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The Asparagus Pee Phenomenon Explained

The Asparagus Pee Phenomenon Explained


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Have you ever wondered why your urine takes on a strange, unpleasant odor after you eat asparagus? We have your answer

Shutterstock/ gorillaimages

Aspargaus contains asparagusic acid, which is broken down into smelly sulfur-containing chemicals during digestion.

Dating as far back as the Ancient Romans, asparagus has been cultivated for medicinal and nutritional reasons. Loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, asparagus is known to reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers, such as colon cancer. The aspartic acid found in asparagus also helps to neutralize excess ammonia in the body, which can lead to sexual disinterest, making this vegetable a powerful aphrodisiac.

Click here for the Daily Meal's Fruit and Vegetable Pageant slideshow.

As long as people have been consuming this vegetable, they’ve also been discussing its undesirable side effects. We’re talking about that strange, unpleasant odor you smell in your urine after eating asparagus. In 1731, Scottish mathematician and physician John Arbuthnot wrote that, “Asparagus affects the urine with a foetid smell.” French novelist Marcel Proust later remarked on the vegetable’s power to “transform [his] chamber-pot into a flask of perfume.” Thankfully, for those of us living in the twenty-first century, modern science has shed light on this bizarre phenomenon.

Asparagus contains a chemical called asparagusic acid. When the body digests the vegetable, this acid is broken down into several sulfur-containing compounds. As with other sulfur-containing substances, such as skunk spray and rotten eggs, these compounds produce a powerful, unpleasant odor. These molecules are also volatile, meaning they can vaporize and enter a gaseous state at room temperature. This allows the odor to travel from your urine, into the air, and up to your nose.

For some people, the scent can be detected as soon as 15 minutes after consuming asparagus. Others simply don’t smell anything different after they eat the vegetable. Scientists have been trying to pinpoint the reason behind this divide decades. A study conducted in the 1980s with participants from France and Israel found that everyone produces the aroma, but some are unable to smell it. A more recent study conducted in 2010 found that there are differences between both production and detection of the scent among individuals.

Regardless of what camp you fall into, rest assured that this strange scent is completely innocuous. Simply hold your nose and continuing reaping the numerous benefits of this delicious and nutritious vegetable.

The accompanying slideshow is provided by fellow Daily Meal editorial staff member Anne Dolce.


Why Asparagus Makes Your Pee Smell Funny

We all talk about how happy we are that fresh asparagus is finally back in season. We buy it in bundles and rave about all the ways we’re cooking and eating it. But you know the one thing no one talks about when it comes to asparagus? The way it makes your pee smell.

We think about it when it happens, but it’s not something we really talk about. But it’s totally normal, and there’s an interesting reason why it happens!

It’s all because of one chemical.

The smell comes from asparagusic acid. On its own, this acid doesn’t have an odor, but during digestion it’s broken down into volatile sulphur-containing compounds which become airborne and waft upward when you urinate. And as with other compounds that contain sulphur, the smell isn’t entirely pleasant.

The odor in your urine comes on fast. It can start occurring as soon as 15 to 30 minutes after eating asparagus. Cooking method has no effect on the odor. It doesn’t matter whether you steam, roast, sauté, grill, or eat it raw the odor in your urine will follow however you choose to cook your asparagus.

Not everyone can smell it.

Not everyone has actually experienced this stinky odor. Depending on your genes, you may or may not have smelled this phenomenon. While many studies have been conducted, it’s unclear the exact number of people that can smell this odor after eating asparagus.

And as for why only some people notice the smell, scientists are torn. Some believe that only a portion of the population produce an odor in their urine after eating asparagus. Others think that everyone produces the odor, though only some people have the ability to smell it. More recent studies are in support of the latter.

And, unfortunately, there’s no way to enjoy our favorite stalky green vegetable and get rid of or minimize the odor.


Why Asparagus Makes Your Pee Smell Funny

We all talk about how happy we are that fresh asparagus is finally back in season. We buy it in bundles and rave about all the ways we’re cooking and eating it. But you know the one thing no one talks about when it comes to asparagus? The way it makes your pee smell.

We think about it when it happens, but it’s not something we really talk about. But it’s totally normal, and there’s an interesting reason why it happens!

It’s all because of one chemical.

The smell comes from asparagusic acid. On its own, this acid doesn’t have an odor, but during digestion it’s broken down into volatile sulphur-containing compounds which become airborne and waft upward when you urinate. And as with other compounds that contain sulphur, the smell isn’t entirely pleasant.

