Can Vitamin Deficiency Cause Body Odor?
All of us had body odor at some point in our lives. Body odor can make you lose self-confidence, can limit your social interactions and can cause you embarrassment and humiliation. But why does body odor occur? This unpleasant smell can actually be due to the acidic compounds given off by bacteria when they come in contact and react with sweat that forms in the skin. The smell comes from acids which are a result of proteins being broken down by bacteria in the skin.
Body odor usually presents itself when there are things that are not dealt with when a person reaches puberty. Those who are prone to develop body odors are those who are obese, those with medical conditions such as diabetes and those who are fond of eating spicy food. Those who sweat too much, a condition known as hyperhidrosis, are also susceptible to develop body odors.
There are two types of acids that are present in body odor. Propionic acid is the type that is common in sweat and is produced by propionibacteria which break amino acids into propionic acids. Propionic acid has a vinegar-like smell because it is very similar to acetic acid, the component of vinegar that gives its strong smell and sour taste. The other acid is isovaleric acid which is a result of the actions of Staphylococcus epidermidis on the surface of the skin. The odor is similar to cheese.
Body odor usually develops because there are around three to four millions of sweat glands in the body. These sweat glands bring about sweat which is then acted upon by bacteria to give out a foul-smelling body odor. Sweat glands are located on all areas of the skin as well as on the armpits. They may also be located in the ear, the genitals, the eyelids and breasts. In the breast, these sweat gland secrete droplets of fat on to the breast milk. They help form earwax in the ear. The type of sweat glands that is causing body odor is the apocrine gland. The apocrine gland is abundant in the armpits, groin and on the nipples. These scent glands secrete pheromones, aromatic substances that make a person sexually attractive to another person. Apocrine glands are mainly responsible for producing body odor because the sweat that they produce is high in protein which is easily broken down by bacteria.
Body Odor and Nutrient Deficiencies
If you think that body odor is about poor hygiene, it is not. It can be due to nutrient deficiencies. Not getting vitamins enough can cause people give out body odor. These various vitamin and mineral deficiencies may be in the form of vitamin B 12, magnesium or zinc.
Zinc is important in the body because it helps break down carbohydrates into energy and helps cleanse the body against toxins and waste products. If you have zinc deficiency, your body cannot detoxify properly and may bring about body odor. You can get zinc from pork, chicken, oysters, beef, grains, legumes and nuts.
Magnesium can affect your intestinal flora and its deficiency can cause body odor. If you consume foods rich in magnesium, it will help the body deodorize more effectively. magnesium can be found in foods such as nuts, dark chocolate and bran.
Vitamin B2 or riboflavin deficiency can bring about a fishy odor in the body, a condition known as trimethylaminuria. This vitamin can help enhance enzyme activity in patients with this disorder. Vitamin B can be found in cruciferous vegetables and seafood.
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