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Blog Archive

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bloodborne body odor & halitosis : asparagus urine test experiment

It has been mentioned here before, that asparagus is known to make some people's urine smelly, but others not. However it is not widely known that there seems to be a 3rd category where the person is unable to smell smelly asparagus urine. Since it is a 'trivial' problem, probably not enough research has went into finding out all the categories and the reasons. But given the compounds thought likely to cause 'asparagusuria' (sulfides etc), it was thought it may be interesting to find out what the 'pattern' is amongst systemic body odor and halitosis readers may be. For instance, it may turn out to be a way of telling whether people are 'FMO3-vulnerable' or not. Or it may not.

Research into 'asparagusuria' has been very limited, and the few papers done can give conflicting outcomes. For the purpose of this post, it will be assumed that the work of Mitchell is the most convincing, since he has done the most extensive research.
Mitchell 2001 summary about asparagusuria
1987 study : Odorous urine following asparagus ingestion in man.

It appears that people may fall into the following categories :

excretor (of smelly asparagus urine) or non-excretor
and
perceiver (can smell smelly asparagus urine) or non-perceiver

So there are 4 categories people can fit into. For example, someone can have smelly asparagus urine and not perceive it, while someone else can have non-smelly urine and can perceive smelly urine. The excretion part is about whether the person has unmetabolized smelly asparagus compounds in their urine. The 'perceiver' part is about the persons abilty to smell such compounds in urine. Of a study Mitchell was involved in in 1987, of the 800 volunteers, about 43% were 'excretors', and a much smaller amount excretors of very 'potent' smelling urine.

Since smelly compounds are involved, it was thought it may be worth doing a 'snap' poll of our own urine after asparagus consumption, especially since many cannot smell themselves (non-perceivers). A poll is also set up for family/partners as an anecdotal experiment, although the whole experient has the possiblity of 'non-perceiver' over it, since we don't know now for sure if we couldn't smell it or it didn't smell. Not unless you get a known 'perceiver' to smell it !

And so, onto the rules of the study
Asparagus urine test :
eat at least 5 sticks of asparagus (in a meal will do)
sniff urine over the next 12 hours. Especially the next 'batch' of urine after asparagus consumption.

The polls can be read below

Bloodborne body odor : If someone else smelt your urine, could they smell anything ?

Bloodborne body odor : Did your urine smell after asparagus consumption ?

Bloodborne halitosis : If someone else smelt your urine, could they smell anything ?

Bloodborne halitosis : Did your urine smell after asparagus consumption ?

2 comments:

asparagus-friends.com said...

Very interesting poll, most publications say, that the urine of almost 50% does not smell

Feb 27, 2010, 12:45:00 PM
mpdela said...

Urea in urine is odorless, however bacteria usually increases the pH as they break down urea to ammonia. A diet high in citrus fruits, vegetables, or dairy products can increase your urine pH (alkaline). A diet high in meat products or cranberries can decrease your urine pH (more acidic).http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003583.htm There are many factors that affect odor in the urine.

Feb 27, 2010, 1:33:00 PM
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