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Welcome to my site. Lets build a interdisciplinary community of scientists and Science enthusiasts.  Lets get all nerdy and stuff! Site written in a conversational tone. 

Does the Nose Really Know? YES, and I Smell Like Onion.

Does the Nose Really Know? YES, and I Smell Like Onion.

 

Why do I smell like onions and cheese? The reasons, the research, and the findings.

Maybe some TMI, but lately when I workout I am noticing a putrid onion smell which is super off-putting. I have asked others to smell me (I know, Im weird), but I needed to know if this was all in my head or what. I got a lot of, “no’s.” I wasn’t convinced by these answers because the smell was soooo strong. So what do I do? I look that shit up and guess what??? ITS SCIENCE!

Through my research I found a couple interesting things. One is, this is actually a new area of research and scientists don’t know much about it, but this awful fragrance is experienced by many people and not just me, phew! Two is, body odor is a combination of your sweat and bacteria. I never thought of it like this, but of course it is. Sweat is actually quite odorless, but when the bacteria on your skin get a hold of it they produce thioalcohol molecules and when these evaporate they leave behind a putrid smell. 

There are two types of sweating. 1) Eccrine: This is the type of sweating that aids in lowering the body temperature and is produced all over the body. 2) Apocrine: consists of fats and proteins and is confined to places like the armpits, groin, and feet.  

Studies have shown that woman excrete more sulphur compounds and when bacteria come into contact and create their thioalcohols it smells like onion. Men excrete more fatty acids and when mixed with their microbiota, smells like cheese. 

Staphylococcus hominis were shown to be one of the worst offenders. Multiple Staphylococcus species were also found to colonize the armpits and therefore most likely contribute to the fetid smell as well. Article HERE Second Article HERE.

 Photo by Eraxion/iStock / Getty Images Staph

Photo by Eraxion/iStock / Getty Images Staph

How to get rid of it?

Well, good hygiene or better hygiene helps if you’re not already on top of it, but according to researchers it can only do so much. The big determiner? YOUR GENES. I know what shit right? You have no real say in how you smell lol

What about antiperspirant? Or Deordorant?

Deodorant will mask the smell pretty well for you but if you are trying to halt the sweating all together, you may turn to an antiperspirant. An Antiperspirant uses compounds like Aluminum Chloride to physically block your glandular openings and prevent sweat. AWESOME right? WELLLLL, Maybe. Some people love it, BUT you have to take into account you are preventing your body from purging. We sweat out toxins and sweat to regulate internal temperature. Some implications of using a antiperspirant is turning your t-shirts yellow where the armpits reside, acquiring blockages which cause ingrown hair and/or swollen lymph nodes. 

Does the Smell Mean Your not Well?

It can! If you smell bleach be weary. This has been linked to liver and kidney disease. An odor resembling nail-polish can be a sign of diabetes. Therefore, don’t ignore your smell, it can be a great indicator of health. Look it up on google if you think there is something off, it doesn’t hurt to increase your knowledge foundation!

 

Is the Odor ALL Bad?

 

Heck to the no, its not! Researchers out of UC Berkeley in 2007 found that woman have an emotional and physiological change when smelling a certain compound in male sweat called andrastadienone. It has been found to boost cortisol levels and led researchers to believe it is an important pheromone. 

I heard a podcast and had a hard time finding it so the link HERE is to a mens journal that talked about a similar study.

Essentially, men wore the same shirt and sweat in it for 2 days. Woman then were subjected to the shirts and were instructed to arrange them by level of attractiveness to them. The woman also got to see pictures of the men and arrange those based on attractiveness. The study revealed that woman preference in smell and their preference in the phenotypic man correlated! WOW! They also found that 

The theory was that woman were smelling a mans major histocompatibility complex (MHC) without knowing it. MHC is a group of genes that effect the immune system. Woman preferred men with a different MHC than them which makes sense following evolutionary theory. It would make sense we want a larger gene pool to mate with to ensure our progeny are more competitive. Can I just say of course were aroused if you smell like cheese, HELLO! PIZZA AND NACHOES!!! HAHA

 Photo by areeya_ann/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by areeya_ann/iStock / Getty Images

WHAT ABOUT HORMONE CHANGING CONTRACEPTION?

I am glad you asked. They found the results of woman that were subjected to the same study parameters, did not have the same correlation of smell and aesthetic attractiveness compared to the group of woman not on birth control. They also found that woman did not prefer men that had a different MHC than they did.

FASCINATING!!! 

 

APPARENTLY ITS TRUE, THE NOSE KNOWS!!!!

 

Questions, Comments, Corrections? Submit BELOW!!!

 Photo by 8vFanI/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by 8vFanI/iStock / Getty Images

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