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Top 10 Amazing Facts About Your Body Odor

Jun 24, 2009
  1. Sweat Does Not Smell

    Body odor does not come from sweat itself because sweat is odorless. Your body produces two types of sweat: the eccrine sweat and apocrine sweat. The eccrine sweat represents a clear sweat, consisting mostly of water that does not smell and plays an important role in regulating our body temperature. The apocrine sweat that is produced by the glands is thicker and is located mainly near hair follicles, on the groin area, in the armpits and on the scalp. When bacteria contacts with apocrine sweat on the surface of the skin, the release of chemicals produces your body odor.


  2. Your Body Odor May Indicate a Health Problem

    Everyone has its individual body odor, but some types of smell may reveal certain health problems. It is known that if your sweat smells like bleach, it may indicate a kidney or liver disease, while fruity body odor often points to diabetes. Also a rare genetic disorder, called trimethylaminuria, makes a person produce fish-like body odor.



  3. Men's Body Odor is a Turn-on for Women

    Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, discovered that a compound found in male sweat can cause a number of emotional and physiological changes in women. The male chemical androstadienone in sweat was found to regulate menstrual cycle and increase the release of luteinizing hormone, which plays an important role in stimulating ovulation. The male underarm odor also activates certain brain areas, improving woman's mood and sexual arousal.


  4. Men and Women Choose Partners by Odor

    If you do not like your new partner's body odor, you may think twice before having long-term relationships with him or her. Scientists say that body odor is a significant factor in human sexual attraction. Men and women choose partners through their body odor and are attracted to partners with a different immune system to their own. This probably has an evolutionary benefit of maintaining diverse immune system for their children.


  5. Your Body Odor Tells About Your Diet

    Spicy foods like garlic, onion, curry and cumin contain compounds that can remain in sweat. If you ate large amount of these foods, the strong body odor they give can persist up to 24 hours after eating them.


  6. Women Smell like Onions while Men Smell like Cheese

    A curious study conducted by researchers at Firmenich, a company in Geneva revealed that women's body odor contained high levels of sulphur compound, which together with bacteria, feeding on sweat, produces chemical compound thiol that has a smell of onion. According to their findings, men's sweat was found to contain high levels of fatty acid, which when mixed with bacteria from the underarm, produces the smell, resembling cheese.


  7. Asian People Produce Less Body Odor

    Excessive sweating is a more common problem for Caucasians and Africans, who tend to have more hair follicles, where apocrine glands come from. East Asian people appear to have less and smaller apocrine glands, which explains why they might not need to use deodorants as often as populations of Africa and Europe.


  8. Your Body Odor is Unique as Fingerprint

    Your body produces one of its kind odor, irrespective of what you eat. Individual odortypes are genetically determined odors of each person, containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that give you an odor different from others, just like fingerprints or DNA sample. Scientists are working at creating special devices to identify individual odortypes to find criminals, terrorists or missing children.


  9. Kids Do Not Stink

    Smelly armpits are not a problem for kids. Normally children do not need to mask their body odor until puberty. The pungent body odor appears when a child enters adolescence between the ages 8 to 14 years. During puberty, the androgen hormones activate sweat glands, leading to production of body odor.


  10. Women Detect Body Odors Better than Men

    Women are better at recognizing body odors and appear to identify differences in odor quality. Scientists from the Monell Center say that it is easy for women to sniff out underarm odor even if it is masked with antiperspirants. Researchers claim that women's sensitivity to body odor is explained by its biological importance.


Related:


Jun 05, 2014 12:02 PM » posted by: yolo
I smell like Indian food and it is starting to smell like sweat, but I almost never sweat. I take two showers a day, use deo but I still smell

Mar 01, 2013 06:01 AM » posted by: Godson Kamihanda
I have got this underarm odor for two days consecutive which has been detected by my wife but I don't know the cause of it because it seems to be very disturbing to wife. Please help me to understand the cause, is it just a monthly hormone change? cause she says it normally occurs in every month.

