Tuesday, April 17, 2007

There are two kinds of people . . .

There are two kinds of people: those who blog, and those who don't. But that's not what I'm posting about.

There are two kinds of people: those who generalise and those who don't.
There are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary and those who don't.
No. Really. There are two kinds of people: those whose urine smells funny after eating asparagus and those whose urine doesn't. I'm not shitting you, that is the real topic of this post.
It's something I noticed years ago, when I was young. After eating asparagus - fresh/tinned/whatever, within the hour my pee would smell funny. Whenever I remarked on this phenomenon some people looked at me weird, but other people said "Yes, me too!"

Well, I was ever so pleased to discover a while ago that some serious scientific research has been done into this most important issue. A recent meal of asparagus and the subsequent visit to the toilet has reminded me to blog it.

Studies have shown that this phenomenon is genetic. 46% of 115 people tested produced the odor in one group of British citizens, according to 1989 British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, while 100% of 103 people produced it in a group of French citizens. (Go France!)
It turns out that asparagus contains a sulfur compound called mercaptan.This compound is also found in other smelly things such as rotten eggs, onions, garlic, and in what comes out of skunks. This compound cannot be smelt in the raw, unprocessed asparagus plant itself. It is only when you digest it, by-products are released that cause the funny scent. The process is so quick that your urine can develop the distinctive smell within 15 to 30 minutes of eating asparagus.
Here's a killer though - not everyone can SMELL this chemical. And this ability to smell the chemical is also genetic.
It's possible that someone may think their pee doesn't smell after eating asparagus, but it DOES, they just can't smell it. Curiouser and curiouser.
This info from Eau D'Asparagus and You should know, you're a medic

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At 8:59 pm, Blogger Sacred Slut said...

For some fairly disturbed thoughts on marathon asparagus eating, check out this article. (you have to wait through a bunch of ads to get to the site)

I'm one of those whose pee smells. Which unfortunately I often forget in the euphoria of seeing asparagus in the grocery story. Then later...the horror.

At 1:28 pm, Blogger Stew said...

ss - an excellent article, thanks. I didn't get no ads.

At 2:26 pm, Blogger jamon said...

I am a no smeller.

I als blog, generalise and understand binary ;)

At 1:20 pm, Blogger Joe said...

Funny you should mention this as we had asparagus while camping weekend before last. I grilled it in foil and it turned out to be a good match with the salmon steaks. Oh, and it makes my pee smell something fierce. As a manly man, just something else smelly to come out of me to be proud of.


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