A team of English scientists has just taken a step further to eliminate body odor, or at least control it more effectively, due to a discovery that, they say, will allow the development of a new generation of deodorants. The smell has become so important that individual citizens use odor removal in Boca Raton, FL for example as part of the daily tasks.
Summer is not the best season to say this, but it is like that: sweat does not smell. Although the daily experience in the subway, the bus, in the workplace, in the market or in the bar seems to deny it again and again, in reality, the sweat is odorless. In important and active cities, smells play essential roles day by day. A clear example is the odor removal in Boca Raton, FL that has become an art completely. The guilt that the human being deploys that wide range of aromas, ranging from onion to cheese without forgetting the rotten egg, is from bacteria.
Glands and bad smell
The human body is full of sweat glands of two types. Some are the eccrine glands, which expel a sweat formed by water and salts to the outside, and others are the apocrine glands, through which a sweat containing fat and proteins is eliminated, which is precisely the preferred food of the bacteria. That generates the bad smell, and that is also distributed by the body, especially in the folds.
This makes the bad body odor not just a matter of hygiene. While washing helps, no doubt, in this problem are also essential factors such as age, diet and even genes. So much so, that it has been discovered that some communities in Asia do not produce lousy body odor due to a mutation of the ABCC11 gene, associated with the apocrine glands and, therefore, the production of those proteins present in sweat.
To all these data is added now structural basis of bad odor precursor transport in the human axilla, a study written by a team of scientists from the universities of Oxford and York, published on July 3 2017 and has discovered that, among different bacteria that inhabit the human body, there are some that are specially equipped to cause a bad smell: Staphylococcus.
Speaking to the Smithsonian Magazine, Gavin Thomas, one of the biologists responsible for the study, said that in reality “it is a small number of bacteria that produce the bad smell from an odorless molecule of sweat from the human armpits. That bad smell is a chemical compound called 3M3SH (3-methyl-3-sulfanylhexan-1-ol), which is produced when these bacteria ingest the proteins expelled by the apocrine glands.
According to this biologist, given that it is a relatively small number of bacteria that produce the worst odors, it would be feasible to develop a range of deodorants that only attack those bacteria while respecting the others. In fact, one of the companies that financed the study was Unilever, a multinational with an essential presence in the personal hygiene sector.
Nowadays, deodorants tend to act in a very different way. In some cases, they merely disguise the bad smell, which causes a mixture of effluvia that can be even more unpleasant than the original fragrance. In other instances, they plug the sweat glands to prevent sweating and, consequently, the supply of proteins that feed the Staphylococcus bacteria. However, stopping sweating does not work either. The reason? That these bacteria are not only on the surface of the human skin but also in their lower layers.
For that reason, directly attacking Staphylococcus bacteria could be the definitive solution for deodorants to end up with bad body odor. A useful formula, whose long-term effects on the evolution of the species are unknown. The obsession with eliminating body odor is something relatively recent in the history of Humanity. The usual thing is to emanate corporal odor that, although in the urban environments it loses the sense, in origin it was an essential source of information for the people.
According to anthropological studies, human body odor is a form of communication between individuals that have an essential role in social relationships and even in reproductive ones. As with other animals, for humans, body odor can be suggestive and trigger sexual desire. A fact that is not only typical of primitive communities, but that lasts in the modern age. Remind yourself if not what Napoleon himself wrote to Josefina: “I will arrive in Paris tomorrow night: Do not wash.”