Feb 15, 2013 01:42 PM » posted by: Brian
I just came across this page accidentally, but I had some time on my hands. I've diligently studied medicine, pathology, alternative healing, homeopathy, dietary supplementation, biology and biochemistry, initially at University, and for the 30 years hence. I have not even come close to anything remotely resembling a complete understanding, but I have discovered a great many useful things.

Sweat glands are part of the excretory system, which also includes the kidneys, and the liver and the colon have both digestive and excretory functions. So, you can see why dysfunction or illness in other areas of the excretory system affects perspiration. The excretory system is intimately connected on a biological level. Whatever your body wants to get outside itself it sends to the excretory system, by osmosis and diffusion.

Osmosis is the tendency of molecules to cross a semipermeable membrane only from higher concentration to lower concentration, and diffusion is the tendency for concentrations to reach equilibrium (like if you mix saline and pure water, the whole solution reaches salinity somewhere between the two).

Chronic, excessive showering disturbs the natural bacteria the skin requires to remain healthy. Lye (NaOH) in soap kills bacteria, although the mechanical act of washing is what actually removes bacteria. You want to be clean, but this can be counter-intuitive.

Due to acute or chronic metabolic changes, caused by illness, aging, drugs or diet, among other things; biological patterns of excretion can change in the body's attempt to maintain overall health. But peculiar or irritating perspiration is usually an initial symptom that belies any of many conditions that may lead to permanent damage or death. In other cases, perspiration abnormalities are the sign that death is certain.

But, not to cause undue fear, endocrine and enzyme problems (particularly deficiencies) are manifest in sweat. Excessive perspiration is most likely due to sodium deficiency due to excessive loss in the kidneys, due to certain drugs, or defects in biochemistry.

Faecal smelling sweat can be caused by septicemia, a septic colon, liver dysfunction, parasite or yeast infestation, a build-up of substances on the skin due to improper hygiene (due to ignorance not laziness), or excretory failure.

Probably the single most common cause of perspiration complaints is chronic, low-grade magnesium deficiency. Unfortunately, many secondary, derivative medical complaints are rooted in magnesium deficiency. The condition is not fatal before retirement age. The treatment requires no prescription drugs. Add those things together and doctors are reluctant to admit mild magnesium deficiency is a problem, and prefer to treat secondary conditions caused by chronic dietary deficiency; conditions that do require use of prescription drugs.

Magnesium is not easily assimilated into the body. You can swallow 50,000 mg of magnesium hydroxide, and perhaps 1/50th (1,000 mg) would be absorbed, of which 800 mg would be summarily returned for excretion unchanged, and the remaining 200 mg would be used by the body. For this reason, life-threatening magnesium deficiency is treated with intramuscular injection of magnesium chealate.

But, as with many ailments you have to treat yourself, bad sweat is not life threatening.

Most metals used by the body in trace amounts become part of enzymes. A good mineral supplement can help.

Sometimes you have to get yourself quickly back to square one, so you can move on to solve the problem, or see a doctor if the problem is due to a condition that doctors are able and willing to treat.

Bad habits also contribute to perspiration peculiarities. Consumption of Coffee, cigarettes, alcohol and/or processed sugar rob the body of nutrients and water, without any health benefit, so they're all doubly bad. Nicotine and caffeine use make proper hydration impossible. Inadequate hydration causes waste-product concentration in the body. Depending on many factors, including unique biochemistry, you may excrete it in you sweat.

Liver and kidney failure due to alcoholism cause the sweat to become laden by urine products and feces. This can occur as early as age 25. Many chronic alcohol abusers experience liver failure before age 30. The human body is a most astonishing thing in how it compensates for damage to itself, but this is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, people live longer. But on the other, through human ignorance and/or denial many conditions become insidious (when adverse symptoms first appear, the damage is irreversible).

The brute-force approach to the obvious is seldom effective. Since I can't cover much in such a small document, I will advise as an overall approach: remain well-hydrated, maintain regular bowels, dietary supplementation with magnesium, avoid synthetic hormones except in cases of deficiency, avoid diuretics such as alcohol, caffeine and nicotine; and one or two good body-scrubbings.

