What causes body odor and bad breath is still pretty much a mystery to most of us, and even scientists and physicians have only made a few distinct correlations between the purported causes of one’s level of body odor and specific factors. What we do know is that certain lifestyle aspects can contribute to the way we smell to some extent including diet, toxin overload, and proper pH Balance in the Body. Even genetics and emotions have been shown to play a role in how we smell, making it even more complex to nail down effective solutions for body odor.
Understanding the Sweat Glands
Before delving into what causes body odor it’s important to understand how the sweat glands work. The body has two types of sweat glands: the eccrine and apocrine. The eccrine glands open up to the skin’s surface, while apocrine glands can be found in regions where hair grows such as your scalp, armpits and groin. Sweat from the eccrine glands consists of mostly water and salt, but the apocrine glands secrete amino and fatty acids through sweating. Body odor often arises when bacteria on the exterior of the skin begins breaking down the sweat from your apocrine glands.
The Role of Diet and the Causes of Body Odor
Avoiding Certain Foods for Body Odor Solutions
Besides the obvious assumption that eating onions, garlic, or pungent foods like pickles can cause residual body odor as your pores ultimately tell the tale of recently consumed foods, let’s look at the purported connection between eating red meat and odors. With so much of our foods hailing from depleted soils and the predominance of pesticide use, toxic overload is likely in those who consume a “typical diet,” which makes it’s hard to accept red meat alone as a primary cause of body odor. After all, there are surely a lot of smelly vegans out there too, so let’s explore the theory.
The body works harder to break down the vast amount of fats and proteins typical of red meat, which can lead to additional amino and fatty acids in your sweat. Hence, the body has a greater chance of secreting a foul odor as it seeks to process these refined meats. Red meat shouldn’t take all the flak here, because several foods and drinks can fuel the same bacteria-fueling response in the eccrine glands including alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, and even medications like acetaminophen, aspirin, and thyroxine to name a few.
The pH Connection – Diet and pH Relation as Causes of Body Odor
Sweat mixes with sebum to form a “skin mantle” or layer on the epidermis. Ideal skin surface pH ranges from 4-4.5, which provides a slightly acidic environment that helps prevent the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria and fungi on the skin. One of the Concerns About Traditional Soap is their high alkaline content, which can upset the natural pH balance of the skin, allowing bacterial growth to prosper. Keeping your skin’s surface pH balanced is easy when you use a natural clay soap like Ancient Minerals Clay Soaps. Natural ingredients detoxify and soothe skin while balancing pH of the dermis and epidermis.
Genetics – Causes of Body Odor and DNA as a Hidden Trigger?
You’ve heard the saying, “We all have different body chemistry.” Believe it or not, good old fashioned DNA may be one of the primary causes of body odor – or lack thereof in specific populations. Research published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology in Feb. 2010 discovered a variant in the ABCC11 gene, which plays a large role in body odor production. The gene ABCC11 codes for a protein that is apparently rather appealing and nutritious to the bacteria that generate body odor. In short, it’s a key gene that determines whether you are smelly or not.
The one single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), 538G>A (Gly180Arg), in the ABCC11 gene determines levels of body odor. Populations whom are homozygotic for this nucleotide possess significantly less of the axillary odorants than those whom are heterozygotic. The 538G>A SNP is predominant in Asian and Korean pupulations, who often feature nearly a complete lack of body odor. A similar trend has been identified in individuals with a surplus of the amino acid alipoprotein D in their sweat, another identified carrier of characteristic axillary odorants.
Stress and Body Odor – Can People Literally Smell my Tension?
Although the amount you sweat and its resulting smell can sometimes be related to diet, it also can be influenced by other factors like stress. When you’re under intense emotional stress, the wall of the tubule will contract, pushing sweat to the surface of your skin where bacteria will begin breaking it down. More often than not, it’s the process of the bacterial breakdown of apocrine sweat that is one of the primary causes of body odor. Consider staving off stress related odors by practicing Meditation for Stress Relief along with a cup of daily clay detox tea if you think this could be a contributing factor.
Body Odor Solutions to Consider and Ones to Avoid
Avoid using antibacterial soaps as a quick fix for bacteria on your skin. These soaps contain potentially harmful ingredients like triclosan. Although effective at eliminating up to 99% of bacteria, that 1% will remain, grow and multiply, and will become resistant to the disinfectant and other agents. Such a response can be observed in hospitals and schools where super-bug type infections run rampant amid environments where chronic use of antibacterial soaps and foams are observed.
Although attempting to find body odor solutions by eliminating excess sweating through procedures like using the MiraDry technique or Botox injections may be alluring, Sweating is Healthy and Natural. Use of these approaches to hinder normal bodily functions have not been studied for long-term health effects, while the regulation of one’s system from the inside with natural detox and pH balancing clay hygiene products have stood the test of time for centuries!
Take a look at our vast selection of organic clay hygiene and detox products for natural body odor solutions, and address the causes of body odor with a 360-degree approach. Whether you’re looking for a gentle daily detox, natural pH balancing organic soaps, or an aluminum-free deodorant, you’ll find natural solutions for body odor at Spirit Detox.