Monday, November 9, 2009

So why does asparagus make your pee smell?

Having eaten some asparagus on several occasions recently, I finally just had to find out.  Googling "why does asparagus make your pee smell" finds us bunches of answers.  Three relatively random ones here:

So, the causes include none or one or several of:
  • methanethiol
  • several S-methyl thioesters, specifically S-methyl thioacrylate and S-methyl 3-(methylthio)thiopropionate
  • metabolites
  • six sulfur-containing compounds
  • methyl mercaptan
Let's forget for a moment the fact that I cannot pronounce several of these.  It appears that science has not yet caught up to this very important biological phenomenon.  There are numerous other supposed causes as well, I am sure.  It also appears that people individually must have the proper smeller set up; that is, not everyone can smell this.  Some people consider this to be lucky on behalf of those who cannot.  Personally I really don't give a crap either way; I am just curious ...

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