In simple terms, body odour is the smell your body exudes when sweat comes in contact with the bacteria. The odour is not a result of just sweat but the bacteria that causes the sweat to smell. The most common affected areas are the armpits, groin, and pubic areas.
While body odour is common in most people and the extent of the odour depends from person to person, an individual may be more prone to body odour if they are overweight, eat certain types of foods, have certain prior health conditions or are under stress.
There are many factors that cause our body to smell and according to Soumita Biswas, Chief Nutritionist, Aster RV Hospital, "Various factors like diet, sex, health, and medication contribute to body odour but the major contribution comes from bacterial activity on skin and gland secretions.
There are three types of sweat glands present in the human body namely sebaceous glands, eccrine sweat glands and apocrine sweat glands. Body odour typically results from the apocrine sweat glands from which most chemical compounds are secreted that the microbiota present on the skin further processes into the substances that cause odour.
Certain areas are more prone to this process, such as the underarm area, the navel area, the neck, the genitals and behind the ears. Largely the armpits are an area of concern in comparison to any other part of the body."
How does diet play a role in body odour?
"Diet can play a contributing role in body odour. Potent items like chilly, garlic, onion etc. can give a pungent odour to the sweat. A protein-rich diet is also believed to be a cause of body odour. If you are eating high levels of certain foods, foul-smelling compounds they contain may be excreted through your sweat glands to give an unpleasant odour.
Those compounds are known as VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and they can produce some particularly pungent sweat, according to a New York-based dermatological study", Soumita adds, "Increasing intake of certain nutrients helps reduce body odours.
Spinach, lettuce, kale, arugula and other leafy green vegetables contain high levels of chlorophyll. Odour-inducing components in the body can be easily neutralised by chlorophyll.
Food stuff like peas, lentils, and beans are high in fibre content. Ensure you are eating enough of these as it facilitates digestion. Consequently, any smelly compounds in your food is processed more quickly and less can exit through sweat
The acids contained in citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and grapefruit encourage the passage of water through the body, which minimizes toxins. These can be consumed in form of fruit or fruit juices for maximum benefit.
Herbal teas such as chamomile, green tea and peppermint improve digestion hence preventing unwanted residuals in the gut which cause bad odour. Floral jasmine tea can actively help you smell fresher. (N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe)
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Pain and discomfort are often considered a part of menstruation. 80 per cent of women experience pain during menstruation at some point in their lives. However, for some of them, it could last from the beginning of their periods to menopause.
For most women, period pain can be managed through some lifestyle change. Speaking to IANSlife Aastha Sharma, Co-founder, of Imbue Natural shares tips that can help you ease period pain and manage it efficiently:
Switch to Healthy Snacking: Your diet plays an important role in maintaining healthy uterine upkeep. The hormonal imbalance during periods often leads to unhealthy food cravings. While you give in to your food cravings, make sure that you also eat snacks that are healthy and will provide you with essential nutrients. Make sure to include healthy fatty acids such as Omega 3 in your diet. Foods high in fibre such as green vegetables, legumes, and whole grains have been known to reduce cramping during periods.
Exercise: Indulging in physical activities has also proven to reduce period pain. Walking, running, swimming or yoga can help you relieve pain. Exercise releases hormones like endorphins and serotonin that act as natural pain-killers.
Stay Hydrated: Period cramps will feel more painful if you're dehydrated. Make sure that you drink at least 2 to 3 litres of water in a day. You can also include fruit juices in your diet that will nourish your body while keeping it hydrated.
Heat Therapy: Pampering your body while on your period can not only reduce pain but also help your body relax. Women often use hot water bags to reduce cramping and comfort the abdominal region, however, a hot water bag can prove tedious when it comes to managing the temperature and finding instant comfort.
An alternative to this is using period pain relief oils. Imbue's Rosa Period Pain Oil is one such alternative that is made with the goodness of pressed cinnamon, yarrow, and vetiver oil. The self-warming properties of this oil help in reducing period cramps and elevates mood by relieving stress.
Take a break, stop working through it: Women are often taught to keep menstruation a private affair, and talking about periods is often stigmatised. We are expected to endure the pain and work through it. Stress from work and domestic life can add to the physical discomfort. You must listen to your body and give it a break as and when it needs. (Agency)
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Humans are becoming more aware of what they consume and how it affects them as the world becomes more health conscious. The food we eat have a direct impact on our mental and physical health. Some bite-sized foods provide concentrated doses of vitamins and minerals, while others aid in digestion and absorption.
