Body Odor?


Although body odor is natural and normal, nobody wants to have it OR be around anyone else who has it!

If you are having what you consider to be an odor problem, there may be a number of contributing factors. You will have to do some detective work to rule out or pinpoint factors that are related specifically to you.

Some odor-causing factors include daily physical activity, hygiene, your health, your diet, genetics, what fabrics you wear, what laundry soap you use, and even how fast your clothing makes it from the washer to the dryer.

Of the two types of sweat, sweat from eccrine glands or apocrine glands, the apocrine glands are the culprits when it comes to pungent scents. These glands are mainly found in the armpit and groin area, and secrete an oily sweat that is metabolized by surface bacteria pretty quickly to produce the natural, individual aroma that is uniquely you. Actually, these glands don't seem to have a function in modern day life like the eccrine sweat glands, which assist in cooling the body. The apocrine glands are considered to be a type of secondary sexual organ, possibly to attract the opposite sex.

In our modern society, unpleasant body smells would certainly be considered off-putting to the opposite sex, and millions of dollars a year are spent on products to avoid the stigma of being smelly. Before you spritz, spray or lather on a perfumed product to cover up some funky smell, first be aware that there are certain medical conditions and personal habits which promote excessive sweating and body odor.

Foods that can contribute to body odor:

  • Spicy foods (curry, onions, garlic, cumin) can cause excessive sweating and a smell that seems to come out of your pores. Other foods (asparagus, fish) can also waft from your skin.
  • Alcohol can cause acrid perspiration, especially as the liver becomes injured.
  • Red meat is more difficult to digest, putrifying in the digestive tract and releasing toxins that are then partially released through the sweat glands.
  • Tobacco
  • Caffeine from tea, coffee, chocolate or soft drinks can cause perspiration rate to speed up.

Diseases and conditions that can contribute to body odor:

  • Diabetes
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Renal Failure
  • Athlete's Foot
  • Digestive problems
  • Yeast (Candida) infections

Vitamin, mineral or amino acid imbalances can contribute to body odor:

  • Too much carnitine can cause a "fishy odor". Carnitine is found in red meats and in supplements.
  • Magnesium or zinc deficit. These minerals can reduce body odor significantly when taken regularly.
  • Vitamin B complex is necessary to help maintain proper metabolism so toxins can be released appropriately.
  • Vitamins A, C and E all contribute to healthy skin, teeth and gums, cutting down on smell producing bacteria.

Odor fighting checklist

  • Eat a healthy diet, with limited red meat intake, light on complex carbohydrates, heavy on the veggies - especially the dark green, leafy vegetables which are great for the digestive system and will help with those vitamins your body needs, as well as the chlorophyll that will help fight odors.

  • Consider a cleanse to clear yourself of toxins that have built up and may be making themselves known in your perspiration.

  • Take a multi-vitamin that contains zinc, magnesium, and vitamins A, E, C, and B complex.

  • Bathe daily, and more often if you've been in a situation with increased perspiration, sexual activity or tension. Not only will this remove the sweaty buildup, it will reduce bacteria by making the environment more unfriendly. Wash genitals and underarms at least twice with a soap or cleanser that is deodorizing.

    If body odor is a real problem, sit in a bath with 2-3 cups of tomato juice, apple cider vinegar or white vinegar for 15 or 20 minutes. The vinegar is to lower the PH - bacteria can't live in an environment with a low PH! The tomato juice is also acidic, without the vinegar smell.

    Wipe underarms with apple cider or white vinegar for PH balance and bacteria control. The smell will evaporate fairly rapidly, leaving your underarms fresh and PH balanced.

  • Wear all natural fabrics when possible to allow the air around the skin to "breathe" and discourage bacterial buildup. Wash clothing in a detergent that does not have a smell of it's own, and move clothing immediately from the washer to the dryer, not allowing clothing or linens to remain damp in the washer and attract bacteria or mildew that smells and will intensify with your body heat.

    More help for body odor - natural deodorizing options

    Make homemade deodorants using botanicals