why does asparagus make your p smell

Our food scientist Jared Levan has solved the mysteries of, the
and. Today he takes on the joys of making water after a feast of asparagus. What is the condition known as asparagus pee? Just before the onset of the summer, produce heads can be found scouring their local farm stands for the young, delicate stalks of the asparagus plant. Unfortunately, for some, the joys of eating asparagus tend to continue long after the last bite. For many, the flavor may have left the mouth, but the smell is far from out of sight. Many of you refer to what Iвm talking about as asparagus pee в the sometimes overpowering olfactory assault that comes in the footsteps of asparagus consumption. Why does asparagus pee happen? Blame it on the methyl mercaptan, also known as methanethiol. This foul-smelling, colorless gas is thought to be the cause of the problem, but not in the manner you may think. It was once believed that the methanethiol in asparagus caused the uniquely-scented excretions only in individuals who possessed an enzyme able to digest it. If you had the enzyme allowing you to digest the sulfur compounds contained in asparagus (of which, one is methanethiol), youвd experience the distinct odor upon urination.


New research, however, now suggests that all humans may be capable of digesting and breaking down methanethiol в the difference being that only some of us can actually smell it. How can you prevent asparagus pee? In the case of either theory, unfortunately, some of you will always be plagued with the strong smell of sulfur whenever you treat yourselves to a couple of. That being said, there truly is no way of preventing the smell, except maybe a nose-plug or a well-ventilated restroom. Sorry folks. More from the Food Scientist on Food Republic. Humans have known for a long time that asparagus makes our pee smell. While, the first to record the vegetable's tendency to add a stench to urine was an. After running several experiments, he came to the conclusion that asparagus, БEaten to Excess Бcauses filthy and disagreeable smell in the urine. Б In 1731,б the physician to Queen Anne of England (also ) John Arbuthnot also noted a similar phenomenon, writing that asparagus Бaffects the urine with a [fetid] smell. and therefore have been suspected by some physicians as not friendly to the kidneys. " Founding Father Ben Franklin drafted a 1781 letter to the Royal Academy of Brussels in which he stated that (the letterБs real purpose that would Бrender the natural discharges of wind from our bodies. as agreeable as perfumesБ).


Then, there was the French novelist Marcel Proust who, perhaps sarcastically, claimed to like the smell of his asparagus-tinged urine by proclaiming in SwannБs Way that it transformed All of this is to say, the after effects of asparagus have been a well-documented phenomenon through history. But why exactly does asparagus make your pee smell? Scientists in general agree that the odor likely comes from, a compound thatБs only found in asparagus (as the name implies). When the acid goes through our bodiesБ digestive tracts, it gets broken down in several sulfur-based compounds. The volatile nature of these compounds means that they evaporate and turn into gas at room temperature. This can happen very quickly, perhaps only 15 to 30 minutes after one has eaten the vegetable. While sulfur gas tends to smell like rotten eggs, the sulfuric compounds found in asparagusic acid have been described as more. But what makes this asparagus-smelly urine discussion fascinating is that thereБs evidence that not everyone may have a nose for the smell.


Two studies were done in the 1980s, that determined a percentage of the population could not detect the odors. This lead some to believe i, found in some ethnicities but not others. A more recent study concluded that it possibly stems from a, but it probably isn't tied to one particular ethnicity. As Boston University biology professor, it all may simply be arbitrary and "an odd quirk of human evolution. Б To add to the mystery, a 2010 study found that a small percentage of peopleБs bodies may breakdown asparagusic acid differently than the rest of us,. It is conceivable that, in these people, the concentrations are so small that they would be undetectable to the human nose, even if the person possessed the genetic mutation to detect the smell. In short, everyone is pretty sure why asparagus makes your pee smell. On the other hand, no one is totally positive about who can smell it and why. In a world where weБve, scientists still havenБt figured out why you can smell your stinky asparagus pee and the guy in the next urinal canБt. Related:б

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