Why Our Body Odor Changes as We Age

One experiment shows that we are able to identify peoples’ age just from their smell. Our body’s scent is always changing as we age because of our health, the medications we take, our diet, and our hormonal changes, among other things. They can change our body’s scent by making us sweat more, or because of our changing skin chemistry and diet.

Bright Side has discovered the top reasons for why we have such different body scents the older we get.

Living with some illnesses

As we get older we are more likely to have health problems. And some diseases like diabetes can change how we smell, no matter our age. Diabetes is known for its fruity and syrupy scent as our bodies create a large amount of ketone.

Other illnesses are known to change our body’s scent, like hyperthyroidism and liver disease.

Our aging skin

Our skin makes more fatty acids the older we get, which is sometimes called the “old people smell.” When these fatty acids meet the air, they increase a chemical known for its sour, gassy, and greasy smell: 2-nonenal. So the “old people smell” is real, since the smell of their skin actually changes!

Changing your diet with age

Foods like fish, spices, and red meat can impact how you smell. After our food is broken down in our bodies we release the chemicals through our sweat, which can sometimes be very strong!

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. A dry mouth is the perfect place for bacteria to grow, as it’s not being washed away by saliva or water.

Our changing hormones

We may not even beware of it, but our body’s hormones change often, especially when humans menstruate and experience menopause. One study even tells us that men find ovulating women the most attractive because of their body odor!

Other hormonal changes like puberty and high stress can also change how we smell throughout our lives.

Taking certain medications

Some supplements and medications, like antidepressants, can change our scent when taking them. Because they make us sweat more from our apocrine glands in our armpits and groin, our body odor changes. As the sweat mixes with our skin bacteria it creates a strong BO (body odor) smell.

General dental hygiene

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

Gum disease is much more common in older people, which can give you bad breath and impact your overall body odor.

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

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