What is body odour?
Body odour (BO) is caused by excessive apocrine gland secretions (sweat) reacting with bacteria on our skin to produce a foul smell. These factors would also trigger other parts of the body e.g. bad breath and stinky feet.
According to Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, the apocrine sweat glands, associated with the presence of hair in human beings (as on the scalp, the armpit, and the genital region), continuously secrete a concentrated fatty sweat into the gland tube. Emotional stress stimulates contraction of the gland, expelling its contents. Skin bacteria break down the fats into unsaturated fatty acids that possess a pungent odour.
Toxic build-up from our liver, the food we eat, and even genetic predisposition can further contribute to body odour.
How to prevent smelling bad
Anne Louise Gittleman, author of Living Beauty Detox Diet Program (Harper: San Francisco 2000), suggests 9 effective ways to guard against body odour.
1. Use pH-balanced soaps and skincare products to maintain the protective acid mantle of your skin. Try bathing in an apple vinegar wash twice a week. Pour 2 cups of apple vinegar in your bath.
2.Get the right underarm protection. Deodorants help destroy bacteria and disguise odours. But look out for potentially toxic, irritating ingredients. Avoid aluminum (linked to Alzheimer’s disease) and products with emulsifiers (known to clog pores). Consider products with tea tree oil, known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties. Or use a deodorant stone, made from mineral salts. Antiperspirants reduce bacteria-feeding moisture — but they block sweat glands and contain aluminum chlorohydrate.
3. Use one-part cornstarch to one-part baking soda to absorb moisture. Deodorize feet after bathing with a mixture of 1 cup cornstarch to 1 cup baking soda and 6 drops of either eucalyptus or peppermint oil.
4. Cut down on dairy products and sugar. Protect your gastro tract from yeast-enhancing sugar. Look out for hidden sugars in everything from hot dogs, mayonnaise and soups to nondairy creamers and cream-style corn.
5. Take 25 mg to 50 mg of zinc daily or eat foods high in zinc. Try eggs, lean meat and pumpkin seeds.
6. Detoxify your system regularly. It’s the only way to keep your liver and gastrointestinal tract functioning at optimal levels — and potential body odor at bay.
7. Include friendly flora and a fibre supplement in your regimen. Lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacteria can re-establish the proper pH balance in your digestive system. Adding a fiber supplement will gently whisk away that waste build-up.
8. Drink 10-12 glasses of water daily. Flush toxins from your body and keep metabolic processes humming along at peak levels.
9. Maintain a balanced diet. Overloading or cutting back in vital areas can throw your system off — and aggravate glandular secretions. Adapt a diet of 30 percent lean protein, to help the liver develop a sufficient amount of enzymes for the detox process; 30 percent essential fats (such as flaxseed oil, nuts, avocados and seeds), to lubricate the GI tract; and 40 percent slow-acting/high-fiber carbohydrates to sweep out that encrusted mass.
For other professional information on body odour and prevention methods, please refer to the following database Health and Wellness Resource Center which is accessible at our eresources link.
1. Title: 7 minutes of magic : the ultimate energy workout
Author: Lee Holden with Doug Abrams
Publisher: New York : Avery, c2007.
Call No.: English 613.7 HOL
2. Title: Cleanse your body, clear your mind : eliminate environmental toxins to lose weight, increase energy, and reverse illness in 30 days or less
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Hudson Street Press, c2011.
Author: Jeffrey A. Morrison.
Call No.: English 613 MOR -[HEA]
3. Title: The secret language of your body : the essential guide to health and wellness
Author: Inna Segal
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Atria Paperback, c2010.
Call No.: English 616.89 SEG -[HEA]
To check the titles’ availability, please visit our online catalogue.
Posted by Mr Kweh Soon Huat, Adults and Young People Librarian.