Starving Bacteria of Iron Helps Wipe Out Body Odor.
May 21, 2002 9:17 AM   Subscribe

Starving Bacteria of Iron Helps Wipe Out Body Odor. Scientists find that blocking bacteria's supply of iron works better at suppressing B.O. than the traditional deodorant method off killing off the bacteria with ethanol.
"expert odor assessors who sniffed the participants' armpits found that the experimental combination worked better than ethanol at reducing odor, with longer-lasting effects."
Just when you think *your* job stinks. Now, when will they come up with a way to suppress the Indian cooking odor in my apartment building?
posted by Tubes (16 comments total)

Sheesh, I would have been happy to have the lovely smells of Indian cooking in my old apartment building. Instead, I got the damn near daily funk of beef bungroast (or equivalent)...
posted by almostcool at 9:37 AM on May 21, 2002

Hey! I like Indian-food-smell.
posted by Su at 9:45 AM on May 21, 2002

What's wrong with a little BO? :)
posted by LinemanBear at 9:48 AM on May 21, 2002

The bacteria growing on our body has been doing so for tens of thousands of years. You shouldn't throw the relationship away posthaste. Underarm bacteria may well be preventing colonization by more harmful skin parasites, or be providing other beneficial services.
posted by quercus at 9:56 AM on May 21, 2002

1.) I love the smell of Indian cooking. It makes me happy.
2.) Most of the underarm BO we encounter in life arises from perspiration operating on dirty clothing, or the "fight or flight" sweat that comes with high anxiety. Neither can be defeated by deoderant. If you wear a clean shirt, you have nothing to worry about.
posted by Faze at 10:03 AM on May 21, 2002

The way to supress your perception of the Indian food smell is to eat Indian food.
posted by CINDERELLEN at 10:14 AM on May 21, 2002

The way to supress your perception of the Indian food smell is to eat Indian food.
and the way to supress your perception of the BO smell is to eat an armpit.
posted by quonsar at 10:29 AM on May 21, 2002

Tubes you realize of course that it's only a matter of time before someone labels you a cultural genocidalist for not wanting to smell curry 24 hours a day in your home.

I'm just kidding.
Sort of.
posted by glenwood at 10:44 AM on May 21, 2002

East Asians, Koreans esp., seem to get along fine without those colonies.
posted by NortonDC at 11:25 AM on May 21, 2002

Hang on, what are you saying NortonDC, that Koreans don't have any body bacteria? Do you have a source for that, I'd love to read it, very cool!
posted by nprigoda at 1:03 PM on May 21, 2002

Not at all. I'm saying Koreans lack the odor causing ones, presumably the "Underarm bacteria" quercus spoke of.


Q: Why don’t kids have body odor?
A: Eccrine glands work from the day you’re born and are all over the body, even on your eyelids, the bottoms of your feet - and they cause those sweaty palms. We have fewer apocrine glands over the body's surface and they’re found primarily in the underarm and genital areas. When you reach puberty, the body produces hormones that stimulate the growth of apocrine glands and gradually decrease with advancing age. That’s why body odor is rarely a problem in children and older people.


Koreans have no apocrine glands

Why haven't you heard about this? Because the people typically focused enough on racial variation to make a big deal of such things are rarely worth paying attention to.
posted by NortonDC at 1:37 PM on May 21, 2002

Expert odour assessors at work
posted by Tarrama at 8:18 PM on May 21, 2002

My Korean co-worker was just very pleasantly surprised to find out that he lacks funk glands.
posted by Optamystic at 8:59 PM on May 21, 2002

NortonDC: Thanks for the cites, I love learning new things on MeFi! So much more entertaining than reading a book.
posted by nprigoda at 5:03 AM on May 22, 2002

nprigoda - No sweat!

Optamystic - Some sources say all Koreans lack apocrine glands, some say 50%, most are unpleasant reads by people with dubious agendas.

Never the less, all the sources indicate that large populations get along just fine without the apocrine glands that feed odor-producing bacteria.

And besides, a lesbian told me, so it must be true.
posted by NortonDC at 5:37 AM on May 22, 2002

But we want the funk.
posted by pracowity at 5:45 AM on May 22, 2002

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