Structural Formula Vector Image
Title: Asparagus
Literature References: Shoot of Asparagus officinalis L., Liliaceae. Habit. Europe, cultivated everywhere. Constit. Asparagine, tyrosine, succinic acid, arginine, a-aminodimethyl-g-butyrothetin (a methylsulfonium deriv of methionine), fat, sugar. In some humans, ingestion of asparagus is followed by excretion of a substance that produces a characteristic strong odor in the urine: M. Nencki, Arch. Exp. Pathol. Pharmakol. 28, 206 (1891); C. Gautier, C.R. Seances Soc. Biol. Ses Fil. 89, 239 (1923); A. C. Allison, K. G. McWhirter, Nature 178, 748 (1956). The odor-causing substance was originally thought to be methyl mercaptan, but subsequent investigation using GC-mass spectrometry has suggested that S-methylthioacrylate and S-methyl 3-(methylthio)thiopropionate are the malodorous agents, cf R. H. White, Science 189, 810 (1975).

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