Strong smell: With strawberries vs asparagus urine

Strong smell
With strawberries against asparagus urine

asparagus dish

Great on the plate, annoying when going to the bathroom: Asparagus often makes urine smell bad. Photo: Christin Klose/dpa-tmn

© dpa-infocom GmbH

Asparagus is a complete treat, apart from the fact that many people’s urine smells strong afterward. Where did that come from and why could strawberries for dessert be the answer?

After the asparagus menu, many people remember not only the tender heads and delicious hollandaise sauce, but also the strong smell of urine. How is it created?

According to the Federal Center for Nutrition (BZfE), the culprit is asparagus acid, which occurs naturally in asparagus. It breaks down in the body, producing sulfur-containing compounds. They are excreted in the urine.

However, this does not happen to everyone. While some asparagus fans turn up their noses when they go to the bathroom, others don’t smell the slightest whiff of the prized vegetable.

According to BZfE, the answer lies in the enzyme that breaks down aspartic acid in the body. Only one in two people have that in their genetic makeup. If she doesn’t have it, she doesn’t have to struggle with asparagus urine.

Sensitivity to smell is also a problem

However, the phenomenon has not been fully clarified by science. According to the BZfE, there is also a theory that some people are simply less sensitive to the smell of their own urine.

But there are also indications that the strong smell of asparagus in urine can be relieved by diligently eating strawberries. The BZfE refers to a Norwegian study that coincidentally showed that urine from asparagus can smell less strongly and even slightly like strawberries.

The reason: a chemical reaction between secondary plant substances in strawberries and protein fragments in asparagus. This inhibits the formation of sulfur-containing compounds.

Although all the details have not been clarified: A large portion of strawberries for dessert or before the asparagus menu does not hurt.

Dietary supplements also change urine

By the way: As asparagus has a draining effect, there are also dietary supplements with asparagus extract. These products can also make themselves felt in the urine, but in a different way. The consumer center notes that these products can turn urine orange or blue-green.


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