You want to use something abrasive but not too abrasive, to scrub the skin with soap. Maybe a Scotchbrite pad would work, but I'd probably avoid use of sandpaper or steel wool. The strangest and most unlikely things can build on (actually in) the skin.

Even something as small as medical diagnostic dye or gel can be absorbed and travel throughout the body or skin, only to lodge as blockage. Possible manifestations may be immediate or require years to develop. I've heard it requires up to three hours to scrub an entire body to where it's clean. Hair on a clean body is not wiry or stiff. Wiry, stiff body hair, or scalp hair, except pubic and facial hair, is hair laden with gunk of some sort.

Plain soap cleans the body best, with the least residue. If none of this helps, you may have a genetic enzyme disorder, a hormone imbalance, a dietary deficiency, sepsis (nearly always fatal without immediate medical attention, number-one killer of hospital patients), and/or organ failure.

Jan 04, 2013 04:30 AM » posted by: Sammi
Hmmm this is awkward for me but here goes... When I have sex the wetness smells of pure garlic like fresh garlic. Never any other time do I smell at all, it's only recently too :/

Nov 18, 2012 02:36 AM » posted by: Solution
Try wheatgrass juice shots or chlorophyll. It changed my rancid armpits within hours and as long as I take 1-2 oz daily, I don't need deodorant, which is amazing because I have had to throw ou clothes in t past because I had such a strong odor. Hope this helps.

Oct 31, 2012 08:21 PM » posted by: Embarrassing moments
I am in my late twenties and somehow a weird odor comes out.. A few months ago it smelled like ammonia and now it smells like bad sweat or a fleutence smell. I can't take it anymore.. I don't even want to go out or be near ppl because I know they can smell it. I shower three times a day and where clean clothes and I'm eating fruits and drinking water but it's not working.hElP!!!

Sep 16, 2012 10:04 AM » posted by: PH balance
When I have a odd smell I will take a bath and add Vinegar to the water as a way regainthe proper PH balance on my body. I find when i have not had male bonding my Ph level changes and I start smelling chemically. No washing or soap or deodorants or shavings cures or barely covers it. Good old grocery store vinegar white or cider ( I use white it is cheaper) does the trick. Even my little one uses it at night under her arms so she does not have to wear deodorant at such a young age.

Aug 30, 2012 05:58 PM » posted by: Yuji Made in Japan
@Jenny,
I've read that diet plays a significant role in how a person smells.
In this article,
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=armpit-psychology-body-odor

the research says having less red meat and more veggies in one's diet makes their body scent less intense.

Aug 29, 2012 07:30 PM » posted by: Jenny
Someone please help me. I have body odor and it smell like poop. I tried everything. I don't know why It's happening to me?

Aug 27, 2012 11:30 AM » posted by: GraelynArts
So this is wierd, but my Bo actually smells -not just like onions- but freshly cut ones! and it's almost pleasant- like cold onions mixed with salad or something. I'm not sure how to change it and i want to because I know it might be gross for others.

Jun 24, 2012 12:53 AM » posted by: captain planet
@Fresh as a Daisey:

you are a waste of essential resources, space and life, you might as well remove yourself from earth since you are such a wasteful human being.

Jun 11, 2012 11:11 AM » posted by: All natural
To fresh as a daisy
Your advice is not logical. I have been using all natural homemade unscented soaps shampoos and body products for years. As well as a natural unscented salt deodordant for a long time. When my aunt got breast cancer I began to analyze closely the products I put on my skin as well as what I eat. Deodorants are proven to have ingredients that cause cancer. You'r doubling up roll on then spray, oh not to mention powder too? You probaly use a deodordant wash as well. Your body has natural oils that are a barrier for bacteria and moisture and that you wash away. I can't imaging how I could tolerate being close to you. I'm sure the artificial oders coming off you would give me a killer headache.

Apr 29, 2012 11:02 PM » posted by: Alex
I take fish body oil to lower my cholesterol, however,whenever Isweat it seems to leave a pungent smell in my clothing. Just courious if this has happened to anyone else ?