Every food contains some inherent goodness, but some deliver it in large quantities. They contain so many nutrients that they almost act as a supplement. But, of course, far superior. Many of these superfoods are often so underappreciated that their benefits are not widely known. It's time to make a change.
Check out these underrated items:
Stopping your salt intake abruptly in ones diet unless indicated by their doctor is a bad idea. Instead one can switch to salt that is fortified with right compounds like the much needed zinc makes more sense. This can help contribute to overall immunity in our body. Zinc also helps with faster healing of wounds and fighting respiratory infections.
Pumpkin seeds have a delicious nutty flavour and are packed with carotenoids, which help skyrocket your immunity and keep your eyes super healthy. Plus these underrated seeds help enhance our memory, critical thinking, and general cognition.
These are a good source of protein and fibre, they are moderately high in calories (50 grams will give you 175 calories) but since they are a low GI (glycemic Index) food, they get digested slowly in the body. These are gluten-free, and so great for those who are gluten intolerant and also pack in a lot of anti-aging antioxidants.
There is no doubt that peanuts are a cheap source of good quality protein. Thirty grams give you about 160 calories and seven grams of protein, comparable to almonds which deliver same amount of calories and six grams of protein. And peanuts actually offer the best bang for the buck. By the way peanuts are rich in resveratrol too helps in reducing risk of cancer and delays aging too.
First benefit of singhara (water chestnuts) is that they are fat, cholesterol, and gluten free, and have very low sodium and calories and decent amount of fibre too. Plus they are an excellent source of potassium, a mineral that helps bust water retention and lower blood pressure by balancing sodium. They also deliver bone strengthening calcium and other minerals like iodine and manganese (which help in maintaining proper functioning of the thyroid gland) and copper, zinc, vitamin B and vitamin E, all of which are extremely essential for us to stay healthy.
Sattu (roasted gram flour) provides instant energy, and is a brilliant source of vegetarian good quality protein (100 grams delivers close to 20 grams of protein). Has a lot of fibre (close to 22 grams), most of which is insoluble fibre, which is great for our gut and helps cleanse out the stomach and detox the body. It is a wonder food for those who are suffering from gas, acidity and constipation too.
Vitamin C is our best bet to boost the immunity and keep flu, cold and a myriad of other viruses at bay. And Amla (Indian berry) is the most concentrated plant source of Vitamin C. This makes it a potent antioxidant food and a great immunity booster, besides helping improve absorption of iron and calcium from food. Amla also packs in a trace mineral chromium that has a therapeutic value for diabetics as it helps in boosting the secretion of insulin and thus keeps fasting blood sugar levels in check and is a liver detoxer too. (Kavita Devgan, Nutritionist, Tata Salt Immuno)
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London: Dogs are more effective at detecting Covid-19 infections through human sweat samples than the existing rapid antigen tests, according to a study.
The study, published in the PLOS ONE, showed that dogs were 97 per cent effective at detecting Covid infection compared to PCR tests - the most accurate Covid test. On the other hand, the nasal antigen tests detected 84 per cent of positive Covid infections.
The findings suggest a potentially less invasive and quicker Covid testing alternative.
For the study, researchers at the Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris included PCR and sweat samples from 335 people and antigen tests from 234 people recruited in Paris from March 16 and April 9, 2021.
The researchers examined five dogs trained to sniff out Covid-19 by examining both positive and negative tests to see if they could tell.
They found canines were 100 per cent accurate in detecting positive Covid cases in asymptomatic individuals compared to PCR test results.
The canines were slightly less effective at identifying negative coronavirus infections, detecting 90 per cent of negative cases compared to antigen tests that were 97 per cent accurate.
"Non-invasive detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection by canine olfaction could be one alternative to nasopharyngeal swabs RT-PCR when it is necessary to obtain a result very quickly according to the same indications as antigenic tests in the context of mass screening," the researchers wrote in the paper.
Previous studies have shown dogs to detect malaria, prostate cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's disease and also breast cancer. (Agency)
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Healthy adults who eat a diverse diet, with at least 8-10 grams of soluble fibre such as grains, beans, lentils, nuts and some fruits and vegetables daily, have fewer antibiotic-resistant microbes in their guts, according to a study.
Microbes that have resistance to various commonly-used antibiotics such as tetracycline and aminoglycoside are a significant source of risk for people worldwide, with the widely held expectation that the problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) - the term that refers to bacteria, viruses, and fungi that are resistant to antibiotics - is likely to worsen throughout the coming decades.
Antimicrobial resistance in people is largely based in their gut microbiome, where the microbes are known to carry genetically encoded strategies to survive contact with antibiotics.
