Why Our Body Odor Changes? The Science of Odor as We Age

An experiment shows that we can identify people’s ages just by the smell. Our body’s odor always changes as we age due to our health, the medications we take, our diet, and hormonal changes, among other things.

They can change the smell of our body, causing us to sweat more or due to the change in the chemistry of the skin and in the diet.

We have discovered the main reasons why we have such different body odors as we age.

6. Living With Some Illnesses

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As we age, we are more likely to have health problems. And some diseases like diabetes can change our sense of smell, no matter how old we are.

Diabetes is known for its fruity and syrupy aroma, as our body generates a large number of ketones.

Other diseases are known to alter the smell of our body, such as hyperthyroidism and liver disease.

5. Our Aging Skin

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Our skin produces more fatty acids as we age, which is sometimes referred to as the “old people smell.” When these fatty acids meet in the air, they increase a chemical known for its sour, gassy, and greasy smell: 2-nonenal.

So the “old people smell” is real because the smell of your skin really changes!

4. Change Your Diet With Age

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Foods like fish, spices, and red meat can affect its smell. Once food is broken down in our body, we release chemicals through sweat, which can be very strong at times.

The amount of water in our daily diet is another reason for body odor. The more dehydrated we are, the worse our breath can smell.

Dry mouth is the perfect place for bacteria to grow, as it does not wash off with saliva or water.

3. Our Changing Hormones

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We may not even be careful about it, but our body’s hormones change frequently, especially when humans menstruate and go through menopause.

One study even tells us that men find women ovulate more attractive due to their body odor!

Other hormonal changes, such as puberty and high stress, can also alter our sense of smell throughout our lives.

2. Taking Certain Medications

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Some supplements and medications, such as antidepressants, can alter our smell when taken. Because they make us sweat more from our apocrine glands in our armpits and groin, our body odor changes.

As sweat mixes with bacteria on your skin, it creates a strong BO (body odor) smell.

1. General Dental Hygiene

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Saliva is our natural defense against bad breath and the older we get, the less saliva our mouth produces. When we start wearing dentures, we also increase our chances of introducing harmful bacteria into our mouths, even if they are cleaned regularly.

Gum disease is much more common in older people, which can cause bad breath and affect overall body odor.

How much do you think our diets affect our smell? Do you have any tips to improve your body odor?

Preview photo credit Science Photo Library/EAST NEWSSEBASTIAN KAULITZKI/Science Photo Library RF/East News


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