Fight the Stink

Find ways to combat body odor, bad breath and other stinky things

What Makes You Smell?

Body odor can be both an embarrassing and sneaky problem to have. More often than not we can't even smell our own stink, but those around us certainly can. This makes it difficult to know when you need another deodorant touch up, and waiting for people to wince in pain as you pass by probably isn't the best way to go about it. Since there is no body odor meter that you can use, instead it make sense to understand what causes it in order to take the necessary steps to prevent it.

There are several body odor causes that everyone should be aware of. The first and most common is bacteria. Bacteria literally cover us, both inside and out. This is normal and for the most part they live in a symbiotic relationship with us. One unfortunate side effect though is that they feed on proteins in our sweat and release odor compounds as waste. It's these things that cause body odor. Different bacteria actually produce different smells. For example, one type produces propionic acid while another type produces isovaleric acid. The former gives off a smell similar to that of vinegar, while the latter has an odor likened to cheese.

Another contributor to body odor is from our diet. Many foods we eat contain stinky compounds that get released when food is broken down in the body. These compounds get absorbed and circulated throughout the system. They eventually make their way out via sweat, openings in the skin as well as our mouth. One of the most notorious are volatile sulfur compounds. This refers to a group of sulfides that have a strong odor of eggs or ammonia. Foods that have high amounts of VSCs include garlic, onions, asparagus, meat, egg yolk and shellfish.

Indirect causes of body odor also include things that increase sweat production. For example, certain medications cause excess sweating as a side effect. Spicy foods, in addition to its high VSC content, also increase perspiration. Clothing and fabrics that restrict air flow also can indirectly affect body odor due to sweat.

As you can see, bacteria, sweat and food tend to be the primary body odor causes. Being aware and taking steps to limit their effects on the body in conjunction with deodorants and other preventative means will go a long way towards helping you stay fresh for longer periods of time.

  1. 2013/08/12(月) 11:22:39|
  2. Health
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