Body odor is the toxic smell caused by the fermentation or putrefaction processes in your body when you eat animal products and processed, refined foods. Contrary to popular belief, body odor does not come from sweat because the latter is odorless.
There are bacteria in your armpits, on the groin area, near hair follicles and on the scalp. When these bacteria come in contact with the sweat produced by your glands, the release of chemicals causes body odor.
Your body doesn’t naturally stink; the bacteria living in your body only react with what you “feed” them. The smell in your armpit won’t be offensive if it’s just perspiring excess minerals and healthy metabolic waste products; however, it will stink if your body is sweating toxic byproducts which come from eating meat and processed, refined food.
Body odor varies from person to person but some types of smell may indicate certain health problems. If your sweat smells like bleach, you may be suffering from a kidney or liver disease. Diabetics often have a fruity body odor. A person with trimethylaminuria, a rare genetic condition, produces a fish-like body odor.
Gender also plays a role in determining body odor. A study conducted in Geneva, Switzerland found that women’s body odor resembles the smell of onions because it contains high levels of sulphur, which react with bacteria that feed on sweat. On the other hand, men’s sweat contains high levels of fatty acid, which react with bacteria from the underarm to produce a cheesy smell.
Aside from being a medical concern, body odor can also be a social and psychological problem. Body odor is easily detected by others in a close setting, like a romantic date, a job interview or a casual conversation with friends. Excessive sweating can also be seen through wet spots in clothing.
So what can you do to avoid these embarrassing situations?
Using an antiperspirant only increases your risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease, Dr. Joseph Mercola warns. Antiperspirants are among the common sources of aluminum, which, when absorbed by the body, wreaks havoc in the brain. It would be wise to avoid them unless you can find a natural, aluminum-free antiperspirant or deodorant brand.
Antibacterial soaps sound like a good idea but you would be better off with regular soap. Sure, an antibacterial soap kills bacteria, but triclosan, the active ingredient in most antibacterial soaps, has been found to kill human cells as well.
Compared to other more serious health conditions, body odor is not life-threatening but it is ego-damaging. Here are some natural tips on how to reduce body odor:
- Consider a change in diet – Avoid red meat, which is one of main contributors to body odor, as well as foods lacking in fiber and those made with hydrogenated oils, added sugars and refined white flour. Adding more plants to your diet will help you perform “internal deodorization.” Try eating more leafy vegetables, greens, sprouts and fresh fruits. Mints and herbs like licorice, parsley, oregano, rosemary, cilantro and celery would also be useful.
- Use baking soda – Before you shower, pour a teaspoon of baking soda in your hand, close it and step into the shower. After stepping into the shower, let the water briefly seep into your closed hand. Apply the moistened baking soda to each armpit. After rinsing your armpits, you can proceed to your regular shower routine.
- Take a chlorella supplement and/or probiotics – Chlorella helps eliminate odors and freshens breath while probiotics support oral health.
- Apply extra virgin coconut on your skin – the lauric acid it contains is a natural antibacterial.
- Try replacing your deodorant with lemon juice – Do a trial and error with the concentration. Taste the juice first to judge its acidity, which helps stop the growth of microorganisms on your underarms. If the juice is too acidic, your skin may suffer burns or develop redness and welts. If this happens, wait for several days before trying again.