I just got this in my daily South Beach Diet email. It's a question of the ages - answered.

"Asparagus Aroma

Have you ever noticed that your urine smells funny after eating asparagus? That's because asparagus contains a sulfur-based compound known as mercaptan. When broken down into its sulfur-containing parts during digestion, mercaptan can give your urine an unpleasant ammonia-like smell.

This strange asparagus-related odor is no cause for alarm. The smell is a harmless and temporary effect that usually dissipates within a few hours. If, on the other hand, your urine doesn't smell after eating asparagus, there's still no cause for alarm. It turns out that only about half the population develops smelly urine from eating asparagus.

There's increasing debate over why some people develop smelly urine and others don't. Most scientists agree the answer lies in your genetic makeup. However, while some scientists believe that half the population lacks the gene that produces smelly urine, others believe that half the population merely lacks the ability to smell the odor in the urine. In other words, either your urine doesn't smell at all, or your urine may smell and you just don't know it.

Whatever the case, don't let the smell turn you off from asparagus. In addition to being a quick-cooking vegetable, asparagus is also incredibly rich in nutrients such as folic acid, vitamin C, fiber, and a variety of antioxidants. Surely the benefits far outweigh this unpleasant side effect!"

I love asparagus, and one of the unfortunate ones. But, I still eat it and hold my nose. (*eww*)

For anyone that's interested in the diet, or health and nutrition in general, sign up for a daily email at The South Beach Diet Online. I think you just have to answer a few questions, but the emails are actually quite informative and short, and FREE (though heavy with ads - but we're all used to blocking those out, aren't we?)

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