The saying that ‘You are what you eat may be applicable in the case of body odor. Some foods that cause bad body odor are discussed in this article after explaining some basic concepts about body odor.

Sweat itself has no smell. The smell is produced when sweat mixes with bacteria in the body. The two main sweat glands that produce this odor are the apocrine gland and the eccrine gland. The sweat produced from apocrine glands accounts for most of our natural body odor; however, sweat from eccrine glands also helps break down oils that make up most odors in our bodies.

The body’s natural odor is composed of various smells, including sweet, sour, rotten, and tangy.

When the microbiota in the skin comes in contact with the water, fat, and salt in the sweat, the body odor is produced. The skin microbes may vary between individuals but the microorganisms that produce body odor are similar.


Why do Some People Smell like Rotten Onion?

The body odor we experience is composed of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These are the primary attributes of body odor. Volatile fatty acids produce goat-like, cumin-like, and cheesy odors, whereas thioalcohol produces a stinky rotten onion- or meat-like odor(1 Trusted Source
Havlicek, J., & Lenochova, P. (2006). The effect of meat consumption on body odor attractiveness. Chemical Senses, 31(8), 747-752.

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In addition to their chemical composition, VOCs can also be affected by the environment around us. For example, sweat and sebum contain large amounts of water, which can lead to the formation of vapor in the triple point (the temperature at which water molecules spontaneously boil off from a liquid). This vaporized liquid contains all of the VOCs in sweat and sebum.

While no one answer will help eliminate all body odor, there are some things that you can do to improve your chances. First and foremost, make sure that you are taking in enough fluids. Dehydration can lead to an increase in VOC production as well as an increase in harmful bacteria growth within the body. Secondly, make sure that you are using a good deodorant or antiperspirant. These products work by blocking sweat from reaching.


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Which Medical Conditions Can Affect Body Odor?

Several medical conditions have also been associated with changes in body odor.

In diabetes, the build-up of ketone bodies may lead to a fruity body odor, whereas, in liver and kidney diseases, the bleach-like odor is produced due to the build-up of toxins in the body.

Hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause can change one’s body odor. The hot flashes and excessive sweating due to hormonal fluctuations paves the way to unpleasant body odor(2 Trusted Source
Microbial Origins of Body Odor

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Body Odor

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Impact of diet on body odor has been shed light by researchers and the results have been well pronounced. Dietary habits across cultures and traditions have shown different effects on body odor across populations. Certain foods have been known to produce unpleasant body odor but some foods aid in improving body odor. Foods like garlic, onion, and meat have been exclusively studied to show negative effects on body odor.

Foods that Cause Body Odor

Diet tips to improve body odor naturally will be eliminating foods that cause body odor and including foods that assist in emanating pleasant odor. It is advisable to avoid the following foods to produce a sweet body odor naturally:

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Chilies
  • Vinegar
  • Blue cheese
  • Radish
  • Marinated fish
  • Fermented milk

Dried fruits, bread, soya flour, and cruciferous vegetables are high in sulfur and complex carbohydrates, leading to a bad odor.

Many of these are high on sulfur and complex carbohydrates, leading to a bad odor. Other foods that should be avoided to beat body odor are spices like fenugreek, cumin, and curry, monosodium glutamate (MSG), red meat, caffeine, asparagus, and alcohol(4 Trusted Source
How 7 Different Foods Affect Your Body Odor

Go to source, 5 Trusted Source
Havlicek, J., & Saxton, T. K. (2009). The effect of diet on human bodily odors. In K. Hasegawa, & H. Takahashi (Eds.), New research on food habits (pp. 35-44). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.

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Animal studies have shown that a low protein diet and fasting has a negative impact on body odor. A diet high in carbohydrates may also lead to bad body odor.

Hence it is advisable to step up the protein intake and step down on carbohydrates to bring changes in body odor(5 Trusted Source
Havlicek, J., & Saxton, T. K. (2009). The effect of diet on human bodily odors. In K. Hasegawa, & H. Takahashi (Eds.), New research on food habits (pp. 35-44). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.

Go to source, 6 Trusted Source
Zuniga, A., Stevenson, R. J., Mahmut, M. K., & Stephen, I. D. (2017). Diet quality and the attractiveness of male body odor. Evolution and Human Behavior, 38(1), 136-143

Go to source).

Other foods that should be avoided to beat body odor are spices like fenugreek, cumin, and curry, monosodium glutamate (MSG), red meat, caffeine, asparagus, and alcohol(4 Trusted Source
How 7 Different Foods Affect Your Body Odor

Go to source, 5 Trusted Source
Havlicek, J., & Saxton, T. K. (2009). The effect of diet on human bodily odors. In K. Hasegawa, & H. Takahashi (Eds.), New research on food habits (pp. 35-44). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.

Go to source).

What are the Foods that Eliminate Body Odor?

Some foods have been found to be helpful in getting rid of unpleasant body odor. Fresh fruits and vegetables are known to produce a good body odor. It has been reported that fruits and vegetables aid in the production of an odor that is pleasant, as well as having fruity, floral, medicinal, and sweet properties. Fatty foods such as eggs and tofu can also help reduce sweating smells(6 Trusted Source
Zuniga, A., Stevenson, R. J., Mahmut, M. K., & Stephen, I. D. (2017). Diet quality and the attractiveness of male body odor. Evolution and Human Behavior, 38(1), 136-143

Go to source).

Summary

There are several reasons why body odor may develop, and knowing the root cause is important. However, diet-induced body odor can be treated with the right choice of foods. Including foods such as eggs, tofu, fresh fruits and vegetables can help to reduce unpleasant body odor.

Topics #Alternative #Beauty #Health Care #Medicine #Popular Diets