Saturday, December 15, 2007

Eau d'asparagus

You know you're a dork when you're drunk at a bar, walk past a room of attractive women, enter a crowded men's room and wonder why asparagus makes your urine smell funny. Well, this time I was sober enough to remember the next day, so here's the answer from WebMD:
it's the result of a simple chemical reaction. Asparagus contains a sulfur compound called mercaptan... When your digestive tract breaks down this substance, by-products are released that cause the funny scent... But not everyone has this experience. Your genetic makeup may determine whether your urine has the odor -- or whether you can actually smell it. Only some people appear to have the gene for the enzyme that breaks down mercaptan into its more pungent parts ... The ability to smell the by-products may also be genetic. Another study published in the same journal found that 10% of a group of 300 Israeli Jews could not detect the odor. In other words, a person's urine could smell, but he or she might not know it.

2 comments:

RD said...

My wonderful kid brother...thats like the sickest trivia in the world. How did you go from Presidential Politics and Real Estate trends to Eau d'Asparagus??

Karthik Narayanaswamy said...

Haha, it is called 'Random Ramblings'! Actually, I hope to do some off-beat posts - I've recently focused too much on politics and finance.