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Why Does Asparagus Affect Your Urine?

This Valentine's Day, maybe some of you are saving money by cooking a romantic dinner at home. If you're trying to get the love flowing between you and your partner, maybe you're considering steaming some asparagus since it's considered an aphrodisiac. While its phallic shape is said to “stir up lust in man and woman,” it can also stir up some interesting issues with your body. Forty to 50 percent of asparagus eaters experience an odd side effect after eating this green veggie — smelly urine. Don't stop eating asparagus though if this happens to you, because the effect is completely harmless. Plus you'd be missing out on a really nutritious veggie that's packed with vitamins A, C, K, and folate.

If you're curious to know why this happens,


This odiferous phenomenon happens during digestion. There's a sulfur compound in this veggie known as mercaptan, which is also found in rotten eggs, onions, garlic, and the secretions of skunks. After eating asparagus, your body breaks down the veggie, and the compound gets released, causing the odor you smell when you use the bathroom. As I've said before, it's nothing to worry about, so this Valentine's Day, don't let this little issue prevent you from sharing a few spears with your lover.


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almostloli almostloli 7 years
maybe i should start paying more attention when i go to the toilet
Spectra Spectra 7 years
Actually, there's an amino acid in asparagus called asparginine (yes, it was named after the asparagus because that's where it was first isolated) that contributes to the weird smell. Most people lack asparginase (the enzyme that breaks down asparginine), which makes their urine smell weird after eating asparagus. If you do have the asparginase, your urine won't stink as x3Lorelei, you probably have it. I never noticed a problem with mine either, so I'm guessing I have that enzyme as well.
Smacks83 Smacks83 7 years
I like to eat it if I know I won', be seeing my gentleman caller that night. I'm kinda paranoid. But all the other times, I love it grilled!
x3Lorelei x3Lorelei 7 years
i love asparagus but that has never happened to me... :)
LukesMommy LukesMommy 7 years
Swordfish does that too.
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
it's always been really funny to me to think that a veggie that i love so much has that affect, but i have never let it bother me or hinder me from eating it. it's good to know the scientific reason though.
kia kia 7 years
I love asparagus and crack up because I forget that I have eaten it and go to the bathroom then have an "oh yeah" moment everytime.
Kelliegrl Kelliegrl 7 years
Love asparagus but I also noticed a funny smell as well.
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
misskacie misskacie 7 years
Haha, foxie. Cute. I love asparagus too.
foxie foxie 7 years
I eat asparagus every single day. My #1 smells like #2. =)
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