BODY ODOUR is quite a sensitive issue for many people. Body odour (BO), also called bromhidrosis, is a perceived unpleasant smell that the body gives off. Hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide are spent each year on personal-care products and deodorants, designed to mask or hide BO, yet there's almost no discussion about reducing or preventing body odour naturally. There is a direct correlation between your health, your diet, your personal habits and the odour produced by your body.
What creates BO?
Conventional wisdom says bacteria living on the skin create BO. Sweat itself is virtually odourless to humans. It is claimed that the rapid multiplication of bacteria in the presence of sweat results in the creation of certain acids that cause the unpleasant smell. But that may not be the whole story. If bacteria alone were the cause of the odour, you could eliminate body odour by sterilising your skin with an antiseptic like rubbing alcohol. Try it: it won't eliminate the odour. Another more powerful cause of BO is the excretion of toxins that your body is trying to eliminate.
The average human body has three to four million sweat glands of which there are two types: Eccrine glands - a simple type of sweat gland found in almost all areas where there is skin. Apocrine glands - more specialised glands that are found in the armpits, genital area, eyelids, breast and ear.
It may sound simple, but sweat glands are supposed to perspire. Yet people go to great lengths to prevent sweating using deodorants. Many deodorants and antiperspirants are made with aluminium. But aluminium is suspected of accumulating in the nervous system and contributing to nervous system disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.
Your armpits actually have an important health function in getting rid of toxins. The use of these products may actually cause toxins to remain in your system! Sweating is good for you. That's why you need to keep them open and unclogged.
How the body eliminates toxins
Your body gets rid of various toxins through a variety of processes:
By the intestines through bowel movements, it excretes undigested food, toxins and bacteria. By the kidneys, it filters the blood and flushes out toxins in the urine
By the lungs, it removes carbon dioxide and other volatile toxins.
By sweating, the skin, your largest organ, eliminates impurities from the body.
You may email Dr Tony Vendryes at email@example.com or listen to 'An Ounce of Prevention' on POWER 106FM on Fridays at 8 p.m. His new book 'An Ounce of Prevention, Especially for Women' is available locally and on the Internet.