What’s Up with Perfumed Pee?

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on December 28, 2011 · 0 comments

Oh, stop laughing. It has happened to many of us who eat asparagus. Shortly afterwards, when you go to the bathroom, your urine has an odd odor. Not exactly dinner time conversation, but I bet you’ve often wondered why.

A sulfur-containing compound, asparaguisic acid seems to be the culprit. It protects asparagus from infestation during growing. It is found in higher amounts in young, tender asparagus and in lesser amounts in older, more mature, woody stalks. But, the problem gets a little more complicated. Some people are excretors and produce smelly urine, others do not. So if you are brave enough to ask your dinner companions who has smelly urine after eating asparagus, a few will have no idea what you are talking about because their urine never smells.

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