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If You Smell Funky Asparagus Pee, You Have This Special Gene

If You Smell Funky Asparagus Pee, You Have This Special Gene

Have you ever eaten asparagus and noticed how it changes the way your pee smells? You may have heard about the phenomenon but wonder why it seems to affect some people and not others.

Many researchers agree that the smell of asparagus pee results from the metabolism of a compound found exclusively in asparagus known as asparagusic acid. The compound is broken down into sulfur-containing compounds such as methanethiol, dimethyl sulfide, and dimethyl sulfoxide –which are responsible for the most prominent odor detected in asparagus pee. All of the above components can easily vaporize into a gaseous state at room temperature [1] –which brings them to your nose.

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Why can’t some people smell it?

The whole asparagus pee smell issue is a little complicated. Various theories attempt to explain why only some people can detect the odor in their pee after eating asparagus. Some researchers suggest that people who don’t detect the asparagus smell in their pee do not have the ability to produce the scent; others argue that everybody breaks down the asparagusic acid in the asparagus equally, only that some people simply lack the ability to detect the smell.

M Lison and other researchers [2]carried out a study to explore this phenomenon back in 1980 and discovered that actually everyone produces this “asparagus smell” but only a few people were able to smell it. The study also revealed that people who were able to detect the smell could even smell it in the urine of those who could not smell it. This reinforced the idea that the difference in the two groups of people was more as a result of perception than production.

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Another study published in the Oxford Journal [3] throws in yet another interesting twist. The study revealed that there still existed some differences even within the groups of subjects who could detect the smell and those who could not. Nevertheless, most scientists generally seem to back the theory that perception is the main reason some people are not able to detect any difference in the smell of their pee after eating asparagus.

Could the variation be genetic?

A DNA-sequencing company (23andMe) carried out an investigation in 2010 to find out if the ability to smell asparagus pee was linked to any genetic component. The study asked subjects if they could detect any odor in their urine after eating asparagus, and investigated the genetic similarities in the two groups. Findings revealed that the ability to detect the asparagus smell was linked to a certain DNA sequence that varied among different people. This means that a single mutation in the genes responsible for smell [4] may be the reason some people are unable to smell asparagus odor in urine.

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When all is said and done, it’s important to mention that only about 25% of the population seems to have this unique DNA sequence that allows them to smell asparagus pee. So basically, you do not need to worry about a thing; if you are able to smell the funny scent in your pee after eating asparagus, you’ve got a good nose and can be proud of it.

Featured photo credit: jackmac34 via pixabay.com

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Reference

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Christopher Jan Benitez

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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