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Spicy food is common in hot and tropical countries. It mostly goes with a country's culture, but is it true that it makes people smell bad?

Body odor is the unpleasant smell that the body gives off when the bacteria that live on the skin breaks the sweat into acids. The grooming routine, stress, certain health problems, and diet can influence changes in body odor.

Organic chemist Dr. George Preti, who studies body odor at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, said that the food people eat plays a role in how they smell. But does eating spicy food really make someone smell bad?


Chili is Not the Culprit

When thinking of spicy foods, the first thing that comes into mind is hot peppers or chili. Probably something like Mexican food or the strong curry dishes that you think is the spiciest food.

Indeed, cultural dietary differences can affect nasal sensitivity, and stereotypes go way too far for this to become a joke. In fact, there is science behind this, and it was proven that the spices in the food have the most impact on body odor.

Although spicy Mexican foods and curry can influence the body odor a little bit of the person eating it, the peppers in it are not the main culprit. Experts said that the main suspect in giving a person the smelly odor is the garlic and onion.

Looking back at past experiences, there might be times when garlic sweat can be smelled coming from some people, and that is a real thing. A build-up of these spices leaks to the pores releasing unpleasant smell, unlike the spices processed in the kitchen that make anyone hungry. But with garlic sweat, it only smells bad.

Garlic and onions have high VOC concentrations, which causes the "garlic sweat." These spices typically contain sulfur like cabbage and broccoli that not only make the breath stinks but also give off a foul body odor.

READ: Eating Chili Peppers 4 Times A Week Could Reduce The Risk Of Heart Attack By 40%


Other Foods That Cause Bad Body Odor

Diet-induced body odor plays a significant role in how someone smells. It is easily smelled from the bad breath and the sweat. Eating high levels of certain foods like garlic and onion gives off a foul-smelling body odor. But aside from the two spices, other foods also contribute to having a bad body odor.

These foods include red meat, alcohol, and cruciferous vegetables.

Red meat is on the list of smell-inducing and sulfur-rich foods. According to research published in Chemical Senses, eating meat can affect the smell of the sweat. This was proven by their experiment on 17 men divided into groups of meat and no-meat diets for two weeks. They found that meat-eaters have a more pungent smell compared to their counterparts.

Meanwhile, alcohol gets metabolized in the body when it was absorbed and turns into acids, then secreted out of the body as sweats. When bacteria metabolize that sweat, it gives the smell of "I went out to party last night" smell.

Lastly, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts contain sulfur, giving out the smell of rotten eggs. It can also cause a fishy smell on people with the genetic condition of trimethylaminuria, which results in the body's inability to break down foul-smelling compounds from cruciferous vegetables, which gives off the "fishy smell."

READ MORE: Study Shows Cinnamon Can Improve Blood Sugar in People With Prediabetes

Check out more news and information on the Spicy Food on Science Times.