Apr 13, 2012 07:03 PM » posted by: JustMe
As an adult female, age 40, I can tell you my sniffer is better than most! My husband is in construction, and I loooooove when he comes home smelling like fresh dirt, diesel fuel, light sweat, and asphalt. It's a heady combination! Maybe I'm just weird... Heh.

Oh, and....

@ Fresh as a Daisy, ummmm, gee... thanks for the dissertation on how to wash ourselves properly, but I think most of us figured all that out for ourselves around the age of 3-5. What type of soap to use is dependent on the individual, their tastes and personal preferences. Thanks, but I know how to scrub up, most of us do, what they're talking about is NOT improper hygiene, but the body's ability to produce strange odors biologically, not as a result from improper hygiene. Sheesh.

Apr 03, 2012 12:15 AM » posted by: old boar hog stink
within the past six month's, i've gone from smelling like a regular guy to smelling of an incredibly offensive musky stink. i've shaved my pit's and groin area and increased all area's of personal hygiene to no avail. this rank has permeanted my sheet's and mattress and the area where i sleep flat out stink's. the smell radiate's from that sleeping spot into the bedroom and even through a closed door into the hall. the ladie's of the house refuse to enter and leave my clean laundry in the next room rather than come and face the smell. i have turned my mattress and switched to all cotton sheet's, boxer's and t-shirt's. the sheet's,particularly, are practically ruined after two night's. i'm not unduly sweating and i am at my wit's end. anyone ever encountered this and were you able to resolve same?

Apr 02, 2012 05:56 PM » posted by: Catso
Check out www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/173478.php
It says bleach smelling sweat can indicate liver or kidney disease. See a competent doctor, really.

Mar 29, 2012 05:31 PM » posted by: ToreyPhilemon
For those who have experience the bleach odor...
Are there certain spots
I notice it more on my hands, one of the aread that I sweat in the most even though i don't come into contact with cleach.

Mar 28, 2012 06:19 AM » posted by: Fresh as a daisey
I can't stand stinky people so am extra thorough with personal hygiene(OCD) I shower every time I sweat. I can shower up to four times a day in the summer and just twice a day in winter. I am always told I smell nice.

Washing with soap NOT SHOWER GEL every single morning. Shower gel makes people stink / sweat quicker. Soap keeps you fresher for so much longer. Use a bath mitt / flannel and lightly scrub body daily, its not enough to just wash with soap and rinse....SCRUB LIGHTLY EVERYWHERE!!! Use body cream after your shower so you don't dry out. Put on a antiperspirant roll on deodorant. Then a spray on antiperspirant deodorant on top of this. Talc powder areas that are prone to sweating. Also a good idea is to have no body hair. Armpits and down below should be kept as hair free as possible - trim it, shave it, wax it, what ever) Avoid eating strong smelly foods (onions, garlic) and DRINK PLENTY OF WATER! Wear cotton loose clothing, especially cotton underwear or none if you can. Tight jeans, leggings, tights shouldn't be worn every day they do not allow your private parts to breathe. If all this is not enough to control your body odour issues, VISIT DOCTOR!

Mar 04, 2012 03:55 AM » posted by: Baron Harkonnen
I have a crotch that sometimes smells like maple syrup and I do have diabetes.I also really like boys......is this related?

Mar 01, 2012 12:59 AM » posted by: cal
all the odours u guys are talking about specially the onion one coming from ur vigina, could be from lotion u use try change it or dont' use it at all before intercourse.

Feb 13, 2012 01:53 AM » posted by: Temple
Chocolate30 Tea Tree Oil!

Feb 13, 2012 01:48 AM » posted by: Temple
Maple smelling syrup could be a sign of diabeties. Also, for chocolate30 try to find a bra that will hold your breast apart and up. Try rubbing some tea tree old under and between them.

Feb 09, 2012 06:19 PM » posted by: chocolate30
i have a problem with my breasts when i get a little warm and they hold sweat under them and between them and it stinks has musty smell help...i tried powder to keep it dry and deodorant want work for dat.

Jan 22, 2012 03:09 AM » posted by: Dee
Super bad :(......this is for you!! The only thing I can come up with is "cleavage odour". Try using a deoderant spray underneath your breasts and in the cleavage area. (Also good for sweaty feet and behind the knees for the summer time). :-) Hope this works for you!

