Body odor is simply defined as the unpleasant odor given off by the body. Body odor causes can vary from person to person based on a number of different factors.
Body odor is something that most people have to deal with at some level, though severity of cases vary greatly from person to person. In extreme cases, it can lead to anxiety, depression and social withdrawl. Understanding some of the basic causes will hopefully help to point people in the right direction for finding suitable ways to reduce and prevent body odor.
There are two devices that are directly linked to each other with regards to body odor; bacteria and sweat. Sweat itself is odorless by nature. Bacteria that cover the surface of the skin break down sweat. The byproduct or resulting waste material of this interaction are acid compounds that have an odor which we associate with body odor.
As bacteria breaks down sweat, a couple of different odor compounds are produced. These acids have distinct smells and are typically what constitutes body odor.
What we eat can play a significant role in not only body odor, but foot odor and bad breath as well. Nutrients and compounds contained in food are essential for day to day sustenance, however some of them, especially in over abundance can influence odor. Foods commonly associated with odor issues include red meat, seafood, egg yolks, garlic, onions, yogurt, beans, asparagus, cabbage, and spices such as mustard seed and coriander. Over consumption of these foods can lead to increased body odor.
A common side effect of many drugs is sweating. Antipsychotic and antidepressant medication can be known to do this, as well as others.
The most common hormonal change associated with body odor is menopause.
Human biology and genetics do play a role in how a person smells.