The odor in your urine comes on fast. It can start occurring as soon as 15 to 30 minutes after eating asparagus. Cooking method has no effect on the odor. It doesn’t matter whether you steam, roast, sauté, grill, or eat it raw the odor in your urine will follow however you choose to cook your asparagus.

Not everyone can smell it.

Not everyone has actually experienced this stinky odor. Depending on your genes, you may or may not have smelled this phenomenon. While many studies have been conducted, it’s unclear the exact number of people that can smell this odor after eating asparagus.

And as for why only some people notice the smell, scientists are torn. Some believe that only a portion of the population produce an odor in their urine after eating asparagus. Others think that everyone produces the odor, though only some people have the ability to smell it. More recent studies are in support of the latter.

And, unfortunately, there’s no way to enjoy our favorite stalky green vegetable and get rid of or minimize the odor.


Why Asparagus Makes Your Pee Smell Funny

We all talk about how happy we are that fresh asparagus is finally back in season. We buy it in bundles and rave about all the ways we’re cooking and eating it. But you know the one thing no one talks about when it comes to asparagus? The way it makes your pee smell.

We think about it when it happens, but it’s not something we really talk about. But it’s totally normal, and there’s an interesting reason why it happens!

It’s all because of one chemical.

The smell comes from asparagusic acid. On its own, this acid doesn’t have an odor, but during digestion it’s broken down into volatile sulphur-containing compounds which become airborne and waft upward when you urinate. And as with other compounds that contain sulphur, the smell isn’t entirely pleasant.

The odor in your urine comes on fast. It can start occurring as soon as 15 to 30 minutes after eating asparagus. Cooking method has no effect on the odor. It doesn’t matter whether you steam, roast, sauté, grill, or eat it raw the odor in your urine will follow however you choose to cook your asparagus.

Not everyone can smell it.

Not everyone has actually experienced this stinky odor. Depending on your genes, you may or may not have smelled this phenomenon. While many studies have been conducted, it’s unclear the exact number of people that can smell this odor after eating asparagus.

And as for why only some people notice the smell, scientists are torn. Some believe that only a portion of the population produce an odor in their urine after eating asparagus. Others think that everyone produces the odor, though only some people have the ability to smell it. More recent studies are in support of the latter.

And, unfortunately, there’s no way to enjoy our favorite stalky green vegetable and get rid of or minimize the odor.


Why Asparagus Makes Your Pee Smell Funny

We all talk about how happy we are that fresh asparagus is finally back in season. We buy it in bundles and rave about all the ways we’re cooking and eating it. But you know the one thing no one talks about when it comes to asparagus? The way it makes your pee smell.

We think about it when it happens, but it’s not something we really talk about. But it’s totally normal, and there’s an interesting reason why it happens!

It’s all because of one chemical.

The smell comes from asparagusic acid. On its own, this acid doesn’t have an odor, but during digestion it’s broken down into volatile sulphur-containing compounds which become airborne and waft upward when you urinate. And as with other compounds that contain sulphur, the smell isn’t entirely pleasant.

The odor in your urine comes on fast. It can start occurring as soon as 15 to 30 minutes after eating asparagus. Cooking method has no effect on the odor. It doesn’t matter whether you steam, roast, sauté, grill, or eat it raw the odor in your urine will follow however you choose to cook your asparagus.

Not everyone can smell it.

Not everyone has actually experienced this stinky odor. Depending on your genes, you may or may not have smelled this phenomenon. While many studies have been conducted, it’s unclear the exact number of people that can smell this odor after eating asparagus.

And as for why only some people notice the smell, scientists are torn. Some believe that only a portion of the population produce an odor in their urine after eating asparagus. Others think that everyone produces the odor, though only some people have the ability to smell it. More recent studies are in support of the latter.

And, unfortunately, there’s no way to enjoy our favorite stalky green vegetable and get rid of or minimize the odor.


Why Asparagus Makes Your Pee Smell Funny

We all talk about how happy we are that fresh asparagus is finally back in season. We buy it in bundles and rave about all the ways we’re cooking and eating it. But you know the one thing no one talks about when it comes to asparagus? The way it makes your pee smell.

We think about it when it happens, but it’s not something we really talk about. But it’s totally normal, and there’s an interesting reason why it happens!

