Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What Causes Morning Breath?

http://www.cleanbetweenmachine.com/affiliates/pjamThere are some questions about the human anatomy about which you've probably wondered but never had the nerve to ask. Why do men have nipples? What causes morning breath? Why does asparagus make your urine smell funny?

Billy Goldberg, a 39-year-old emergency medicine physician, noticed that at parties he was peppered with odd questions such as these, especially after the guests enjoyed a drink or two. So he teamed up with Mark Leyner, best-selling author and well-known satirist, to write the book "Why Do Men Have Nipples? Hundreds of Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Martini." This is a factual text with funny answers to some of the big questions about the oddities of our bodies. Here are just five of them.

What causes morning breath?
Blame it on one of three things (or a combination thereof): anaerobic bacteria, xerostomia (which is dry mouth) or the volatile sulfur compounds that are waste products from the bacteria. It can also be caused by what you ate or drank the night before, such as alcohol, sugar, caffeine or dairy products, as well as medication or smoking.

Why do men have nipples?
Obviously, men don't have mammary glands, but believe it or not as fetuses we all start out the same--with a female template. After six weeks of gestation, the male sex chromosome kicks in, but by then the male fetus already has nipples.

Can you really catch a disease from a toilet seat?
There are plenty of public toilet seats that do have gonorrhea, pinworm and roundworm germs on them, but actually catching anything from sitting on the seat is highly unlikely. Chances are your office desk has more germs on it than a public toilet seat. Really. (You might want to reconsider eating lunch at your desk.)

Why does asparagus make my pee smell?
Blame it on the mercaptan, a sulfur compound found in asparagus. It's also in onions, garlic, rotten eggs and the secretions of skunks, says Goldberg. The odor in your urine is caused when mercaptan is broken down in your digestive system. If you've never noticed that odd smell, chances are you don't have the gene for the enzyme that breaks down the mercaptan.

Does it really take seven years to digest chewing gum?
No. That's an old wives' tale. Still, try not to swallow your gum. While it's not digestible, it doesn't just sit there in your stomach for years. In fact, Goldberg says it may even help move things through the bowels faster thanks to sorbitol, an ingredient sometimes used in gum as a sweetener. The sorbitol essentially acts as a laxative.
source: Netscape.com