Body Odor – Why B.O occurs and what you can do about it
Body odor (or body odour in UK) is a common problem that can affect anyone, although some seem more prone to it. Nowadays, we mostly call it B.O, but that does not mean the problem is any less widespread. Body odor is caused by bacteria thriving on the skin surface, and not by sweating. These bacteria feed on the amino acids found in the sweat and sebum that exudes from the skin. Since armpit hair provides a great place for the bacteria to multiply, this is why your armpits smell a lot stronger than other parts of the body.
As the bacteria feed on the amino acids, they produce a type of acid that smells a little like vinegar, called propionic acid. This is why people who are sweating heavily always give off a smell that reminds one of vinegar. If that person doesn’t do anything about cleaning up his/her sweat, the smell will only get worse as the bacteria start feeding on more of the sweat.
Genetics and health
Some people have the tendency to have stronger body odor than others. This can be the result of one’s genes. Body odor is also influenced by diet and health condition. Try to eat a lot more fruits and vegetables, increase chlorophyll intake, and reduce consumption of meat, processed foods, junk foods, and dairy products. These are the most common foods that worsen body odor. Although body odor is genetic, you can a lot to improve the condition by changing your diet to a healthier one. Acidophilus and other probiotics that increase good intestinal bacteria can also help with body odor.
Health condition is a factor too with body odor. Regular exercise and keeping your weight down can go a long way to improve chronic body odor. Do you notice why body odor seems to affect more overweight people than slim people? When you are healthier, your body functions a lot more efficiently, and a lot of systems start to work better, including the sweating mechanism and ability to discharge toxins. Other conditions like an over active thyroid and low blood sugar may also bring about increased sweating leading to body odor. If you suspect your body odor is caused by a health condition, it is best to see a doctor to rule out any specific health problems.
Keep good hygiene standards
Last but certainly not least, good personal hygiene is essential; use quality deodorants and bath more frequently; remember to use a gentle soap that is compatible with your skin. Bear in mind that deodorants and antiperspirants are two different things; deodorants mask your body odor, while antiperspirants stop you from sweating altogether. From a health standpoint, it is better to use deodorants as it is more natural to allow sweating, and besides, most antiperspirants contain aluminum which can be toxic to your health. The best choice would be organic deodorants and antiperspirants, although they might cost a little more.
You might also want to consider this Ebook report on body odor.