It’s all because of one chemical.

The smell comes from asparagusic acid. On its own, this acid doesn’t have an odor, but during digestion it’s broken down into volatile sulphur-containing compounds which become airborne and waft upward when you urinate. And as with other compounds that contain sulphur, the smell isn’t entirely pleasant.

The odor in your urine comes on fast. It can start occurring as soon as 15 to 30 minutes after eating asparagus. Cooking method has no effect on the odor. It doesn’t matter whether you steam, roast, sauté, grill, or eat it raw the odor in your urine will follow however you choose to cook your asparagus.

Not everyone can smell it.

Not everyone has actually experienced this stinky odor. Depending on your genes, you may or may not have smelled this phenomenon. While many studies have been conducted, it’s unclear the exact number of people that can smell this odor after eating asparagus.

And as for why only some people notice the smell, scientists are torn. Some believe that only a portion of the population produce an odor in their urine after eating asparagus. Others think that everyone produces the odor, though only some people have the ability to smell it. More recent studies are in support of the latter.

And, unfortunately, there’s no way to enjoy our favorite stalky green vegetable and get rid of or minimize the odor.


Why Asparagus Makes Your Pee Smell Funny

We all talk about how happy we are that fresh asparagus is finally back in season. We buy it in bundles and rave about all the ways we’re cooking and eating it. But you know the one thing no one talks about when it comes to asparagus? The way it makes your pee smell.

We think about it when it happens, but it’s not something we really talk about. But it’s totally normal, and there’s an interesting reason why it happens!

It’s all because of one chemical.

The smell comes from asparagusic acid. On its own, this acid doesn’t have an odor, but during digestion it’s broken down into volatile sulphur-containing compounds which become airborne and waft upward when you urinate. And as with other compounds that contain sulphur, the smell isn’t entirely pleasant.

The odor in your urine comes on fast. It can start occurring as soon as 15 to 30 minutes after eating asparagus. Cooking method has no effect on the odor. It doesn’t matter whether you steam, roast, sauté, grill, or eat it raw the odor in your urine will follow however you choose to cook your asparagus.

Not everyone can smell it.

Not everyone has actually experienced this stinky odor. Depending on your genes, you may or may not have smelled this phenomenon. While many studies have been conducted, it’s unclear the exact number of people that can smell this odor after eating asparagus.

And as for why only some people notice the smell, scientists are torn. Some believe that only a portion of the population produce an odor in their urine after eating asparagus. Others think that everyone produces the odor, though only some people have the ability to smell it. More recent studies are in support of the latter.

And, unfortunately, there’s no way to enjoy our favorite stalky green vegetable and get rid of or minimize the odor.


Why Asparagus Makes Your Pee Smell Funny

We all talk about how happy we are that fresh asparagus is finally back in season. We buy it in bundles and rave about all the ways we’re cooking and eating it. But you know the one thing no one talks about when it comes to asparagus? The way it makes your pee smell.

We think about it when it happens, but it’s not something we really talk about. But it’s totally normal, and there’s an interesting reason why it happens!

It’s all because of one chemical.

The smell comes from asparagusic acid. On its own, this acid doesn’t have an odor, but during digestion it’s broken down into volatile sulphur-containing compounds which become airborne and waft upward when you urinate. And as with other compounds that contain sulphur, the smell isn’t entirely pleasant.

The odor in your urine comes on fast. It can start occurring as soon as 15 to 30 minutes after eating asparagus. Cooking method has no effect on the odor. It doesn’t matter whether you steam, roast, sauté, grill, or eat it raw the odor in your urine will follow however you choose to cook your asparagus.

Not everyone can smell it.

Not everyone has actually experienced this stinky odor. Depending on your genes, you may or may not have smelled this phenomenon. While many studies have been conducted, it’s unclear the exact number of people that can smell this odor after eating asparagus.

And as for why only some people notice the smell, scientists are torn. Some believe that only a portion of the population produce an odor in their urine after eating asparagus. Others think that everyone produces the odor, though only some people have the ability to smell it. More recent studies are in support of the latter.

And, unfortunately, there’s no way to enjoy our favorite stalky green vegetable and get rid of or minimize the odor.


Why Asparagus Makes Your Pee Smell Funny

We all talk about how happy we are that fresh asparagus is finally back in season. We buy it in bundles and rave about all the ways we’re cooking and eating it. But you know the one thing no one talks about when it comes to asparagus? The way it makes your pee smell.