"And the results lead directly to the idea that modifying the diet has the potential to be a new weapon in the fight against antimicrobial resistance. And we're not talking about eating some exotic diet either, but a diverse diet, adequate in fibre," said research molecular biologist Danielle Lemay at the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service.
In the study, published in the journal mBio, the researchers found that regularly eating a diet with higher levels of fibre and lower levels of protein, especially from beef and pork, was significantly correlated with lower levels of antimicrobial resistance genes (ARG) among their gut microbes.
Those with the lowest levels of ARG in their gut microbiomes also had a greater abundance of strict anaerobic microbes, which are bacteria that do not thrive when oxygen is present and are a hallmark of a healthy gut with low inflammation. Bacterial species in the family Clostridiaceae were the most numerous anaerobes found.
But the amount of animal protein in the diet was not a top predictor of high levels of ARG. The strongest evidence was for the association of higher amounts of soluble fibre in the diet with lower levels of ARGs.
"Surprisingly, the most important predictor of low levels of ARG, even more than fibre, was the diversity of the diet. This suggests that we may want to eat from diverse sources of foods that tend to be higher in soluble fibre for maximum benefit," Lemay added.
On the other hand, those people who had the highest levels of ARG in their gut microbiomes were found to have significantly less diverse gut microbiomes compared to groups with low and medium levels of ARG.
"Our diets provide food for gut microbes. This all suggests that what we eat might be a solution to reduce antimicrobial resistance by modifying the gut microbiome," Lemay said. (agency)
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It is common for an expectant mother to feel stressed about pregnancy, especially those who are pregnant for the first time. It can bring up a range of emotions and anxieties. Being concerned about having a healthy pregnancy is not a bad thing because it can push people to take action in the face of new challenges.
However, when the stress becomes too overwhelming, it could lead to health problems for the mother and the baby. Hence, it is necessary to consult with your doctor for a smooth and risk-free pregnancy.
Understanding The Common Causes of Stress During Pregnancy
Finding out that they are pregnant can be a stressful experience in itself for some women. Stress arises mostly in unplanned pregnancy. Other factors such as fear of pregnancy loss, fear of labour and delivery, financial problems, uncomfortable physical changes like nausea, tiredness, mood swings, and backaches, miscarriage, and fear of taking care of the baby when the baby is born could lead to stress among pregnant women.
It's Important For Mothers to Keep Herself Stress Free
Maternal stress or anxiety during pregnancy can affect the fetus, causing possible long-term consequences for infant and child development. Chronic stress can affect the mother's health and can cause headaches, problems sleeping, fast breathing, and a racing pulse.
Also, it could lead to preeclampsia, miscarriage, premature birth, and low birth rate. Thus, it is important to look after the mental well-being and take care of the physical health of the mother during pregnancy.
Risks of Stress to Your Baby and Pregnancy Are:
Preeclampsia: Research shows that if you already have high blood pressure, you're at greater risk of getting preeclampsia during pregnancy. Preeclampsia is a potentially dangerous pregnancy complication characterised by high blood pressure. It usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in a woman whose blood pressure had been normal. It can lead to complications for both mother and baby.
Miscarriage: Also known as spontaneous abortion, it can be both physically and emotionally painful. Research shows that women who had major negative life events or psychological stress exposure were twice as likely to have early miscarriages. The stressers of pregnancy can trigger depression in some people. To cope up, people use harmful substances like alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. These can increase the risk of certain pregnancy complications, including miscarriage.
Preterm Birth and Low Birth Rate: Studies show that mothers who experience more stress are more likely to go into labourearly.Stress can increase the chances of having a premature baby (born before 37 weeks of pregnancy) or a low-birthweight baby (who weigh less than 5 and a half lb (2.5 kg or 2500 g) at birth). Chronic stress can lead to long-term changes in the body's vascular system, hormone levels, and the ability to fight infection. All these, can potentially influence labour to start before the baby is full-term.
Some studies show that high levels of stress during pregnancy could lead to a higher chance of the child developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Stress may also affect the baby's brain development or immune system.
Tips to Manage Stress During Pregnancy
Here are some ways to help you reduce stress:
Remember all the discomforts you experience during pregnancy are temporary. Learn how to manage and deal with the discomforts. One can talk to someone who knows about pregnancy or your doctor
Eat healthy, take enough rest, sleep and exercise
To help manage the stress, one can try relaxation activities, like prenatal yoga or meditation
Read a lot about pregnancy so you know what to expect during pregnancy and when your baby arrives.
Plan ahead and don't miss any appointments. (Dr. N Sapna Lulla, Lead Consultant - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Aster CMI Hospital)
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