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Asparagus Makes my Pee Smelly

Updated on November 12, 2011

I tend to eat a lot of asparagus and it makes my pee smell funny. Why is this? Apparently, asparagus contains the sulfur compound mercaptan, also known as methanethiol. Some people have the gene for the enzyme that breaks down mercaptan and causes the smelly pee. If you're lucky, like me, to have the gene to break down mercaptan, then your pee will smell funny when you eat asparagus.

There's really nothing wrong with eating asparagus or the resulting smelly pee. If you use a public restroom, it may be a bit embarrassing to leave a lingering asparagus-pee smell in there. Many people may not understand the odor and think there's something severely wrong with you. You'll just have to tell these people that you ate asparagus last night....a healthy vegetable! I've also learned that some people can't smell or produce asparagus pee. They are missing the mercaptan-aware gene for the enzyme that breaks down mercaptan.

Smelly Pee
Smelly Pee


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    • profile image

      Steve 6 years ago

      Funny thing happened while standing at the urinal recently. The next pissing dude looked at me strangely and asked "Asparagus?" We both chuckled as I said "Yes, as a matter of fact, enjoyed it at lunch, enjoying it even more now!"

    • profile image

      Smelly Pee 6 years ago

      I went to the bathroom and smelled the sewage smell. I thought there was something terribly wrong with me. I have never really eaten asparagus before but had some for lunch. Within 2 hours my urine was sewage smelling. Thank goodness for Internet because I looked up Urine smells like urine and it explained it was the asparagus.

    • profile image

      m.s. 8 years ago

      It worth the smelly pee to eat those succulent tender shoots. Too much honey in my cereal caused my pee to smell like sewage. Lemon kool aid with its lemon solids even sweetened with stevia causes it too-I just can't tolerate juice. Believe me, asparagus pee is much better.

    • kea profile image

      kea 8 years ago

      Everyone - thanks for the most interesting and excellent comments!

      @brad4l - you're missing should try some asparagus, just see if you have the gene. Blue pee, combined with asparagus smell, would freak some people out!

      @cindyvine - I'll try some beetroot with methylene blue, so I can have blue pee and red poo. Quite patriotic!

      @KCC Big - green many colors

      @corianderstem - yeah, I can't quit asparagus either. Haven't ever tried eating a bunch of fresh cherries...sounds like a new experience.

      @GT - are you a carnivore? Vegetables are good for you!

      @R. Blue - Blue Gatorade? Yeah, I may have to write a hub on how to change your poo's color

      @TC - Well, you have the gene?

      @Dink96 - me too. Asparagus rocks! So do Brussell Sprouts!

      @Paper Moon - Thanks!

      @Shadesbreath - I think it's pretty rare to NOT have the gene, but there's a dude I know at work that doesn't have smelly pee after eating asparagus

      @Ladybird33 - I think I'll mix up a smoothie with asparagus, fresh cherries, gatorade, children's iced cookie, beetroot, and a dash of methylene blue. Sounds tasty!

      @mdawson17 - thanks! I tend to write on things I find interesting, like smelly pee and one I wrote last night on "Puday Cups"

    • profile image

      mdawson17 8 years ago

      Interesting hub who would of thought to do a hub on smelly pea!!!

      Good Hub


    • Ladybird33 profile image

      Ladybird33 8 years ago from Fabulous USA

      I did know about this and do love asparagus and yes, my urine stinks too. But did you know that if you take too much fish oil it causes your urine to smell as well, different scent, though.

      Smart hub on educating people about this side effect because I didn't know it until I started working in the medical field, always wondered about the smell but didn't know why so I am sure others thought the same thing.

    • Shadesbreath profile image

      Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

      I've never heard of anyone NOT having the gene. And it only takes minutes after eating it. There's an asparagus festival in Stockton, a town about 35 minutes south of us, every year. The area near the port-o-potties is, well, odiferous.

    • Paper Moon profile image

      Paper Moon 8 years ago from In the clouds

      You are a riot. I do have the gene. :)

    • Dink96 profile image

      Dink96 8 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      Stinky or not, I LOVE fresh asparagus, steamed, with a little bit of sea salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon----pure heaven!

    • Tom Cornett profile image

      Tom Cornett 8 years ago from Ohio

      I'm gettin' me some asparagus to see if I have that gene. I want funny smelling pee.....great conversation starter! Thanks kea! :)

    • R. Blue profile image

      R. Blue 8 years ago from Right here

      Drinking too much Gatorade turns my poop blue. Maybe a new hub on colorful poop....seems everyone has a different hue.

    • goldentoad profile image

      goldentoad 8 years ago from Free and running....

      very informative hub, but I don't eat vegetables, so I am still left with a mystery.

    • corianderstem profile image

      corianderstem 8 years ago from wide open fields

      I know exactly what you are talking about! But I can't quit the asparagus.

      I can't even describe the horror after eating way too many fresh cherries...........

    • KCC Big Country profile image

      Karen Curtis 8 years ago from Central Texas

      I seem to have that reaction when I eat something with too much green dye, like children's iced cookies.....I have green poo. LOL The green is so concentrated in the poo, it will turn the water green after a few seconds.

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 8 years ago from Cape Town

      If you eat too much beetroot it makes your poo have a reddish tint

    • brad4l profile image

      brad4l 8 years ago from USA

      I have never really liked asparagus, so I haven't ever experienced this, although I have heard it mentioned.

      Another neat trick, although I am not sure if trick is the right word, is to take Methylene blue, which is a medicine that turns your pee blue.