We think about it when it happens, but it’s not something we really talk about. But it’s totally normal, and there’s an interesting reason why it happens!

It’s all because of one chemical.

The smell comes from asparagusic acid. On its own, this acid doesn’t have an odor, but during digestion it’s broken down into volatile sulphur-containing compounds which become airborne and waft upward when you urinate. And as with other compounds that contain sulphur, the smell isn’t entirely pleasant.

The odor in your urine comes on fast. It can start occurring as soon as 15 to 30 minutes after eating asparagus. Cooking method has no effect on the odor. It doesn’t matter whether you steam, roast, sauté, grill, or eat it raw the odor in your urine will follow however you choose to cook your asparagus.

Not everyone can smell it.

Not everyone has actually experienced this stinky odor. Depending on your genes, you may or may not have smelled this phenomenon. While many studies have been conducted, it’s unclear the exact number of people that can smell this odor after eating asparagus.

And as for why only some people notice the smell, scientists are torn. Some believe that only a portion of the population produce an odor in their urine after eating asparagus. Others think that everyone produces the odor, though only some people have the ability to smell it. More recent studies are in support of the latter.

And, unfortunately, there’s no way to enjoy our favorite stalky green vegetable and get rid of or minimize the odor.


Why Asparagus Makes Your Pee Smell Funny

We all talk about how happy we are that fresh asparagus is finally back in season. We buy it in bundles and rave about all the ways we’re cooking and eating it. But you know the one thing no one talks about when it comes to asparagus? The way it makes your pee smell.

We think about it when it happens, but it’s not something we really talk about. But it’s totally normal, and there’s an interesting reason why it happens!

It’s all because of one chemical.

The smell comes from asparagusic acid. On its own, this acid doesn’t have an odor, but during digestion it’s broken down into volatile sulphur-containing compounds which become airborne and waft upward when you urinate. And as with other compounds that contain sulphur, the smell isn’t entirely pleasant.

The odor in your urine comes on fast. It can start occurring as soon as 15 to 30 minutes after eating asparagus. Cooking method has no effect on the odor. It doesn’t matter whether you steam, roast, sauté, grill, or eat it raw the odor in your urine will follow however you choose to cook your asparagus.

Not everyone can smell it.

Not everyone has actually experienced this stinky odor. Depending on your genes, you may or may not have smelled this phenomenon. While many studies have been conducted, it’s unclear the exact number of people that can smell this odor after eating asparagus.

And as for why only some people notice the smell, scientists are torn. Some believe that only a portion of the population produce an odor in their urine after eating asparagus. Others think that everyone produces the odor, though only some people have the ability to smell it. More recent studies are in support of the latter.

And, unfortunately, there’s no way to enjoy our favorite stalky green vegetable and get rid of or minimize the odor.


Why Asparagus Makes Your Pee Smell Funny

We all talk about how happy we are that fresh asparagus is finally back in season. We buy it in bundles and rave about all the ways we’re cooking and eating it. But you know the one thing no one talks about when it comes to asparagus? The way it makes your pee smell.

We think about it when it happens, but it’s not something we really talk about. But it’s totally normal, and there’s an interesting reason why it happens!

It’s all because of one chemical.

The smell comes from asparagusic acid. On its own, this acid doesn’t have an odor, but during digestion it’s broken down into volatile sulphur-containing compounds which become airborne and waft upward when you urinate. And as with other compounds that contain sulphur, the smell isn’t entirely pleasant.

The odor in your urine comes on fast. It can start occurring as soon as 15 to 30 minutes after eating asparagus. Cooking method has no effect on the odor. It doesn’t matter whether you steam, roast, sauté, grill, or eat it raw the odor in your urine will follow however you choose to cook your asparagus.

Not everyone can smell it.

Not everyone has actually experienced this stinky odor. Depending on your genes, you may or may not have smelled this phenomenon. While many studies have been conducted, it’s unclear the exact number of people that can smell this odor after eating asparagus.

And as for why only some people notice the smell, scientists are torn. Some believe that only a portion of the population produce an odor in their urine after eating asparagus. Others think that everyone produces the odor, though only some people have the ability to smell it. More recent studies are in support of the latter.

And, unfortunately, there’s no way to enjoy our favorite stalky green vegetable and get rid of or minimize the odor.


Watch the video: The Mystery Of Asparagus Pee


Comments:

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