Does Your Urine Hate Asparagus?

When pre­paring a meal for a room full of guests, you may want to choose another vege­table.

Asparagus is Unfriendly

There are reasons why asparagus will not be a crowd pleaser. We assume every human body functions similarly. Some­times things happen we cannot easily explain. Take chemical reactions to certain vegetables.

Does Your Urine Hate Asparagus?

Some persons notice a putrid smell during urina­tion after ingesting vegetables within the brassica family. A subset of people have something called tri­methyla­minu­ria. This condition inter­feres with the break­down of a chemical called tri­methyla­mine in choline-rich foods like asparagus or cauli­flower (47 mg/cup), broccoli (30 mg), Brussels sprouts (17 mg) and cabbage (7.5 mg).

But what about people who only have a fetid reaction to aspara­gus? It turns out there is a chemical unique to this vege­table, fittingly called aspara­gusic acid. Studies are incon­clu­sive because some partici­pants notice their own foul urine, while some smell it in others but not themselves. Remaining indivi­duals have no idea why we are even talking about this.

This is not a wholesale disparage­ment, ignoring the nutritious value of asparagus. Compounds within asparagus root called steroidal glyco­sides may help reduce inflam­mation. Asparagus also contains calcium, magnesium and iodine. It is an excellent source of folic acid, vitamins A, C and E.

Scientists believe that some people convert aspara­gusic acid into a sulfur com­pound similar to rotten eggs with other pungent notes. Only about one-quarter of the popula­tion appears to have the special gene that allows them to smell the sulfuric com­pounds emitted by nearly everyone else. This can be awkward. You may be unknowingly stinking up the place. It is not harmful, just off-putting.

If your urine is smelly after eating aspara­gus, you are not alone. What you or others smell is paradoxically common and un­natural. So when pre­paring a meal for a room full of guests, to be on the safe side, you may want to choose a vege­table other than aspara­gus. Or stock up on bath­room air freshener.

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November 28, 2019 by Kevin RR Williams

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