Oct 08, 2011 11:55 AM » posted by: callingbs
Complete bullshit, don't buy this crap for a second :)

Sep 23, 2011 11:11 AM » posted by: Lee
I have heavy sweat problem, my arm resting on desk while texting this. Lift arm off table and heavy sweat left behind. Also sweat heavily when working, run's down my neck back and arms. Unsual sweat patern, has anyone had this problem..thanks

Sep 21, 2011 04:55 PM » posted by: She goat
I love onions I don't know if giving up on them will resolve my oniony odour especially between my legs my arm pits aren't so bad but I can't stand myself anymore is it my organs failing??? Help

Sep 02, 2011 12:14 AM » posted by: Karen
I can't deal with my own body odor. That onion smell drives me nuts. It's not just in my armpit but the top part of my inner arm, and nether regions. How can I get rid of it? I use deodorant, and I bathe so what do I do?

Jul 12, 2011 12:33 AM » posted by: Ms. A
This is for someone who posted named why with the maple syrup smell....I just read this:
Maple syrup urine disease or MSUD refers to a rare inherited metabolic condition. The first form results from a deficient enzyme (branched-chain alpha-keto acid dehydrogenase, BCKD) necessary for the breakdown of the amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Without this enzyme, these amino acids build up to toxic levels in the body. If left untreated, this leads to brain damage and progressive nervous system degeneration in infants. Babies that suffer from the mild form have a sugary smell. Adults may have a burned sugar smell to urine. There second form responds well to the vitamin thiamine. It is reported that the patients smell like caramel, maple syrup or have a malty odor.

Jun 18, 2011 01:38 PM » posted by: EmilyH
I've noticed people who wash their clothes with bleach have that "poopy" smell about them when their clothes come into contact with their skin.

Jun 06, 2011 08:11 AM » posted by: why
My body odor smells like maple syrup all the time, but I do not have maple syrup urine disease. It isn't at all fruity, it's definitely syrup. I am not on fenugreek and I have never been pregnant. What the heck?

May 18, 2011 06:19 AM » posted by: shmoog
I recently had a sexual encounter with a man who never uses deoderant. He had just finished moving furniture into his apartment. He was the best smelling man I have ever met. I kid you not, there was nothing offensive about his smell. If the off-putting odor is caused by bacteria, he must have been a very clean guy.

To all of the people who have had the misfortune of smelling awful people, I promise you, there's a flip side to this coin

Apr 08, 2011 09:45 PM » posted by: Super bad :(
I have a terrible body odor that comes off of my chest area. I used to think it was my bra and exercise clothes. I have replaced all bras and workout clothes. Even on a brand new ones after 10 minutes of working out the Odor comes back. People at my gym don't sit next to me and I get looks. I wash everything after one use and even have used perfumes, oils and etc. Nothing I mean nothing works. Not sure what it is. Does not smell like sweet either. I must be honest it has a smell of poop. What should I do? Any suggestions are welcome. Please do not be mean.
Thanks

Apr 04, 2011 11:11 AM » posted by: Chris
Sophia, if the t-shirt is made of synthetic fiber and is tight it is likely preventing your skin from breathing and keeping the area moist.

Mar 24, 2011 12:36 AM » posted by: Joshua
Number 9. "Kids do not stink."
I cannot believe this for a second. How come if there's a group of kids near by they smell kinda like cheese and cooked vegetables? Also why do schools smell of rotten wood and urine?

This aside; like your page and I'll add it to my data base.

Mar 04, 2011 05:45 AM » posted by: Sophia
Does anyone know a reason why my Armpit sweat smell like pungent musty urine? Its always after I wear one of my soft black t-shirts.

Dec 06, 2010 08:53 AM » posted by: Unknown
so my friend thinks he can pick up chicks because of his B.O. and he doesnt shower for days at a time and he smells horrible. how should i tell him that its not working.

Sep 26, 2010 10:13 AM » posted by: Unknown
Joe Shmoe: Just so you know, salt water is ordourless. The smell commonly associated with sea water is caused by sulphur containing volatile organic compounds such as DMSO produced by bacteria.

