Editorial eMedinewS

Health Care 193 Comments

Urine color and vegetables, fruits, vitamins

Beets, blackberries, and rhubarb can temporarily turn urine pink or red, which may be mistaken for blood. The pigment that gives beets their deep magenta color is stable only at certain levels of stomach acidity and is usually too faint to show up in most people’s urine. The phenomenon — dubbed “beeturia” — occurs in only about 10% to 14% of the population. Even if you’re in that select group, eating beets will not always have a visible effect, because the acidity of the stomach (and therefore the urine) depends on when you ate and what else you ate. Rhubarb can also turn urine dark brown or tea–colored, as can fava beans and aloe. Carrots, carrot juice, and vitamin C can color urine orange, and B vitamins can turn it a fluorescent yellow-green.

Asparagus sometimes gives urine a greenish tinge and a distinctive smell. Some blame it on the sulfur–containing fertilizers used on asparagus plants have been implicated. Others suggest that only people who carry a particular gene break down the sulfur–containing proteins in asparagus that release the odor. Still another view holds that the smell of everyone’s urine undergoes a change, but only some of us notice it. (Source Harvard Newsletter)

Dr KK Aggarwal
Editor in Chief