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What Our Smells Can Tell Us

Updated on May 13, 2014

Can Our Body Odor Alert Us To More Serious Issues?

A New York Times article published in November of 2013 posed an interesting question: What Does Cancer Smell Like? The idea that a disease that has been thought of as illusive, innocuous, mysterious and completely random could have a particular odor had not been explored at length. What the researchers of the University of Pennsylvania discovered was fascinating not only for cancer research, but diseases overall. Different diseases gave off specifically different scents contingent upon the body system affected. They found metabolic disorders gave off a musty smell while missing digestive enzymes released more of a fishy aromatic.

There are also many holistic gurus such as Sean Croxton of who link bad breath and rotting teeth to nutrient deficiencies.

A Matter of Life and Death

Certain lifestyle changes can be a lifesaver.
Certain lifestyle changes can be a lifesaver. | Source

Shock Jock Joe Rogan "Nose" His Body

Comedian and radio show host Joe Rogan has often stated his body odor is much stronger when he eats less greens and more meat than he should.
Comedian and radio show host Joe Rogan has often stated his body odor is much stronger when he eats less greens and more meat than he should. | Source

Lifestyle Choices and Health

Let's face it: we are living in a totally different world than our parents. Our priorities, our time spent outdoors, and especially our diets have changed dramatically. There are several doctrines circulating on what the human body needs to be in optimal health. Sean Croxton's movement, Just Eat Real Food, encourages all people, whether vegan, vegetarian, Paleo, or just seeking a new way of life, to eat food that is as close to its original form as possible. This means eating grass-fed cows and the milk and butter they produce, as well as eating seasonal and locally grown fruit and vegetables whenever possible. Comedian Joe Rogan promotes green smoothies as an excellent way to detox. He has mentioned several times how much stronger his body odor becomes when he has a meat-laden diet. Others argue the human teeth and intestines prove without a doubt that vegetarianism is the best option for a healthy body. There are even theories teaching the gospel of racial origin as the key to what diet is most befitting to each individual. Once again, they all agree that your belches, sweat, flatulences and any other excretions should not clear a room. Even though a bowel movement does not smell like a flower, if it is particularly strong and lingering to no end, there is an issue that needs to be addressed before it becomes deadly.

Odor Eaters

Body Part
Possible Cause
Bacteria on the tongue from dairy consumption, tonsilloliths (also from dairy), smoking, cavities
Consume less dairy, drink a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to clear tonsils, floss with tea tree oil,abstain from smoking,brush tongue with tea tree oil.
A lack of vegetables in diet, or an overabundance of meat, dairy and sugar, stress
Reduce the offending foods or eliminate them altogether for a time; increase fruit, vegetable and water consumption. Exercise to expedite the detoxification.
Nether regions
Possible infections, diabetes, poor eating schedule, imbalanced diet, stress
Increase water, fruit, vegetables and exercise. If symptoms are not eliminated, see your doctor.
Stress, infection, poor diet
Bring diet into balance, exercise, rotate shoes and allow them to air dry in between uses.
Same as throat. These organs affect each other.
Bring diet into balance, drink a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar daily until symptoms dissipate, abstain from smoking, gargle with salt water, put a few drops of garlic oil in affected ear. See your doctor if the symptoms are severe. Be advised it could take a few months before you feel 100% well.
These odors are often a precursor to illness. It is up to you whether the symptoms become full blown.

Read the Signs

Do you, your spouse and/or kids have little "tells" that they may be getting ill before symptoms show up?

See results

Helpful Tips

We are living in an industrialized society, and as a result we are being hit with a higher load of toxicity in our food and water supplies. Here are some ways to keep your system clean:

  • Take a detox of some kind on a schedule. Many retail chains sell 7-day detox kits that contain herbs, fiber and some sort of cleansing agent similar to a laxative. It helps to do this annually, but if you live in an especially polluted area such as Los Angeles, California, once every 3 months is totally acceptable.
  • Drink purified or spring water from a glass container. Plastics leach chemicals into the liquids (and food) they house, and these chemicals have been linked to hormone imbalances and even cancer. There are glass sports bottles wrapped in rubberto ensure you won't shatter them if you happen to drop them.
  • Invest in a filter for your home water supply. The water you bath in can contaminate your system in much the same way as the water you consume, so placing a filter on your tub, shower and sinks is the safest way to go.
  • Use non-toxic personal products. Many antiperspirants have been linked to breast cancer, as well as many hair conditioners and lotions. Be advised that as you wean your body off of its daily dose of poison, you may sweat heavily at first. This is normal and should taper off as you release years of chemicals and waste you have held in from not sweating when you should.


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    • RealestMotherDear profile image

      RealestMotherDear 3 years ago from Louisiana

      I swig ACV daily! I definitely think it helps.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      this is so cool, thank you. My four year old says I do not stink bad. But except for Apple cider vinegar and garlic in ears I do most of these offender beaters, just in my day to day. Dairy I think I could cut back on.

    • RealestMotherDear profile image

      RealestMotherDear 3 years ago from Louisiana


    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

      Thank you for this interesting and educative article. Voted up and useful and interesting and will also share it.