Bad body odor was and still is one of the biggest concerns for everyone who cares about maintaining an agreeable presence among others. Actually it can be regarded one of the most effective causes of aversion towards the person who has it. We can define body odor as a distinguishable loathsome smell released by our bodies as a result of the process performed by the bacteria to convert perspiration into acids. Conventional wisdom suggests that perspiration is the cause of body odor. However, perspiration by itself is basically odorless, but it is the bacteria breaking down protein found in sweat into certain acids, along with the odors coming from other sources that are the real culprits. Anaerobic bacteria, which flourish when your body doesn’t have enough oxygen, may well be the cause of your body odor.
Two types of acid are commonly present when there is body odor:
- Isovaleric acid (3-methyl butanoic acid) is another source of body odor as a result of actions of the bacteria Staphylococcus epidermidis, which are also present in several strong cheese types.
- Propionic acid (propanoic acid) is commonly found in sweat propionibacteria break amino acids down into propionic acid. Propionibacteria live in the ducts of the sebaceous glands of adult and adolescent humans. Some people may identify a vinegar-like smell with propionic acid, because it is similar to acetic acid, which gives vinegar its sour taste and pungent smell.
The cause of sweating and body odor stems from your body’s temperature regulation system, specifically your sweat glands. Sweating helps maintain your body temperature, hydrates your skin and balances your body fluids and electrolytes, chemicals in your body such as sodium and calcium.
Since we are talking about waste products you must consider toxins as a possible cause of body odor. In todays world we are bombarded with toxins in our homes, food, and air that accumulate in the body when the organs of elimination cannot dispose of them. The liver and intestines may be clogged up, causing odors to emanate from the body, so we suggest a thorough detoxification program by cleansing the liver, kidneys and colon.
Dietary imbalances, resulting in constipation or a deficiency of magnesium or zinc may be other causes of body odor. Because of a persons body chemistry, some people who eat large quantities of meat or who are vegetarians have a very distinctive body odor which can be quite offensive. Some individuals cannot metabolize foods containing large amounts of choline, such as eggs, fish, liver and legumes. The result is a fishy smell. If you are one of these people, cut out these products and see if this is the cause of your odor. Certain foods and drinks, such as onions, garlic, curry, certain spicy foods, coffee and alcohol, are also prime causes. Fried and baked goods may contain rancid fats and oils that lead to body odor.
Body odor usually becomes evident if measures are not taken when a human reaches puberty 14-16 years of age in females and 15-17 years of age in males. People who are obese, those who regularly eat spicy foods, as well as individuals with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, are more susceptible to having body odor.
People who sweat too much those with hyperthyroidism may also be susceptible to body odor, however, often the salt level of their sweat is too high for the bacteria to break down it depends where the excess sweating is occurring and which type of sweat glands are involved.
Your skin has two types of sweat glands: eccrine glands and apocrine glands. Eccrine glands occur over most of your body and open directly onto the surface of the skin. Apocrine glands develop in areas abundant in hair follicles, such as on your scalp, armpits and groin and open into the hair follicle just before it opens onto the skin surface.
When your body temperature rises, your autonomic nervous system stimulates the eccrine glands to secrete fluid onto the surface of your skin, where it cools your body as it evaporates. This fluid (perspiration) is composed mainly of water and salt (sodium chloride) and contains trace amounts of other electrolytes — substances that help regulate the balance of fluids in your body — as well as substances such as urea.
Apocrine glands, on the other hand, secrete a fatty sweat directly into the tubule of the gland. When you’re under emotional stress, the wall of the tubule contracts and the sweat is pushed to the surface of your skin where bacteria begin breaking it down. Most often, its the bacterial breakdown of apocrine sweat that causes an odor.
One of the mostly used solutions to eliminate the bad body odor in the underarm spot is to use a deodorant for this purpose. Some deodorants are effective whereas the others are not, and that mainly depends on the nature of the persons body.