Sep 24, 2010 01:04 PM » posted by: Anonymous
What about B.O. that smells like chalk?

Jun 02, 2010 08:01 AM » posted by: Meme
Someone else posted the same thing I have. One underarm smells completely different from the other, why?

May 06, 2010 06:38 PM » posted by: maliceofpain666
my bro comes home from school and stinks!!!!! help!!!

Mar 28, 2010 07:06 PM » posted by: sandra
Hi,
my sister sometimes has a strong sulpur body odour, any suggestions?

Jan 30, 2010 05:35 PM » posted by: Muffin man
Why do my under arms smell different from one another. Male 51

Sep 15, 2009 07:36 AM » posted by: Lynn
I complained to my dr. about my perspiration smelling of bleach for several months. He suggested it was my clothing. Since I have very sensitive skin I assured him it was not my clothes. (I wash my clothes in unscented Armor Hammer and rinse by washing a second time without soap.) Anyway, a few months later, I had acute kidney failure which caused me to go into a coma for several days and permanent memory loss for the period of two months before the failure.
So do not ignore the bleach smell, it can signal a serious condition. I had several symptoms in addition to this that my Dr. just missed. He really felt bad that he didn't connect these warning signs.

Aug 23, 2009 08:11 PM » posted by: Mark
The information given by you is very good about the body odor. If it is a disease than what is its cure?


Aug 19, 2009 08:11 PM » posted by: the nose knows
To the poster "Need Help": This might help you get rid of the BO. Buy a Povidone Iodine skin wash from the drug store. To use it, wet your whole body and head with water. Pour Povidone Iodine skin wash on hands and lather it on your body, hair and face (do include your armpits and groin area). Leave it on for about 2 mins. Rinse it off with water and then proceed with your normal shampoo and soap. Also, since BO bacteria sticks on clothes, I suggest you wash your clothes and underwear with hot water. Stop eating burgers and oily food. Go for salads and vegetables. Drink lots of water. Buy an ionizer for your room to destroy fungus that can build up on your clothes, shoes and skin. Fungus (just like bacteria) smells bad when mixed with perspiration. Do the Povidone Iodine wash at least 3 times a week for the first month.


Jul 16, 2009 08:23 AM » posted by: Need Help?
Try drinking more water and eat a clean diet for a few weeks. Clean means different things to different people, but if you are a junk food junkie cut out fast food. If you are generally a good eater maybe switch to fish a few times a week and only have plain salads. That way you can see if it is due to your food intake. If the smell goes away, then slowly reintroduce foods and note their affect on you.
I did this and realized that after 20 years of thinking I was lactose intolerant, I wasn't. I am allergic to bread. Now I drink a gallon of milk a week & am finally sweating when i work our (I wasn't able to break a sweat even after an hour of intense exercise.) Go figure.

Jul 12, 2009 08:11 PM » posted by: JosephDiego..
Everything makes sense, but the only thing is, when my wife works out it turns me on"Yeah Baby" But I don't think it's an onion that's doing it...If I smelled onions it would have an opposite affect.
Thanks for the great info. Good info for my site.

Jun 30, 2009 08:20 AM » posted by: Need Help
i need help!!!

i have a constant bad body odor that doesnt go away after a thorough shower or using deodorant. my personal doctor has not been much of a help.
any guys out there know what the hell is going on with my body releasing this constant BO?? im 20 and this started when i was about 14/15. reponses will be appreciated

thank you

Jun 29, 2009 08:11 PM » posted by: another fact
The metabolic disorder Maple Syrup Urine Disease produces body odor that smells like maple syrup.

Jun 29, 2009 08:08 AM » posted by: Joe Shmoe
If you have a sensitive nose you can smell salt water. Depends on the person. Also usually we include all contents of the sweat as part of the sweat. We know for example that it is the bacteria on our feet that make feet smell - not the feel themselves. But our bodies are mostly bacteria anyway so ... just semantics anyway.
I enjoyed your article : )

Jun 28, 2009 08:39 PM » posted by: uvidiu
interesting and...useful this top.


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