my pee smell?

I'm not sure if "Ask GreenWorks" is the appropriate venue for this question, either, but I'm just dying to answer itÖ

As you clearly know, the human digestive processes are typically able to break asparagus down into smelly by-products with an amazing quickness, often within 15 to 30 minutes after eating. When you use the lavatory, those odorific by-products are released as a rather pungent form of "asparagus urine."

The website WebMD blames this smell on the break-up of a chemical called mercaptan. That said, asparagus contains a half-dozen sulfur-based chemicals identical ones found in other such lovely smells as rotten eggs, garlic breath and skunk spray. There is some controversy in the scientific community over exactly which by-product, or combination of by-products, causes the asparagus urine smell. The first published study on the phenomenon, written in 1891 by a man going by the name of "Nencki," found that the smell was caused by a metabolite called methanethiol. So far, this conclusion seems about as sound as any.

But the story of asparagus urine is far from ending there. Some people eat asparagus, go to the restroom, and-amazingly-no smell. Further research suggested that, likely due to genetics, some people did not possess the enzymes required to create asparagus urine. Perhaps you've heard it said that a person who's pee smells after eating asparagus has high intelligence? Well, maybe there is some genetic corollary for that. (Just kidding, all you eugenicists out there!)

To complicate matters even further, however, around 1980 a scientist had the good sense to pass the urine of the non-asparagus urine population in front of the noses of the asparagus urine population, and lo-and-behold, many found they could smell that asparagus urine smell. People are now debating whether genetics controls the ability to produce asparagus urine, the ability to smell asparagus urine, or possibly both.

Clearly, further research is needed.

I should point out that, even if eating asparagus makes your urine smell, it's not dangerous in any way. Asparagus is a vegetable chock full of nutrients like vitamins A, B and C, as well as fiber. On top of that, it's delicious-so eat up!

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